Thursday, June 6, 2013

Book Review: If I Stay

It's been almost three months since I last posted a book review, but that doesn't mean I haven't been reading!  Since reading Bossypants, I've finished The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, two Stephanie Plum books by Janet Evanovich: Lean Mean Thirteen and Fearless Fourteen, and Is Everyone Hanging Out  Without Me? by Mindy Kahling.  All good reads, especially John Green and Mindy Kahling's books.

But today, I want to review If I Stay by Gayle Forman.  This was the book Julie at Peanut Butter Fingers selected for her monthly book club, and I was excited to read it.  The synopsis sounded so interesting!

The book is narrated by Mia, a seventeen year old who lives in Oregon with her mom, dad, and younger brother.  She has a great family, an incredible talent for playing the cello, and a loving boyfriend.  But, in an instant, everything changes.  Mia loses everything and is forced to make a decision to stay and deal with everything or to let go.

After reading the synopsis, I thought that Mia would be contemplating suicide during the book.  Much to my surprise, Mia and her family are in a terrible car accident within the first few pages of the book.

The book follows out-of-body Mia as she watches what is happening to herself after the accident.  She saw that her parents were dead at the scene and that her brother died after arriving at the hospital.  She hears a nurse say to her that she has to decide for herself whether to stay or leave.

The premise of the story really made me think.  It was interesting to try to put myself in Mia's shoes and think about what I would be thinking and feeling if I had to make a choice like that.  The book itself was a very easy read, but the thoughts and feelings about death and afterlife that it brought up in me were pretty deep.

I enjoyed the "flashbacks" in the story as each of Mia's friends and family members come to sit by her bedside.  It was a creative way to develop the characters of the book and provided a nice break from the heavy stuff that Mia was dealing with in the present day.  I also felt personal attachments to the stories Mia told about summer camp friends and going to punk rock concerts.  Those were things I did in high school and reading those sections recalled fond memories of my own.

I don't want to spoil the ending, but I was satisfied with the way the book ended.  This was an enjoyable read that really does make you think.  It may not be the best summer read (I always like the lighter books during the summer), but definitely a good one!

There is a sequel to the book called Where She Went.  I plan on picking this up next time I head to the library.

My current read: a book I found in the iTunes bookstore for cheap called The Bridesmaid Lotto by Rachel Astor.  I started it this morning and am already 100 pages in!  Look out for the review of that book shortly.

Question for you: If you've read If I Stay, what did you think?  What was your favorite "flashback" story Mia told?  What are you currently reading?

1 comment:

  1. Good review--you made me want to read If I Stay.

    I also recently read Bossypants, and loved it.

    The Fault in Our Stars is on my TBR list.

    I'm currently reading Someday, Someday Maybe by Lauren Graham (yes, Lorelai from Gilmore Girls). It's light reading, but I'm really enjoying it.