Thursday, 15 September 2011

Book review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

My edition: Paperback, published in 2010 by Definitions, 240 pages.

Description: 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.



Rating:



It's been a while since I read a book that was truly superb. One that managed to touch me emotionally and make me think, but If I Stay is one of those novels.

What seems to start off as an ordinary day for Mia turns into one that changes her life completely and possibly forever. Her parents, little brother Teddy and herself get into a car accident and from that moment on Mia watches from the sideline as the horror unfolds in front of her.

Stuck in a coma we get to know and love her friends and family and see her life, past and present, through her memories and what she witnesses in the hospital she'd been taken. And she has to decide if the present is worth staying for or if she should leave forever.

I honestly cannot think of a single flaw in the book. The characters feel extraordinarily real despite the fact that most of the story is told in flashbacks and disconnected to the present storyline. I instantly felt drawn to Mia's friends and family and my heart broke for her when the story started unfolding and slowly revealed the impact of the disaster that had hit her family.

On few occasions it hit me on a personal level and I had to put the novel down for a bit but the rest of the time I felt unable to stop reading. While walking to the station or waiting on the escalators, it didn't matter where I was, I just couldn't tear my eyes away from the pages I was reading as I had to know what happened next.

And a book that manages to get such a commitment from me is definitely a keeper.

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