Friday, June 25, 2010

If I Stay Book Review

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publisher-Speak 2009
Pages-Paperback 234,Hardcover 199
Genres-Young Adult, Fiction
Reviewed by Kate

First Line-Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

Mia had everything she could ever ask for: a loving family, an amazing boyfriend, a bright and successful future but it all changes in one life-shattering instant. She is now caught between life and death and she has the biggest decision of her life to make. A decision that will change her life forever. Mia spends one day contemplating that decision.

First off I bought this book very impulsively. I saw it at Target, never heard of it before, and for some weird reason I kept coming back to it. So even though there were a few other books that I wanted there I got it. It probably helped that it was 20% off too. I'll admit that after I got it I was regretting not getting the other books but not now. I really liked this book. It was different from what I have been reading.

First, I really like the way Forman did her chapters. Each chapter is a time which I didn't think I'd like but I did. I really loved how each chapter started in the present then went back to the past. It formed Mia's life really well and her decision. This book had me caring about the characters from about page one. I really loved the characters! They were all so different and defined. I could tell who each one is without a name. I really liked them all a lot, though I must admit they are a lot different than the people I know and hang out with but I would be more than happy to hang out with them. It was kind a breath of fresh air, though there were some beliefs that these characters have that I do not quite share. Sometimes I wish that I had people from books in my life and this book had a ton of people that I would love to have in my life.

As well as the characters I really loved the plot. It was different than the usual story of the aftermath and grieving and letting go. This book is based on one choice and how Mia decides her decision. The only thing about this book is I really enjoyed it when I was reading it but for some reason when I put it down it sometimes felt like a chore for me to come back to, until the last 80 pages or so when I was flying through it. Maybe it's because sad stories and me are like the north and south side of a magnet, we totally repel each other. This is a sad but really good story. Oh, I almost completely forgot about all the music, which is a huge part of the whole story. First off Mia plays the cello while her whole family and boyfriend are punk-rockers. I really liked how Mia plays the cello. That is so different from every other story with some sort of classical music that I've heard about, so I really liked that fact. Like I said, I'm not into hardcore punk-rock so that was really different for me. This book made me get tears in my eyes at one point and at another I felt like I was in a scene with Mia and Adam. It was so intimate without being too intimate and it was amazing. Overall this book was a different experience for me but I'm so glad I read it and it's going to stay with me for a long time.

"Ah fame, wasted on the youth."

"I've never seen anyone get as into music as you do. It's why I like to watch you practice. You get the cutest crease in your forehead, right there," Adam said, touching me above the bridge of my nose. "I'm obsessed with music and even I don't get transported like you do."

"Adam lay down on my bed, stretching his arms above his head. His whole face was grinning-eyes, nose, mouth. "Play me," he said.
"I want you to play me like a cello."

"Adam seemed to sense that I was upset. He pulled the car off onto a logging road and turned to me. "Mia, Mia, Mia," he said, stroking the tendrils of my hair that had escaped from the wig. "This is the you I like. You definitely dressed sexier and are, you know, blond, and that's different. But who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I'll be in love with tom morrow. I love that you're fragile and tough, quite and kick-ass. Hell, you're one of the punkest girls I know, no matter who you listen to or what you where."


"It's okay," he tells me. "If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life." His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath and continues. "But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us. It's okay if you want to stop fighting."

"You might think that the doctors or the nurses or all this is running the show," she says, gesturing to the wall of medical equipment. "Nuh-hu. She's running the show. Maybe she's just biding her time. So you talk to her. You tell her to take all the time she needs, but to come on back. You're waiting for her."


Zakiya the Booknerd said...

Great review Kate! I will have to look into this! (You forgot your tags, so I put them on there for you.) :D

Kate said...

Thanks. I'm going to go back and sort it out more, I know my thoughts were jumbled but I wanted to get it up before night so I kind of rushed through it.

About the tags, I'm not really sure how to do those. Let me know, please:)

Kate said...

Wait did you do the tags for me? Thanks. I just went back to fix it and I found where you put the tags. So I promise to do it on my own in the future. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

i thought this book was okay (3 stars) but your review was amazing - it really got me thinking of the book.
I loved the scene where adam asks her to play him *melts* that was so sweet

Kate said...

I know I loved that scene too! It was so intimate and I just loved it!

Jen the bibliophile said...

I've had this book from the library for quite awhile. Didn't know if I could open it because I don't really like to read sad books. My life needs to be perked up. I think I might give it a try and see what happens. Thanks Kate! :D

Zakiya the Booknerd said...

Kate: Yes, I added them for you. Don't worry about always doing them, I really don't mind :)

Jen: Yes, my life needs a little perking up as well. Don't really like sad books, but this one seems like I would really enjoy it.

Jen the bibliophile said...

It sucks that life must be perked. Wish it was always good! :D Oh well, nothing we can do except keep truckin' along.

Kate said...

Oh, I hope your guys's life gets perked up too. Honestly, I know this is getting old but mine does too. This book was on the sad side and I just got My Sisters Keeper but I think I'm waiting for that one. Now I'm going to a really cutesy book. Like I said me and sad books are like opposite sides of a magnet, we repel each other.

Zakiya the Booknerd said...

LOL! Well we don't exactly repel, we just don't have a lot of love for each other. :)

Jen the bibliophile said...

I kinda repel. I will not read a sad book especially if its a hard week. I usually opt for young adult chick lit. It tends to be happier and sappy all at the same time. Perfect!

Katie said...

If I Stay is AMAZING! One of my favorites of the year so far.

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