Sunday, August 8, 2010
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Released: April 2, 2009
Age Group: Young Adult
Mia doesn't have a whole lot in common with the rest of her family. Both of her parents are rockers and even her little brother plays the drums. Mia's love is her cello and the classical music she plays. Despite their differences, however, they're still a family and often spend weekends visiting friends and family together. On one such trip spontaneously planned, Mia finds herself staring out of the car window one minute and being out in the snow the next. She soon realizes that they've crashed and she's been ejected from the vehicle. Mia comes across the bodies of her parents and finally stumbles upon her own as she's looking for her younger brother. Mia watches as the paramedics arrive and take her and her brother's broken bodies to the hospital.
After arriving at the hospital, Mia continues her out-of-body experience as she watches the hospital staff fight to save her life. She also watches as her friends and family pray for her recovery. Ultimately, though, it is Mia's choice to stay or leave. She must decide to join her family on the other side or wake up and meet the struggle of the physical and emotional recovery she faces.
I'd heard amazing things and read some great reviews before beginning If I Stay. Yet, I was shocked and a little confused when the accident happened within the first few pages. I wondered where the author would take me and how she'd get me there. I was worried I hadn't been given enough information to be invested in Mia. I'm so glad I was wrong. Gayle Forman allowed me to see things as they were happening through Mia's eyes, and I was also allowed into Mia's memories. It was through these flashbacks that I was introduced to Mia's family, boyfriend, and best friend. I was given a look into her life before the accident, and I better understood Mia's struggle with her choice.
Although the premise was admittedly somber, If I Stay was inspiring, hopeful, and beautifully written. Of course, there were tears shed, and by the time I finished I was a blubbering mess, but don't let that stop you from picking up this book. Because amidst all the sadness, If I Stay is also a love story. Mia's grandparents, Kim, and Adam all love her and want her to stay, and the things they say and do while Mia is unconscious is heartachingly beautiful. So get out the Kleenex because this story is worth every sniffle.
You can visit Gayle's website for exciting news about her upcoming sequel titled Where She Went and progress on the filming (YES, THEY'RE MAKING A MOVIE!) of If I Stay.