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Thursday, December 18, 2014

If I Stay

Of course I finally got around to picking up one of the hottest YA novels of all time, just as the movie is released. This is Gayle Forman's If I Stay

Mia and her family are in a car accident one morning. As she stands outside of the car feeling perfectly fine, she sees herself in the twisted wreckage--and realizes that her spirit is outside of her body. She watches herself being taken to the hospital, clinging to life. As her grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and loved ones shuffle in and out of the ICU, she overhears a nurse tell one of them that it is up to Mia whether she goes or she stays. That is a lot for a young girl who will suffer so greatly if she stays, yet will break the hearts of those she loves if she goes.

Welp, I would venture to say that the hype surrounding this book is well deserved. I got a wee bit choked up at the end. I mean, it was emotional, guys! There is also a good bit I'm not telling you in the synopsis, as it is vital to the story and even though you find it out early on, giving it away would take away the impact.

I can't imagine having to choose to go or to stay. Mia goes through the whole rundown of her life--the good times with her parents and little brother, Teddy; learning to play the cello and discover she was quite good at it; meeting and falling in love with her boyfriend, Adam; what the future may hold. There is no right choice for Mia, and that is where the crux of the story lies. She will face immense pain, both physical and emotional, if she stays. She can't do it just for those she loves--she also has to do it for herself. It is a huge decision, and the book is written so that I understood what was at stake. Forman has a great hand for telling the story from a young woman's point of view while not being at all pedantic. The wistfulness of Mia's predicament and the love so many have for her comes across so clearly.

All in all, I am happy I picked up this book and lost myself in it for a couple of days. It was worth my emotional energy and took me outside of myself for a bit. I look forward to passing it on to a few younger readers in my life.

For purchase below.

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