May 3, 2011

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
At First Sight: Mia seems to have it all: loving parents, an adorable younger brother, a best friend and a hot musician boyfriend, and she might be going to Julliard next fall as she is a remarkable cello player in her own right. 

But on a day like any other, when a light snow fall cancels school and work just to turn into a nice morning a few minutes afterward, Mia and her family decide to make a day of it: go visit friends, shop a little and top the day with a visit to her grandparents.

Only that they never made it that far. One second Mia was falling asleep in the car and the next she was standing in the middle of the highway staring at what's left of her family's car... and of her family. Looking as the paramedics come to take her to the hospital and hitching a ride with them. Looking, and waiting... trying to decide if she should stay or not.

Second Glance: First, let me say that I can't believe it took me so long to read  If I Stay. I was a fool. I had heard so many good things about it but was reluctant to read it -as it usually happens with me.  If I Stay is a story that sucks you right from the start; it took me just a few pages to connect with Mia and her family. 

The story takes place over  a period of 24 hours (which I didn't know at first) and it has an amazing pace and flow. Mia both relates what's happening and we learn what's happening to her family as she does; and she also tells a series of flashbacks about her life, her best friend Kim, her boyfriend Adam and her family - I adored her family, they were so loving and together  even with their many differences- but it all makes sense, the flash backs flow from the stuff that's happening 'in real time', and keep moving the story forward, showing just how hard Mia's decision is. 

Kim, Adam and Mia's grandparents were amazing, they felt so very real in their emotions and their reactions and I could see how much Mia loved them and how they loved her too.

Bottom Line: If I Stay made me cry - a lot - and ache, yet there were times when I smiled at this loving group of people -and in a non-cliched way it made it the sadness and loss hit your harder. I love this book, is going into the shelve of honor and I can't wait to read it's sequel Where She Went.

Favorite Quote: "I have a feeling that once you live through something like this, you become a little bit invincible."
starstarstarstarstarPersonal Favorite

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