Sunday, 21 November 2010

If I stay by Gayle Forman


The last thing Mia remembers is the music. After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parents' car - even though she can't feel a thing. All she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and

relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her. As the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash - and what could come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all.


This is only a short book but is gripping and will really touch you. I read a lot of books, but this is the most memorable book I have ever read. In fact, it is extrememly hard to describe just how good this book is. It's a simply beautiful book filled with incredible relationships and heartbreaking moments.

Gayle Forman has a lovely style of writing and although there are not that many characters involved in this book (the main people you meet are Mia, her parents and her brother, her grandparents, her boyfriend (Adam) and her best friend (Kim)) you come to love them all and so you are totally gripped by the decision she has to make.

The connection between Mia and her boyfriend is depicted incredibly and as you are reading the book, you can really feel the love. The rivalry between Mia's boyfriend and her best friend is a common tale that I imagine most people will be able to relate to (whether from personal experience or witnessing it amongst their friends), but is very cleverly twisted into something deeper as they come to realise what Mia meant to them both.

The book switches between the present (mostly set in the hospital) and her memories in which you gain a true understanding of her life and relationships with those she loves. The most moving scene for me was when her grandparents visit her in the hospital - even thinking about it now gives me goosebumps and in fact brings tears to my eyes. Her grandfather is generally a strong and silent man, but in just a few lines, he will make your heart melt and have tears streaming down your face.

I also think the main thread of the book - that Mia ultimately is in control of whether she dies or not - is very throught-provoking in itself. Most of us probably tend to avoid thinking about this subject, but it certainly is a different way of thinking about it and is brought to life really well throughout the book. All in all, it was a very thought-provoking book, and certainly makes you realise that life can change in an instant and makes you appreciate what you have!! Once you have turned the last page, you'll be left wondering - Would you stay?

I had never read any of Gayle Forman's books before - but will certainly keep an eye out in the future!!

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