Tuesday, July 12, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman: Review
Posted by Michaela at 1:53 PM
Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: April 6, 2010 by Speak
Pages: 272
Buy: Amazon
Source: Bought from Amazon
Rating: 5/5
The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, prays Mia's friend Kim. I know you'd hate that kind of thing. Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living.

Review: This book sounded like exactly the kind of book I hated. I thought it would be cheesy, in the style of those teenage romance novels. Even when I heard about the plot line - having to choose between living on with her friends or joining her family in death - I wasn't too impressed.
When I really started reading this book, I literally couldn't put it down. I read it in one sitting during my brother's baseball game. I have never cried when reading a book, and if I had, I would sooner murder my entire family than admit to it. As soon as the book started getting emotional, however, I was fighting tears. It was absolutely fantastic. It's written simply enough that you can breeze through it, but it was not written poorly. Every character was believable, which is extremely hard to achieve in books so short and fast. I only wish that I had read it sooner instead of putting it off.

Short Review: Looks like it might be cheesy, but it was definitely not. This book was a fast read and very gripping. I haven't been so absorbed in a book in ages.