Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Hardcover: 208 pages
Summary (from Publishers Weekly)
The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents’ corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (“Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this”), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia’s thoughts and flashbacks, Forman expertly explores the teenager’s life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia’s singular perspective also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope.
I feel like I am the very last person to read this book. Everyone else read it and reviewed it. I tried not to read many other reviews, because I didn’t want to be influenced to heavily. I was afraid that the book could not live up to all of the hype and 5 star reviews I have seen. Luckily, I was wrong.
The best word to describe this book is beautiful. It describes the writing and the story. There is nothing negative I can say about this book, and that is not something that happens often. I would love to read this book with a book club to talk ot other people about the issues that come up in the book.
Could you imagine if we really can decide if we want to stay? Would you have stayed if you were Mia? I don’t know if I could have. She lost her whole family in an instant. If I lost everyone that quickly, I don’t know if I could stay, especially in her circumstances. But really, I couldn’t say if I would unless I was there unless I was her.
I loved how the story was written. A lot of it was through flashbacks, which can be disjointed and can stop the story many times, but in this story it felt natural and I cannot imagine it being done in a better way. It was a great way to get to know all of the characters and helped me understand Mia and her friends and family so much more.
It was just an amazing book, if you haven’t read it yet, move it to the top of your list and read it as soon as you can! If you have read it, what did you like most about it? Was there anything you didn’t like? Let me know in the comments!