I just went through a reading slump - I picked up and started about 3 books and then set them aside -- until I picked this one up! I couldn't put it down. This was so well-written and emotional. There were many times I just sat and read with tears in my eyes. But it was joyful too. Very life-affirming.
I highly recommend this book for all ages - even though it's considered Young Adult, it's still very relevant for adults as well.
It was the snow's fault. Oregoners aren't used to snow. And so a freak car crash kills 17-year-old Mia's parents and younger brother and leaves her in grave condition at a Portland hospital. Mia has an out-of-body experience and looks down at her own messed-up body: asphalt abrasions, collapsed lung, brain contusions, orphaned, with a grim and devastating future ahead for her.
Even with all her loved ones praying for her in the waiting room, Mia feels like she has nothing left to live for. So what if she gets into Juilliard with her amazing cello playing? So what if her wonderful boyfriend, punk rocker Adam, wants her to stay? What is it all without her adoring family, to be known as the orphan girl for the rest of her life?
No matter what others want of her, the decision is Mia's alone. Will she let herself go and join her family? Or will she choose the painful life and an uncertain future?
Calling this book stunning and heart-rending is no exaggeration. I was literally in tears for the last third of this book. Gayle Forman's characters are so well drawn, realistic yet intriguing and lovable. After reading this book you'll wish you had cool parents like Mia's! I particularly loved Mia and Adam, the unlikely musical couple: her classical versus his "emo-core." Their relationship is not perfect, but it's their imperfections--and how they get through it--that strikes such a chord with me, makes me cheer for them through all their hardships.
I won't be surprised if IF I STAY becomes one of 2009's most talked-about books, racking up the awards--and the tissues. Don't miss this one, please.
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
Mia has a lot to love in life. She is a cellist who could be on her way to Julliard. She has a wonderful, loving, and supportive family. And she has a boyfriend who is perfect. But as wonderful as Mia's life is, she has choices to make. Should she go to Julliard and leave everyone behind?
When a terrible accident occurs, Mia suddenly finds herself with only one choice left - should she stay?
This book is just WOW! Do not read this in public because this one will bring tears to your eyes - I'm warning you! That doesn't mean it doesn't have humor though, because there were many times I found myself laughing out loud. This is an intense story that will not only appeal to teens, but have a lot of crossover adult appeal, as well.
Gayle Forman does an excellent job going from Mia's present to Mia's past and drawing the reader in so they truly understand her love for the cello, her family, and Adam, her boyfriend. As I was reading, I felt like I really got to know Mia and her family and found myself grieving along with Mia - the writing is just that powerful.
IF I STAY is a short read, but it packs so much in and I wanted to savor every moment. At times I found myself reading slower and drinking in the words because I didn't want the story to end.
The story centers around music: Mia with her cello, Adam with his band, and Mia's dad being a drummer, and Gayle Forman's writing felt lyrical. She was able to capture music and put it into a book. I don't know how to describe it, but it was like I was reading a song - hopefully that makes sense! Music is such an important part of the book, Gayle Forman has included a playlist for the book on her website. I loved checking out the songs that went along with the story and listening to them when Mia did.
IF I STAY is a must-read. The themes of love, loss, grief, and hope are so powerful and beautifully written that this story will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
I LOVED this book! It made me laugh, it made me cry. You can't help but fall in love with the characters.
17 year old Mia is in love; in love with her boyfriend, her family, and classical music. She plays the cello and has auditioned for Julliard! Life couldn't get much better. Then one morning her family decides to go on a small road trip and everything changes.
I can't say much more without giving away any spoilers but let's just say for a small, quick read this book will give you something to think about long after you've put it down.
Very interesting teenage perspective. Surprising from the beginning and keeps you thinking and wondering what will happen, even after it's over. Tough choices, well thought out, emotional. A good listen.