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Friday, June 4, 2010

Review: If I Stay

Book: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Pages: 199
Published: April 9th 2009
Source: Bought
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 heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

In a word…unforgettable. Hopeful. Honest. [I realize that that's three words, but…but…okay, fine, it's three words.] I loved this book way more than I expected to!

Mia was an inspiring character to read about. She experienced this tragedy, this horrible terrible thing that happened to her family, and yet she still managed to think clearly and honestly. She never lied to herself, or if she did she'd admit that she was lying, and I loved that about her. She was faced with a tough decision, and she didn't know which was the right choice to make, and yet in the end, I think she did choose the right path, even if she wasn't so sure herself. She was an extremely lucky girl, both in family and in friends. Her best friend, Kim, was a character that I loved seeing because she believed in her friend more than even she believed in herself, and I think that any friend who does that for you is a truer friend than any of us have any right to hope for. Adam was…well, he's basically the perfect boyfriend. I found myself jealous of Mia a couple times! He was so amazing to Mia, even when she wasn't conscious [well, sorta, but being a spirit-ish thing doesn't really count as being conscious] and there were so many times when I wanted to cry during his heartfelt hospital scenes. He'd do anything for Mia, and you know it.

This isn't an action book. It's not an adventure book. It's not a mystery. It's not a fantasy. This is a book about letting go, making hard choices, and ultimately deciding who you are and where you want to be, and who you want to be there with. It's about letting go and about family, love, and friendship. This is such a powerful book, one of the most powerful I've ever read, and when I finished it I closed it and stared at the cover for like, ten minutes. No joke.

Gayle Forman is a talented author. She knows how to write in a way that pulls at your heartstrings and challenges your beliefs and all the decisions you've made. All the characters and the events in this book clicked, and the writing was just a cherry on top of a huge, massive cake. Yeah -- I compared this book to cake. Now you know how much I loved it.

Cover: It took me a little while to understand why the cover was the way that it was, but once I did, I completely understood the significance of the tree and the bird. Very eye-catching and solid.

Overall: 5 out of 5 stars

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