28 March 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Release: April 6, 2010 (Paperback edition)
Publisher: Speak (Paperback)
Buy this: Amazon | BookDepository
Available formats: Hardcover, Paperback, Kindle, Nookbook

Goodreads description:
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.

My Thoughts: (**ALERT: minor spoiler ahead!**)

This is a painfully beautiful story. The car accident that kills Mia's family happens only about 15 pages into the story, but I felt like Forman ripped my heart out and stomped on it.  In those 15 pages, I was already in love with Kat, Denny, Teddy, and Mia. Despite every description about this book available on the internet, I held on to this shred of hope that Teddy was still alive--all because Mia thought it was so.  It has been a long time since I connected with a character and a book in this way and I was truly blown away by Forman's writing.

When reading a story that is mainly told in memories and recollections, I've often felt less connected with the characters (besides the main characters).  This was not the case with this book.  Through Mia's memories and the flashbacks Forman writes in, I felt myself connected and drawn to Mia's whole family. There were points when she was telling a flashback that I would forget that Mia's parents were dead because the words and stories made them really come to life.

And Mia.  Mia was such a dynamic, well-written character.  Between watching her struggle with her decision and reading through her memories, I felt like I knew her.  I could have sat down and had a conversation with her.  I wanted her to stay and live (largely for Adam, whom I was practically in love with) but I SO understood her hesitation.  When her grandfather tells her he'd understand if she leaves, I just about lost it.  (And all I could think was--"You still have 50 pages to read. Don't start bawling now!")

One last thing: I loved Adam.  I loved him because he seemed fabulous is Mia's memories.  I loved him because they didn't have some perfect romance.  I loved him for trying to break into ICU to see her.  I loved him because of this quote:

"If you stay, I'll do whatever you want.  I'll quit the band, go with you to New York.  But if you need me to go away, I'll do that too.  I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would just be too painful, that maybe it'd be easier for you to erase us.  And that would suck, but I'd do it.  I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go.  If you stay."

I'll leave it there for now because I'm on the verge of spilling too many spoilers.  I loved this book--not everyone will.  I'd recommend it without any reservations for fans of Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold. 

1 comment:

sharmin p said...

on my to-read list! New follower! :D

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