Thursday, 28 July 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Life can change in an instant.

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, heart rending and unltimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lose - and all that might be.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a story of a girl who has a tragic and life threatening accident. When Mia feels as though everything she has is lost forever she doesn't know who she'll turn to or how to carry on. This leaves her with the ultimate decision, will she stay. It grips you from the very first few pages; with the crash happening so soon into the story I found that I couldn't put it down once I started, I read hungrily wanting to know what was going to happen at the end. 

If I Stay switches between Mia's present where she is stuck in the hospital, and her past. Sometimes the constant switching between time periods can be very confusing in books, but i feel that Forman handled it really well, I think that it flowed nicely. Asterisk's represented the switch to Mia's past memories , and the digital time represented the switch back to her present. Mia's memories flowed in no particular order and sometimes went from her being 8 playing her first concert and then all the way to her relationship with Adam and back again. It flowed nicely with the story and I didn't feel confused with it.  

Mia and Adam's relationship is a very interesting one. On the outside they both seem like completely opposite people, Mia being the presentable, classical music cellist and Adam being the cool, punky kid who's in his own rock band, but they fit together so well, and their relationship is so wonderful. The kind of thing that you spend your whole life looking for. I really liked Adam, he's sweet and cute and he's a musician. i wish I that I had a guy that I could sit and read with for hours! :P
"This is the you I like. You definitely dressed sexier and are, you know, blond and that's different. But that you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I'll be in love with tomorrow. I love that you are fragile and tough, quiet and kick-ass. Hell you're one of the punkest girls I know, no matter who you listen to or what you wear." - Adam, page 89. 
I really liked that Forman included the short 'The Story Behind The Story.' It gives you the chance to see where the story came from, the inspiration (which I personally always love to know); it is heart breaking to see so many people that you love leave you all at once. I like the themes explored, and the idea that the author got the chance to try and answer some of her own questions, and likely others, surrounding death. 
"That's how we manage to survive loss. Because love never dies; it never goes away; and it never fades. As long as you hold onto it." - Gayle Forman, January 2010

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