Gayle Forman is an amazing writer.
I first picked up her debut novel, If I Stay, one summer, but I couldn't finish it. At the time, it just struck some chord inside me in a way that was really disturbing. Needless to say, reading it was not an enjoyable experience. But some months later, I picked it up again, and that time I was ready. And I am so glad I gave it a second chance.
Forman has this amazing ability to take two characters and have you completely invested in the outcome of their relationship in just one book. She can accomplish in a single novel what people spend multiple books in a series or multiple episodes on a tv show trying to convey. I didn't think I could care more about those characters, but then she released the follow-up, Where She Went. I had a feeling at the end of If I Stay that these characters might not have a happy ending soon after where the book ended. But that was the beauty of the book: it could give these characters that happy ending as far as I, the reader, was concerned. So when I heard about Where She Went, I waffled. Another book by Gayle Forman! About characters I love! But what if she breaks my heart with what she writes for these characters? I don't know if I can spend another book inside Mia's grief-stricken head. And then Forman did something I completely didn't expect: she switched narrators. All of a sudden we were in Adam's head. Again, I waffled. But this is so different from the first novel! There's no magical realism, there's a different narrator...but of course I was silly to doubt, because after reading the book I was forced to utter a phrase rarely ever heard leaving my lips: "The second book was better than the first!"
Where She Went is devastatingly beautiful. To describe it in words other than Forman's own seems futile. And because of my love for those two books, I felt fairly confident Forman's next two book series would be amazing. And after reading the first two chapters on the Facebook page for the series, I can affirm that yes, these books will be amazing. I'm already in love with the chemistry between the two leads, and the condensed time frame of their story is going to make this book extremely intense. I can guarantee Forman is going to break my heart and put it back together again multiple times just in the first book. Tears are guaranteed to be shed.
I had the pleasure of meeting her at an event at the Word Brooklyn bookstore and although I acted calm, inside I was jumping up and down, squealing with excitement. She's every bit as lovely as you hope she is after reading her books. I told her how much I loved her first two books, and I hope that I get a chance to meet her again and tell her how much I like her next two - because my enjoyment of them is guaranteed.
Go like the Facebook page to help unlock the third chapter of the book! She's also doing a giveaway for Just One Day - just click the widget on the righthand side of my blog to find out how to enter.
And if you haven't read If I Stay, do yourself a favor and go read it. Just...keep a box of tissues nearby. You're probably going to need it.