Sunday, March 27, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle forman

Book Name:
If I Stay
Author/s: Gayle Forman
Source: Bought
Publisher, year: Dutton Juvenile, 2009
Page total: 234
Date Read: January 23 to 26, 2010 and March 26 2011
Genre/s: YA, Death, contemporary fiction, Realistic Fiction
First line of Book:Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

This is actually the second time I read this book. The first time I thought it was a really boring, really depressing story I couldn't wait to get over with. Not now, though.

If I Stay was a terribly sad story (which I'm sure you know already- in fact there's not much I can say about this book that has not been said before in other people's reviews) but also a beautiful one. And though I'm not a big fan of the whole spirit-out-of-body thing, it worked here.

I think what I liked the most about the characters is that they were like real people- not characters, but real people I could have met or not at some point of my life. They had their own characteristics, their flaws and qualities, their fights and day-to-day conversations... (By the way, that was also really well showed in the flashbacks) It was like I was Mia and I was living what she did, though to me Adam and Kim were... I couldn't call them flat because I could see there was ore to them that what I read, it was more like I knew them, but I didn't know them very well, like we were acquaintances. That was a pity.

The story is told from Mia's perspective -as I'm sure you've guessed by now- both in the present in the hospital and with flashbacks from her life before the accident and I think that really works: even though I knew what he ending would be, I wanted her to like, because thanks to the flashbacks of her former life, I cared for her, and that is a very important thing to me, character-wise.

Anyway, the hype turns me off, but not enough for me not to enjoy this book. It shouldn't turn you off either.


"I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard."

"And that's just it, isn't it? That's how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it."

"But I'd understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love's a bitch."

(Read Kate's review too!!)


Katie said...

I'm a huge Gayle Forman myself, but I'm also curious - what made you decide to give If I Stay a second chance? And why do you think you received it differently the second time around?

Anonymous said...

I decided o try it again for two reasons: the first is that I have a new policy of trying things I didn't like the first time again and see if i like them better now, and the second is the sequel, it sounded great but i didn't want to read it without giving IIS another chance.
Maybe I liked it better this time because now I'm a lot more into realistic fiction and sad stories than I was a year ago, i don't know, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only person whose opinion about a book changes the second time she reads it right?

Ginny said...

Nope, you're not.
For example, I didn't like Second Helpings by Megan McCafferty at all when I first read it. Now I love it! I think that's why I like re-reading. To see if I like books I didn't like before better and to see if I still like books I loved few months ago.

Anonymous said...

*nods* sometimes I do that too. Why didn't you like it the first time?

Ginny said...

*sigh* 'cause I'm a hopeless (lunatic) romantist and when it didn't work out between JD and MF, I got frustrated. But now I love Jessica Darling for who she is and what she does. Actually, tomorrow is the one-year anniversary - on March 29th 2010 I first read Sloppy Firsts and have loved it since!

Anonymous said...

Oh I totally get that, sometimes I just wanted to scream at them to be together for once and for all.

Katie said...

I'm glad that you came around. I read it before all the hype happened and while I really liked it I was a little suprised by the gush-fest. What made you change your mind?

Lazy Girl said...

Oh wow, this actually sounds like a book I'd LIKE. Your review has made me want to run out and get it!! :)

missrantsypants said...

I've seen a few of these types of books at the bookstore and have yet to give them a read myself, If I Stay has been one that I've been wanting to read though.

Anonymous said...

@Kate: read the second comment :)
@Lazy Girl: THANK YOU!
@missrantypants: it's worth it

Black Disaster Fairy said...

A few people told me to make sure I have some tissues ready when you start this one.

Black Disaster Fairy

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