Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: contemporary YA/thriller
Length: 210 pages
Publisher: Dutton Penguin
Source: my school library!
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 heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
I was pleasantly surprised by If I Stay. In fact I wasn’t supposed to read it this early at all – you guys voted for me to read This Song Will Save Your Life, but I’ll admit it, I got distracted by this one! It’s a really quick read and I really enjoyed it.
(also, this cover is awesome. The one I got from my school library is lovely as well.)
Basically the premise is that she’s in a car accident and her parents don’t make it out alive. The main character, Mia, watches herself in a sort of out-of-body experience, like a ghost. She goes through a bit of a recount of what’s happened in her life recently, and the question it: should she stay? Or should she let go?
The questions raised in this book were very powerful. It was emotional towards the end, but mostly I enjoyed Mia’s character, and how funny she was sometimes.
Other things I loved:
– Mia plays cello
– Parents not only exist but are supportive of Mia and distinct characters in their own right
– The author did their research on the medical stuff
– Great tension!
I have complaints, though (here she goes, you say). I didn’t find it heartbreaking or devastating, or at least not the way it was written. Yes, the events are, but I didn’t…feel…much? Maybe that’s just me, though. Also, there was a lot of telling. The recounts of her memories sometimes felt forced.
Another complaint I have: her grandma didn’t seem like a real person. She believes in angels, but this was never really brought up except in a vague, tell-y way. I couldn’t imagine it.
That said, it was a lovely story, and I liked that it didn’t get too preachy. For some reason I really loved the medical descriptions of all the things wrong with Mia. I loved seeing how she overcame them and how kind the nurses were. I have to admit that her grandfather made me the most emotional out of all the characters – his reactions were real and honest.
Now I have to go and find the next book, although I have no idea what will happen now!
My rating: four wonderkitties