Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: April 2, 2009
On a day that started like any other...Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left--the most important decision she’ll ever make.Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
I picked up If I Stay following the recommendation of different people around me. I didn’t really know what to expect but from the summary I was expecting it to be a bit of a depressing read. But it turned out it really wasn’t. Of course there were parts that had me reaching for my box of tissues but there were others that had me smiling and almost laughing. I really enjoyed reading it, which is something I didn’t necessarily expect.
Mia thought that the day she woke up to a snow day would be just like any other day. She was supposed to go on a trip with her family and there was barely any snow on the roads. But apparently that didn’t stop something coming on the road and forcing her dad to swerve...resulting in a trip to the ICU for Mia, among many other things. Now in a coma and barely surviving on her own, Mia has to decided is she’s going to stay or if she’s going to go while watching a parade of her loved ones coming one by one to see how she is doing. But ultimately the decision comes down to her and how she feels about one person, Adam.
I honestly expected this book to be really depressing. I mean it deals with a girl deciding if she’s going to come out of a coma or if she should just let go and die. But it wasn’t depressing at all. Mia was a great narrator. Despite everything that was going on she still found a way to look at things positively, through all the different flashbacks. You could tell that it hard for her to decide what she should do with her life by the way she reacted to everyone coming to talk to her. But then all the flashbacks were there to not only cheer her up but to cheer the reader up, I really needed those at times.
It’s really hard to really say anything about the other characters because there really isn’t that much given away about them. I could obviously tell that Mia’s person were pretty awesome as far as parents are concerned, Teddy is completely adorable, Kim is a kick-ass best friend and Adam is the best boyfriend you could wish for. But beyond that and the fact that everyone wants Mia to live, there isn’t much I can say about them. The point I am getting to is that the way they are works perfectly for the story, if they were more developed I don’t think the story would have the same effect on people.
I was pleasantly surprised by If I Stay in the end. I really enjoyed reading it, and despite the subject matter it’s quite fast paced and a quick read. I would recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a read that will make them both laugh and cry.