I received this book for free from ARC received from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published by Doubleday on 2009
Genres: fiction, young adult fiction
Source: ARC received from publisher
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'Just listen,' Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.' I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.
'Stay,' he says.
Everybody has to make choices.
Some might break you.
For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope.
But life can change in an instant.
A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one.
As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.
Haunting, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.
Spurred on by a review brought to my attention by Adele at Persnickety Snark, I moved If I Stay to the top of my TBR pile.
Despite having the kids on school holidays, swimming lessons, visiting friends for morning tea and having unexpected visitors for a few hours in the afternoon, I read this novel in one day and mildly resented the many distractions that prevented me from reading it more quickly.
The story had me within the first few pages. Narrated by 17-year-old Mia, If I Stay shares 24 hours in the life of Mia and her family. After an unexpected snow fall results in school being cancelled for the day, Mia’s family decides to head out after breakfast to visit her grandparents. On the way, their car collides with another vehicle, killing Mia’s parents instantly.
The remainder of the story (the accident happens in the first dozen pages or so) focuses on Mia’s relationships with her family and friends, exploring themes of acceptance and belonging as well as considering the intertwining roles of family and friends and the power of music to connect, comfort and communicate. The novel also highlights how quickly normal everyday life can transform into tragedy.
I was totally absorbed in Mia’s story and will confess to shedding a few tears. Despite the tragedy at the centre of the novel, I found If I Stay to be quite an encouraging and thought-provoking book. Mia is a likeable central character and her reflections on past memories with her family and friends offer some humour in addition to the more significant themes.
I highly recommend this novel for both teens and adults.by