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Monday, November 1, 2010

"If I Stay"

by Gayle Forman, YA, 2009, 196p, rating=4

What is it about death and dying that tugs the heart strings?  Oh, maybe losing someone you love hurts.  It certainly does hurt for Mia who is in a coma after a tragic car accident where her entire immediate family was involved.  She's just a 17yo with a full life ahead ... a supportive loving family, possible acceptance to Julliard, a wonderful boyfriend, an awesome bestfriend, ... life was peachy king.  Her main problem was the fate of her relationship with her boyfriend.  They're chosen career goals would lead them in opposite directions.  A classic young love story conflict.  Now, at death's door in an out of body experience, Mia is finding herself in reflection of a bigger decision.  Should she will herself to give up and be with her family or is there enough of a substantial life left for her to stay? 

I loved the main characters here.  The wise, fun, and seemingly unorthodox parents.  The wonderful young brother.  The involved grandparents.  The loyal bestfriend.  The faithful boyfriend.  And of course, Mia, the focal point.  The intertwining of the relationships was relatable.  So much so that it is easy to place yourself in Mia's shoes and in the matter of reflecting one's life, we can.  We can choose now to tally up who and what are important to us and make adjustments to align our lives to get there.  This is what Mia's story is aiding us to see.  Life is full of decisions and each one matters to someone.

There's more but it's not coming glibly to me.  Just know that in the simpleness of this story lies a great wonderment.  Serve to know also that those who enjoy a fluffy read would find it here.

There is a sequel to come next year.  I'm not sure it's necessary.  I'm satisfied with this but perhaps Ms Forman might have something good up her sleeves.  We'll see.

My quote-ables:
"Anyway, she didn't care that people called her a bitch.  It's just another word for feminist ...Even Dad called her that sometimes, but always in a jokey, complimentary way.  Never during a fight.  He knew better." pg 59
"...It's okay if you have to leave us.  It's okay if you want to stop fighting." pg 152
"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you." pg 161
"All relationships are tough.  Just like with music, sometimes you have harmony and other times you have cacophony." pg 175


  1. Great review. I bought a signed copy of this back in April, but I haven't had the time to read it. I guess I must start that soon.


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