If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Released: April 2009
Pages: 208 pages
Seventeen year old Mia has a pretty good life. She has a great set of parents who understand her and a little brother that doesn't annoy the heck out of her. She has her best friend Kim who is always there. She also has a boyfriend, Adam, that seems like he'd do just about anything for her. Then she has her one true passion, playing the cello. Now she has to choose whether to stay in Oregon with the ones in her life or follow her dreams to New York. All of that soon fades when the unthinkable happens.
One second Mia is in the car with her family and the next she is standing outside on the road staring at her body. From then on she watches the people around her and reflects on her own life, memories and choices that have lead up to that moment. But the clock is ticking and now Mia has to face the biggest decision she will ever make. Does she stay?
If I Stay is not only one of the best books I’ve read this year, but hands down one of the best books I have read in a very long time. When I first started it, I wasn’t for sure what to expect. The beginning didn’t really keep me glued, but I continued to read, and then suddenly I was getting teary eyed (that was just on page 25.) So I knew this was going to be a tear jerker, but I had no clue how much it would really affect me.
The book is beautifully written and Mia in particular was a character I quickly became attached to. The relationship she has with her parents, grandparents, and baby brother were parts that I loved reading about. Her friendship with Kim and her boyfriend, how she synced them together, every bit of it was very real. That is why I became a blubbering idiot by the end.
Everyone knows life can change in a second. It’s something I don’t dwell on, but when it’s in your face, there’s no way to ignore it. It got me thinking how easily Mia could be me or friend or even a family member. I found myself having to take a few breaks because that's how much the book got to me and I cannot remember the last time that sort of thing happened while reading. There is no doubt about it. This book will definitely stick with you even when it's done. I highly suggest if you haven’t picked this one up, go out and get it. While you’re at it, you might want to grab a box of tissues.