Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: 9th April 2009
Tagline: 'What would you do if you had to choose?'
" '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.
to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen-year-old Mia,
surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend
decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music
and love, a future that's brimming with hope.
But life can change in an instant.
cold February morning ...a snowy road ...and suddenly all of Mia's
choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make
the most difficult choice of all."
If I Stay is a poignant, moving story about love and loss that will make you think about and appreciate everything you have in life.
Mia, an aspiring musician, is happy - she has a wonderful family, a wonderful boyfriend and a wonderful best friend. Until one fateful icy morning when she loses everything. But the question remains, has she lost everything worth living for?
Mia wakes up after a tragic car accident, only she's no longer in her own body. She can't feel anything but she can see and hear everything, although it seems no-one is able to see or hear her. Is Mia dead? She soon realises this is not the case. It appears that Mia is lingering somewhere between life and death, and she has a decision to make. The titleof the book refers to this weighty decision - will Mia stay? Will she choose to live? Or will she go?
If I Stay brings together a montage of Mia's thoughts and memories, from both the past and present, piecing together, bit by bit, a picture of Mia and her life for us. It was beautifully written, crafted with sophistication and flowed smoothly like music - like a piece of Mia's beautiful cello playing, I could imagine.
Mia was a very real, believable character, I thought. She was just a completely normal, down-to-earth girl, average in every way, apart from her extraordinary passion for, and gift with, music.
You could really see that Mia and her boyfriend, Adam, were truly in love, and their relationship was wholly believable. Their love for each other stemmed from their mutual love of music and their relationship was incredibly sweet, although not without its flaws and problems, but these little details made everything all the more realistic as we all know that life, and love, never does run smoothly.
Life really can change in an instant, as Mia finds out, and as this book proves to you. It is incredible how one moment can have so much power - how many lives it can change, how many lives it can end. It is incredible how one decision can be so hard to make and how either choice will have so many repercussions.
If I Stay was a relatively short read but it was packed with emotion and beautifully written. Although not a book I would be clamoring to read again and again, I think reading this book once makes enough of an impact on you - I certainly was very emotionally affected by it; by the end, my insides had gone fuzzy and tears were pricking at the back of my eyes. A short and sweet book - I would recommend If I Stay for anyone searching for a touching, thought-provoking read.