Review: Where She Went By Gayle Forman

Where She Went by Gayle Forman: Book CoverDetails:  Where She Went by Gayle Forman

            • Pub. Date: April 2011
            • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
            • Format: Hardcover , 208pp
            • Sales Rank: 609
            • Age Range: Young Adult

Where She Went Synopsis:

It’s been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard’s rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia’s home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future – and each other.

Told from Adam’s point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay,Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.


My Thoughts:

Well, Gayle Forman did a wonderful job with Where She Went because it can be read as a stand alone book.  Now, I am sure that it is even stronger if you have read If I Stay, but I had no idea when I picked this up that it was a part of a series.  And I wouldn’t have know by just reading the story.

This story of Adam who is struggling with his rock star status and increasingly more unhappy and damaging to himself and patiently his band and Mia his former girlfriend, who took off for Juilliard after a devastating car accident, that left the rest of her family dead.  Adam in a fit of frustration mouths off to a reporter about pictures that she has found of him and Mia in an old high school yearbook.  The past is too much and he wants it to stay there.  After wandering the streets, he does something he knows he shouldn’t and decides to see Mia in concert even thought she had a restraining order out on him.  What happens from here is classic – and you must read the book for yourself.

This is a great story of not only finding your self but finding what you didn’t know what missing.  I enjoyed the story and have plans to go back and read book 1 because I feel like it has a strong message.  I did feel like this book might have been a bit of filler for what might be coming but was really worth the read.


My Rating

Good Story – hopefully more to come!

*I purchased this book. All opinions are my own.


Review: Divergent by Veronica Roth


Details:  Divergent by Veronica Roth

        • Pub. Date: May 2011
        • Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books
        • Format: Hardcover , 496pp
        • Sales Rank: 295
        • Age Range: Young Adult

In Beatrice Prior’s dystopian Chicago, society is divided into five factions, each dedicated to the cultivation of a particular virtue—Candor (the honest), Abnegation (the selfless), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent). On an appointed day of every year, all sixteen-year-olds must select the faction to which they will devote the rest of their lives. For Beatrice, the decision is between staying with her family and being who she really is—she can’t have both. So she makes a choice that surprises everyone, including herself.

During the highly competitive initiation that follows, Beatrice renames herself Tris and struggles to determine who her friends really are—and where, exactly, a romance with a sometimes fascinating, sometimes infuriating boy fits into the life she’s chosen. But Tris also has a secret, one she’s kept hidden from everyone because she’s been warned it can mean death. And as she discovers a growing conflict that threatens to unravel her seemingly perfect society, she also learns that her secret might help her save those she loves . . . or it might destroy her.

Debut author Veronica Roth bursts onto the literary scene with the first book in the Divergent series—dystopian thrillers filled with electrifying decisions, heartbreaking betrayals, stunning consequences, and unexpected romance.


My Thoughts:

After hearing Veronica Roth talk about her book at The Dark Days of Supernatural Event in June, I was super excited to read this book.  Listening to an author talk about their process and how they went about gathering ideas and writing the books always seems to pull me into the story more.

The story itself is about a young girl, Beatrice who about to go through the selection process to select her faction.  She does not want to let her family down but she knows that she cannot stay with them.  This is especially true when she goes through her test and finds out that she is something called divergent, but cannot tell anyone this.  She leaves her family and goes through an almost crazy initiation.  She meets Tris and begins to struggle with who her friends are and who is against her.  It also seems that there is a bigger problem out there and she doesn’t know what it is.

Veronica Roth build an outstanding world for this series.  I was impressed with the complexity of the different areas of town, some very familiar as present Chicago, but always with a twist.  I like her ability to take familiar things and make them different to fit what she needs at that point in the story.  For a debut author, this story was extremely well written without many gaps in story line or character development.   Relationships were a bit difficult because there was no relating to those of different factions.  I did feel in part that Beatrice did not “mourn” the loss of her family like I expected rather just jumped into her training head on.

My favorite story element in the story was the factions.  What an interesting way to take what we view as driving morals and turn them into a way to govern people.  I thought that this was a really creative take.


My Rating

Great Story – sitting on pins and needles waiting for book 2

*I purchased this book.  All opinions and view are my own

Review and Tour: Unleashed by Emily Kimelman


Praise for Emily Kimelman’s “Unleashed”“Emily Kimelman is fun. She is a clever young woman, who has re-imagined a traditional genre for a new generation. She is witty and insightful, and writes with a wisdom, care, and diligence beyond her years.” —Mark Bowden author of “Black Hawk Down” and “Guests of the Ayatollah”Description:Joy Humbolt is not a huge fan of people and after getting fired from her latest stint as a barrista she is becoming dangerously close to unemployable. So when Charlene Miller offers Joy her dog walking business on the Exclusive Upper East Side of Manhattan after knowing her for 15 minutes, Joy is happy to accept the profitable, low maintenance route while ignoring the suspiciously quick transaction. However, when Joy discovers a mutilated corpse on her route and realizes that Charlene has fled the city, the price of her new business starts to become clear. Joy is left answering the questions of an aggressive Police Detective who swings from telling her she is the next victim to insinuating that Joy is the killer. Following in Charlene’s footsteps, Joy discovers that her powerful clients have more in common than just their dog walker. As she is lead deeper into their world of power and influence Joy realizes too late that only one kind of justice makes it this far uptown: vigilante. When Joy let’s go of  what little respect she had for the human race…

My Thoughts:

This book was not at all what I thought it was based on the cover.  My guess was that it was a werewolf book but it was so much better than that.  Joy has lost everything in one day, her boyfriend and job, but in the midst of all that she bought herself a dog, Blue.  A huge dog at that.  Her neighbor, Nona, tells her about a friend of a friend who is selling her dog walking business and Joy jumps at the chance to start again.  Little does she know that she is going to be come involved in murder and cover ups and putting those she cares about at risk.

Emily Kimelman has a fun writing style that brought Joy, Nona, James and the rest of the characters to life better than I have seen in most mystery books I have read.  The level of detail and attention was marvelous.  The story line was written well.  I liked that the book started in the future and then took us back to where it all started.  The end was a bit confusing and I am hoping that it will be explained more in the next book.  It felt like it was just more deception.  I also enjoyed the dogs in this book, they really brought something interesting to the story.  There were so many options for how Joy could or should figure things out.  Overall, I enjoyed the story and the outcome and will be looking forward to the next story.

My Rating

4 penguins:  a good story if you like a mystery that could really happen

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*I was provided an ecopy of the book for review from Nurture Virtual Book Tourz..  There was no compensation and all opinion are my own.