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Where She Went by Gayle Forman and Stuff About Falling in Love

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So I just finished reading Where She Went yesterday and I’m still loving it today. First of all, the cover is awesome. I love it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how I’d like this book. I told you guys that I loved the first book, If I Stay, but then I realized that the sequel is written from Adam’s perspective, not Mia’s, and I wasn’t crazy about that. Remember when Stephenie Meyer all of a sudden switched to Jacob’s perspective after sticking with Bella for so long? I found it jarring and not really that cool. However, I ended up loving that this book was from Adam’s perspective. It was interesting for the first half of the book, then it gets really good, and the last half is great and you don’t want to put it down. Couple things to note: I was hoping we’d get more glimpses into what it was like for Adam with Mia in the coma. Mainly, I was hoping she’d take us back to the scene when he was first told about it and let us experience that with him. I was hoping to get a little more history on what’s been happening with Mia all this time–she does a really good job of giving us a lot of this while they’re talking, but I kept wondering if Mia had been in any other relationships or interested in anyone else. You don’t really expect that from her, but it annoys me when the guy character has been out and about playing the field and the sweet little girl has been waiting and pining for him. I didn’t really like the fact that Adam had so many relationships in the relatively small time he and Mia were out of touch. But the way it was written was realistic for his character. And the ending was just so satisfying. I thought she was taking it in another direction and then she swooped around and landed in a different place, and I love when authors do that! So overall opinion–so worth reading.

Now, on to falling in love. Of course, reading about all this teen angst and whatnot just takes you back to when life was like that for you. In Where She Went, Mia and Adam have grown up and are now in their early twenties, which I appreciated. It gave us a whole new perspective on the two of them. And their relationship was pretty intense. It starts out sweet, but after all they’ve been through, you can’t expect them not to have volatile feelings that mirror love/hate.

I was thinking about my early relationship with Jeff. We met when I was just 19 and he was 22. I’m grateful for this because I really love that we have this long history together. I love that Jeff can remember what I looked like when I wore braces. 🙂 I know that’s kind of weird, but we go back that far together. And it’s pretty honest to say that our relationship was rather volatile for the first couple of years. We would drive each other crazy, but then be too attached/connected/in love to let go of the relationship. I knew from super early on that I would end up marrying him. But at 19, of course, I couldn’t see when that would happen; only that I knew it would happen because that’s how intense my feelings were for him. But I didn’t even want it to happen until I was older. Jeff, however–well, I don’t think he believed it was actually happening until I walked down the aisle. 🙂 I think he was more than worried that we wouldn’t make it. But we did.

And I think back over the volatile times, and I’m okay with them. I remember talking to a friend once about a fight Jeff and I had (this was back in college), and she said to me something to the effect of “I’m glad to see there’s enough passion to make you fight for what you want.” And the more I thought about that, the more I could see her point. Jeff really did pursue me with passion, and I’m forever grateful for that. And we went through ups and downs, but it was definitely not boring. Can you imagine going through life without falling in love? I can’t. To me, there’s just nothing as awesome as falling in love–and then actually staying in love. All those crazy emotions you feel–can’t eat, can’t sleep, cry and fight and then cry and resolve things, yell when you’re angry, walk away, come back, crash into each other, laugh, hold hands quietly when something’s wrong, share all the good things–that’s what love is to me. 

Jeff and I recently were in Virginia for my little sister’s graduation and on the flight to Raleigh, there was this (unfortunately small) moment of time where Ashtyn was sleeping. I was sitting by the window, Jeff was by the aisle, and Ashtyn was stretched out in between us. She looked so adorable and so perfect right in the middle of me and Jeff. And I looked at the whole scenario and thought about how far we’ve come to reach this point. And it all started with falling in love, then staying in love, then living in love. It might be a different kind of love than the volatile, can’t-be-apart, can’t-be-together kind you might experience at 19, (even though, trust me, I can still get volatile if I need to 🙂 ), but it’s an even deeper relationship.

You know, I love when reading a good love story makes you reflect on your own life. The escape of reading is something I enjoy, but you have to also appreciate when literature brings you back to what’s real.

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About Brandy

Brandy Bruce is an author, editor, wife, mother, and someone who really loves dessert. She has a BA in English from Liberty University. She currently works as a freelance editor--reading, writing, editing, and making good use of online dictionaries. She's married to Jeff and has three beautiful children.

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