If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Published by Dutton Juvenile on April 6th, 2010
On a day that started like any other,Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.I'm really torn about how I feel about this book. When I think of the ending and the concept, I absolutely love it. But when I think of the rest of the book, excluding the good beginning, I find myself falling out of love with it.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
I'll start with what I like about the book first. The whole idea was a surprise to me once I started reading because I had honestly no idea what this novel was about. For all I knew, I could have assumed it was about a girl running away. However, after Mia suffers a horrible accident, she becomes somewhat ghostlike while her body stays in a coma in the hospital. Through the experience, which I believe is only about a day, she must decide whether or not to die or live. But the choice isn't that easy.
A day seems like a short period of time for a novel, but Forman manages to make it seem like real life is playing out before you along with the concept of important flashbacks that make up the puzzle that is this book. At first I disliked the flashbacks, because when they started, they had no real meaning and were boring, so I dreaded them. But as the story went on, I found them more and more interesting and each one had a purpose.
Mia's character was someone whom I really liked at times because she was unique with her personality and interests, however I found it hard to read about her relationship's bad points. I found her too quiet when she should have said something and I was practically screaming at the page, while, Adam her boyfriend, did the exact same thing. I couldn't fathom how two people in a relationship can be so passive.
Now, the entire book isn't so bad when it really comes down to it. I really enjoyed some scenes and at times I was blinking back tears at how sad or sweet a certain point was.
I bookmarked two quotes I found in the book that I enjoyed reading.
"The more the merrier," Mom said. "We'll make it a blowout like in the olden days."
"When dinosaurs roamed the earth?" Teddy asked.
"Exactly," Dad said. "When dinosaurs roamed the earth and your mom and I were young."
"...but I'd understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. Either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love's a bitch."
I recommend this book to those who like books with a little more meaning to them, and who also enjoy ones that are outside of the stereotypical box. I don't know if I will be reading this again anytime soon, but I know I'll be thinking about it (and those quotes) for quite some time.