Wednesday, March 30, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Summary from goodreads.com:

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 make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

This is going to be a short but sweet review.  Mostly because the book is short but really well written.  

I know this book has been out for some time.  This is the new cover for it.  Goes along with the sequel's cover better I think, than the original cover of this story.  Plus, I've heard somewhere they are making a movie of it and Dakota Fanning will be our Mia.

This is such a sweet, heart wrenching story that in 194 pages takes you through memories of Mia's life with her family, her best friend and her loving and devoted boyfriend.

I loved that in just two pages at the beginning, I was in love with Mia and her family.  I love that connection they all have to each other.  I love the playful banter and the fact that Mia isn't embarrassed to be seen with her family anywhere and how supportive they are of what each other decides to do with their life throughout the story.

I can't pick a favorite character from this story.  I love them all.  They are all so incredibly developed that you are standing either in or next to Mia the entire time.  I felt like I was her friend and confidant and she was telling me all this so that I would understand her feelings for what has happened with her and her family.  

There's Mia and her family.  Mia, Mom, Dad, and Teddy.  There's Kim, Mia's best friend who became such through unconventional means and Adam, Mia's adoring punker boyfriend who loves Mia because she isn't like the other girls he's around all the time with the punk band scenes.  No matter where you look, even the nurses in the hospital are so developed in one description, or one thing they say that you want to give them hugs or slap them for their bedside manner.  

The story is so heart wrenching I am not going to say anything about it because I loved the concept of it so much that I would cry here and now and possibly have the chance of ruining my keyboard because of all the salty tears that would fall between the keys and make them so wet that you can't type kind of ruin.  Let's just say this little bit...go read this if you haven't yet.

One of my most favorite things about how Gayle constructed the story was that from the beginning, Mia's choice all pertains on what has past, what is going on in the present and where she sees herself in the future.  Also, this story incorporates a lot of music in it and the music in it helps the story run the way it does.  Every song presented, connects everyone together.  Every memory Mia has connects her closer to the choice she makes.  

The only downside I saw with this story is the language.  I recommend a lot of young adult books to my friend's thirteen year old daughter but since she's only thirteen I recommend books that are clean of language and graphics.  I really want to recommend this to her, but I'd have to go in and cross out most of the foul language because I don't see it necessary to the story.  Maybe the lifestyle that Mia and her family live, and the scenes they put themselves in, but seriously, such a story doesn't need so much language that a thirteen year old can't read it.

Really though, if you don't mind foul language, go read this!  This is a fantastic quick read.  I read it in four days and loved every second I got to read it.  I had to stifle tears when I read it in public but it truly made me cry.  I can't wait until I can read Where She Went which is the sequel.

2 comments:

Blodeuedd on April 1, 2011 at 6:39 AM said...

I truly must read something by this author!

Aleetha on April 9, 2011 at 11:34 PM said...

I have the translation of this book. Just like you I also loved most of characters. I enjoyed all chapters where Mia told us about her family.
Unfortunately I just cant get her emotion.

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