Thursday, March 31, 2011

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

"Just listen," Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen. 

"Stay," he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones. Stay true to her first love--music--even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind? 

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters. 

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make. 

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Books
Publication Date: April 9, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Source: Borrowed from library. 
Look for it: Amazon, Book Depository
My rating: 5/5

If I Stay is the compelling tale of a girl who has everything to live for, until something out of her control happens to take away everything she holds dear, leaving her with a choice to make. A choice that will affect not only her, but all of those around her. 
If I Stay is a raw, real read. One that takes a look at the big picture and forces you to watch unblinking as Mia is faced with a drastic life-altering decision to make. From the beginning, Mia draws the reader in, as does her whole family. They all are portrayed so vividly that they could be considered real people, and not just characters in a book. The warmth and love of Mia's tight-knit family can be felt through the pages, and it is this love, and this warmth that make this read so poignant. Mia is a musical prodigy from a family of musicians, however she goes against the mainstream by playing cello. She is definitely her own person, and though she may not have many friends, the relationships that she does have are solid. The characters are all realistic and vibrant. Mia's parents, and younger brother, Teddy, come to life, as do Adam and Kim. Their characterization makes Mia's choice so much harder. 
I don't think I can do this book justice. It is amazing, phenomenal, and it is probably one of the only books to make me sob. I'm not one to cry while reading, but this book is so gut-wrenching, and so bittersweet that you can't help but feel emotional. Watching the turmoil that Mia is going through, and realizing the extent and depth of the decision that she has to make is hard. Just writing up this review is bringing back the emotional side of me that doesn't often get to see the light of day. I encourage everyone to read this book. I think there is something in it for everyone, regardless of age. 
All in all, a book about the horrible situations life hands us. Mia's story is one that should be read. If you are looking for a tear-jerker, look no further. If I Stay is a poignant, mesmerizing and bittersweet read. If If I Stay is any indication, we are in for another heart-wrenching ride with Where She Went when it releases.

Facts of interest: If there is passage that I particularly love from the books I read, I'll share them after the review. I'll also add a comment about songs that came to mind while reading. Specifically for If I Stay I found that I couldn't get Stand by Rascal Flatts out of my head. Did you find any songs running through your head while reading If I Stay?

1 comment:

Naj said...

I have been reluctant in getting this book. But your review did tell me what to expect when reading it. I'll probably pick it up soon. I'd like to try some contemporary books. :D Thanks for the review!