If I Stay, A Book Review
You are forewarned: there will be a spoiler about the book I am reviewing. If you intend on reading this book, please postpone my blog review until you have read it.
With that said, here goes…
I chose to read If I Stay by Gayle Forman (ISBN:978-0-14-241543-6) because of its subject – a teenage girl in a state of limbo after a severe car accident takes the lives of her parents and brother – since that is sort of happening in Book Two of my Élan Series. However, Mia in If I Stay is no ghost like my Derek in Blur, but rather a disconnected spirit whose body is still functioning. Mia’s struggle is between joining her family in the afterlife or staying with the friends and extended family she has in her present life.
The book is written in first person perspective from Mia’s point of view. It also bounces between current day and past events as Mia evaluates parts of her past in order to help her decide to stay or go. Her grandparents, her best friend, and her boyfriend all do what they can to reach out to her, but only her Gramps (and a caring young nurse) acknowledges that it is ultimately Mia’s decision.
The blurbs and reviews on the book jacket had me expecting to find myself crying every other chapter as Mia teeters between her two choices, as she revisits poignant moments in her past, and as she watches those who love her struggle with her injuries. I didn’t, though. I can’t tell whether I was prepared for the bittersweet moments or whether they just didn’t move me like I thought they would. Either way, I felt a little gypped, especially with the ending.
Mia chose to remain in her present life with her friends and extended family. I guess her character took the high road instead of the easy way out; and since Forman really didn’t give us an inkling of what could have been waiting for Mia on the other side of death, we should probably feel some admiration for this character that will have to endure survivor’s guilt, rehabilitation, possible disfigurement and the loss of a music