Whatchyareading's Reviews > If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
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Mar 31, 2011

bookshelves: caitlin, contemporary, series, young-adult
Read in February, 2011

This is going to be a short review. As I said on my personal twitter account, when I was about 50 pages into this book, if Mia died at the end I was going to hate it. If she lived I was going to love it. So, I can’t tell you if I loved it or hated it.

So, then I had this huge battle of wills with myself to not flip to the end…or look up what the companion novel is about…It was difficult and as somebody who flipped to the end of Deathly Hallows (just because I HAD to know if Harry lived, I didn’t ruin anything plot related.) it almost seems like I’ve committed the biggest book sin already. But I stayed true and read through.

It is a fast, beautifully paced, heartbreaking read. If you don’t cry while reading this book, you are made of stone and probably didn’t cry during Up either…which is just not human. The book is about family and love and music and discovering you belong somewhere just to have it all ripped away from you. I think that was what hurt me the most. Watching Mia’s discovery of how she did belong with family despite how different she looked and felt, just to then have them all die around her.

So, at its most basic this book is about a seventeen year old girl named Mia. She plays the cello and has a boyfriend named Adam. She has the most awesome family ever. And one day she and her parents and her little brother go for a drive. Then the car is broken on the road, her parents bodies are torn to pieces, she can’t find her brother, but she does find…herself. She is standing next to her own broken and mangled body.

What follows is a series a flashbacks and endless moments trapped in the hospital while Mia contemplates her choice. Does she move on and be with her family, and not have to deal with the grief of losing them. Or does she stay?

If I say any more I really will ruin the choice she ends up making and if I couldn’t bear to ruin it for myself then i certainly can’t bear to ruin it for you. I will simply say that Mia is such a well written character. Her passion and love and frailty and anger and grief are so strong you will feel as if you have the same cares and worries as she does. This book will leaving you wanting to be in the presence of family while listening to the cello.

Reviewed on WhatchYAreading on February 16, 2011.
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