If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
I actually watched the movie version of If I Stay a while ago before I knew there was a book. I loved the movie, so once I found out about the book, I was eager to read it. Well, I loved it just as much as the movie (if not a little better). I don’t know why I love it so much, given the tragic premise, but I devoured the book in one night. The writing was phenomenal. The plot was gripping and heart-wrenching and made it impossible to put the book down. The icing on the cake? There’s a sequel!
Mia is high school girl with a normal, rather good life. She has a loving mom and dad, a younger brother who adores her, and a boyfriend who melds great with her family. Mia is a gifted cellist who will likely be going to Juilliard. One morning, there’s enough snow to close school (a dusting in Oregon will do that), so the whole family decides to drive up to visit old friends. On the way, they get into a horrific accident, killing Mia’s parents on impact and sending her and her brother to the hospital. The strange thing for Mia is that she watches all of this outside her body – observing the events, conversations, etc that go on around her. The rest of the book follows her observations and her struggle to decide whether or not she should stay and live. Spoilers: pulling her to leave is the fact that she is an orphan and that her brother ends up dying. Pulling her to stay is the fact that she’s surrounded by family and friends who want her to live, and the hope of a future if she stays. In the end, her boyfriend plays her a cello piece, flooding her with memories and hope and she decides to stay.
Summing it up: This book was beautiful, heartfelt, and I absolutely recommend it!
All the best, Abbey