The companion and sequel to If I Stay, Where She Went gives us Andy’s side of Mia’s story. For starters Andy did not…take…it…well. Fortunately he parlayed his mix of guilt, grief, rage, loneliness, and sadness into songwriting and has become a rock star. Unfortunately, its three years later and he still has all of that guilt, grief, rage, loneliness, and sadness. At the same time as he is living it down in LA, Mia is a rising star at Juliard. When chance gets Andy stuck in New York they intersect for one night. As Mia shows him the city their past, present, and future collide and leave both wondering where to go from here.
Told in first person in a similar straight forward style as If I Stay, this book has all of the lyrical strength of the first book. It’s very different in tine, however, as Mia was usually sad, wistful, happy, or longing and Andy is usually bitter and angry. His moodiness may put some readers off, but I found it gave the book an edge and drive that was unique from the first title and made his voice refreshingly different than Mia’s. I honestly picked this book up a little hesitantly. If I Stay had the Big Decision to drive the plot: Will Mia Live or DIE!!!? was quite the hook. I was worried a book about hanging around a city and talking wouldn’t compete. But it totally does. We get to learn about how Andy dealt with the events of the first book and see the results of Mia’s decision. The question of “How can they possibly fixed their broken relationship?” is just as compelling a Big Question. This is a perfect companion to the first book and has just as much to say about life, grief, and the power of love.