Tuesday, June 1, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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 heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Rating: 2.5 stars

Read it if: You have a lot of time on your hands, you’re easily emotional and thus enjoy shedding happy tears. (Haha, does that make sense?)

I had heard a lot of positive things about this book, and therefore, I had high expectations. The thing is, I’m actually not sure if this book honestly lived up to them.

Don’t get me wrong. It was good book, but it didn’t really suck me in, and it wasn’t as if I was turning the pages with a greedy hunger as to what-happens-next. If I Stay, was on the contrary a bit dragging. Maybe I felt that way because of Mia, the protagonist. She was a bit boring- a bit too average and I really couldn’t relate to her at all. Or maybe it was because there was no mystery in the book, nothing to keep you holding on, yeah, okay, the ‘mystery’ was if she would stay or not, live or die but with her mellow personality, it just didn’t make me all that curious, didnt really make me care that much.

On the other hand, I loved Mia’s family. They had a lot more personality than her, and her punk rocker parents seemed so cool and so much fun! Adam was adorable and so were her grandparents. I loved how the story was so perfectly music themed and the thing that touched me most of all, was little Teddy.

You see, I have a brother just like Teddy. Hes freaking adorable, and as Mia says at one point, [something like] ‘he felt like he was my own kid’- that is one point in the story where I could totally relate to her. [mild spoiler] Teddy’s death was heart breaking, [end of spoiler] and whenever Mia spoke about him, I pictured my little brother and thus that part her pain really tugged at my heartstrings.

The romance between the hot band guy and a cello playing geek was sweet. Mia’s memories of Adam were kind of boring, but the special details of their relationship were not. I loved, LOVED how Adam was the sort of guy big on gestures. Gestures are what seriously make or break a relationship- in my opinion, big or small. The way he decorated Mia’s windows with flowers when she was sick, and how he fought to get into her ICU… things like that were so magical and just so perfect! Plus, Gayle Forman made his actions so perfectly believable and never ever cheesy.

Mia’s losses were great and even though throughout the book she seemed boring, the ending really tied the book together. Not the last few lines though- I would have definitely wanted to see more on what happened next.
I guess overall, If I Stay was a touching book. It was well written, [Gayle Forman is an amazing writer]- Sweet even, but nothing very special. Maybe it was because I couldn’t help comparing it to Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall [that was an excellent book- with a similar theme] but it just didn’t make me ‘weep buckets’ like other reviewers have claimed. 

Anyway, that was my opinion. What was yours? Leave a comment and lemme know!



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