Also by this author: If I Stay, Just One Night, I Was Here, I Was Here
Series: If I Stay #1
Published by Penguin on 2009
Genres: Death & Dying, Family, General, Music, Performing Arts, Social Issues, Young Adult
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In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all makeand the ultimate choice Mia commands.
If there is one person I could blame for the tears I wept during If I Stay by Gayle Forman, it would be Jamie, as her enthusiasm is what FINALLY convinced me to set aside my review copies and pick up this book from my shelf.
If I Stay begins ordinarily enough. We open with Mia eating breakfast with her family. Which, FYI is genetically composed of awesome. Her parents were into the whole punk music scene and her little brother is a huge rock fan too. Anyways, they decide to make the most of their snow day and visit friends. Tragedy strikes to the tune of Beethovan as the family car hits a patch of ice and results in a horrific accident, killing Mia’s parents and brother, Teddy. Now, in a comatose state, Mia must decide between living or joining her family in the afterlife. If I Stay alternates between her memories and the present time.
Oh MY GOD. This book. I swear. It’s hard for me to string together coherent sentences about If I Stay. Gayle Forman absolutely had me enthralled with Mia’s gripping story. I went through the full gamut of emotions. Y’all within 20 pages I started bawling, and did not stop until half an hour after I finished. Actually, when I finished, I wound up calling my boyfriend to talk to him about it, but he was like ‘er, okay Pooks, it’s just a book’ and I’m all BUT WHAT IF THIS HAPPENED TO US.
Right, so. Characterization. Gayle Forman does characterization quite well. You see Mia’s family isn’t one of those backdrop families. They make up a significant portion of her book and her memories, and guys you will fall hard for her family. Her mom and dad are totally in love and totally wonderful and great parents. Her little brother is the brother I would love to have and holy moly it still hits me like a train, thinking about this. I wish more YA had family relationships like in If I Stay. Also also, Mia is totally not an island. She has a best friend, Kim, who was her enemy back in the day but they bonded over being brainy and getting into a fight in the schoolyard. Awesome right. And then oh my goodness, Mia’s boyfriend Adam, who is a rocker, and pretty much Mia’s opposite, as Mia is cellist and really into classical music. Anyways, Adam is totally wonderful and his role made me sob.
If I Stay left me wanting to listen to classical music and hug those I consider dear to me. It’s been months since I read this book, but my heart still clenches when I think about it and the plot and the characters. It is so good and absorbing and a quick albeit heavy read.
Other Reviews of If I Stay By Gayle Forman:
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