Sunday, May 8, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
By Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Date Published: January 1, 2009

     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...
    Oh what an absolute sob fest.
     I had heard about If I Stay for a while now, but just managed to get around to reading it now. I'm not sure I loved it as much as most people have, but there was something touching about the story, in how simple it was. I'll admit that I teared up in more than a couple places.

    I think I found that I couldn't completely connect with all of the characters because they just seemed so perfect... and thus distant? Or perhaps they were supposed to come off that way, as about half of the book is composed of flashbacks from Mia's point of view, and half of the book happens from Mia's perspective as a silent, detached (literally) observer.

   Despite its flaws, If I Stay was really beautifully written. Like the book's strong theme of music, Forman's writing comes off as quite lyrical. The story may not be particularly original or humorous but I appreciated its introspective nature and the ending, though a cliffhanger, was wonderful.
   I guess knowing that a sequel was recently released, helped ease the questions of "What's going to happen? What?!"  that were racing through my head at the end! But at the same time, the story could have ended there and I would have been content.

Note: I've decided to stop using the rating system because I didn't like having to constrain myself to choosing between a 4 or a 5 or a 4.5 and etc.! And sometimes it's really difficult to sum a book that way.