I just finished reading If I Stay, by Gayle Forman!
"A 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.
Haunting, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.”
I had no idea what to expect with this book - looking at just the title I imagined it was about a girl who was planning to run away. (Like the whole ‘what if I stayed’ idea). I was definitely not expecting it to be about a choice regarding weather to live or die...
Mia and her family got on the road one snowy morning, and their car crashed. She thinks she is still alive, when actually, she is a sort of ghost - a consciousness of sorts, that can see and hear everything that’s happening around her. She sees her dying body as it is taken to the hospital, her grandparents, friends and boyfriend at her bedside, and realizes that she has an ultimate to choice to make - weather to fight and stay with the living, or let go.
This book was a short, 200-page read, packed with emotions on every page. It was written out in a series of flashbacks, going over some important events in Mia’s life. More specifically, it goes over her relationship with her family, her boyfriend, and her best friend.
This book, as far as characters go, is incredible. I thought that each of the characters were super well-defined, and felt really realistic.
Mia is a cello prodigy. She is a good-ish student, who loves classical music and is really close to her family. She describes herself as somewhat dark and quiet. Her life ambition is to go to Juliard, the music school, but is torn between going there and staying with her boyfriend
Her friend, Kim, is very similar. She’s into photography and they get along right away.
Her boyfriend, Adam, is a real sweetie. He’s in a rising band, and does everything he can just to make Mia smile.
Her parents were both into rock music when they were young, and now are more settled down. She is really close to them. Mia is also a great older sister for her brother, Teddy.
The book really goes over her relation with all of these characters, and their relations to each other. Some of the stories she remembers are incredibly sweet, and they just made me smile so much!
This book kind of when up and down with emotions - first, it started off at a high with the snow day that made them get in the car in the first place. Then the accident... the book was constructed in in such a way that it worked as a cycle - Mia would have a flashback or a memory, then she would be in the hospital, watching doctors operate on her, or watch her loved ones talking to her.
I think this might be one of those super rare book-to-movie adaptations where the movie has a stronger effect on me than the book. You can tell while reading this that it would make a great movie! (If done right, of course =p) . I love books that are plot-driven and with great characters. There wasn’t much of a plot here, it was mostly memory-based. I was expecting it to make me cry. While it got me really emotional, that’s as far as it got ^-^"
Overall, I’m giving this book a 4/5 feathers! Super sweet, and the feels were real! I just wish the book was maybe a little bit longer, so that I could really connect with the characters more.
Have you read or watched If I Stay? What did you think? Let me know!
Have a great day!