It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.
And three years he's spent wondering why.
When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.
finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been
haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay
their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance
at first love?
It's official: I'm a Gayle Forman fan. I love how her novels are so
character-driven. Honestly, not a lot happens in this novel. If I were
to outline the concrete actions in this book it would look a lot like
-Adam talks to manager
-Adam records a guitar track
-Adam attends cello concert
-Adam meets up with Mia
-Adam and Mia walk around New York, talking
-A lot more talking and introspection
the hands of a less capable writer that outline would be dead-boring.
Clearly, Forman relies on her characters to move the story along rather
than circumstantial or outward conflict. And it works. Oh, man, does it
work. Each character is so naturally believable. How Forman can reach
into a person's soul and put it into words is just... I mean...
Seriously, how does she do that?!? It's incredible.
Adam's perspective this time, as opposed to Mia's from If I Stay, we
feel everything he feels in the most I-have-totally-felt-that-way-too
kind of way. His emotional wreckage is so believable. I completely buy
into his reactions. Everything he does makes perfect Adam-sense and I
can see his layers, his depth. Forman manages to give everyone depth.
Even the random jogger--who had maybe two paragraphs--Adam borrows an
iPod from had depth! It's just so unexpected in YA literature. We need
more of that.
Forman employs none of the common YA gimmicks
we've come to see in just about every other novel; There are no love
scenes that are awkwardly/abruptly/conveniently brought to an end by an
outside source. There is sort of a love triangle but not really; It's
not there for competition and conflict so much as character growth and
backstory. There's no over-protective figure telling Adam or Mia to stay
away from the other. This book is gimmick-less. It just is. These
things could happen to normal people.
And, now that I think about it, there was this tiny little part of the book
where Adam is disappointed because he thought Mia had been sleeping with
someone else, while he, himself, had been with dozens of girls since
Mia. And I couldn't help but think how that fed into the whole macho mentality;
Men can and should have as many sexual conquests as possible while
women are to remain as chaste as possible. Such a double standard. I
hate it. Especially when perpetuated by another woman. And while I am
rather a prude personally, I don't actually care which way the pendulum
swings as long as men and women are on the same side of it. Either
everyone should be chaste or everyone should be able to sleep with as
many people as they want without social stigma. I would prefer the former but equality is all I ask.
Other than that my only real beef
with the book is that I feel like Forman is giving people false hope,
much like she did in Just One Day. Yeah, many people want closure from
past relationships. Or want to reunite with former loves. But having
either of those things is just so unrealistic. I don't think most people
get this kind of closure. Or a second chance. Life just isn't like
that. It's nice to read about, giving a certain kind of satisfaction to
see all the questions answered and resolved but... no. In that respect this
book could almost be considered fantasy.
Sexual Content: Moderate