Thursday, August 21, 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Genre: YA Contemporary
Published: April 2nd, 2009
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Page Count: 201

 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.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

A book like this wouldn't normally be a book that I'd pick up by myself. I've never exactly been a fan of books that deal with realistic devastation and heartache, mostly because books like these are so relatable and can really hit home. So, to avoid the emotional breakdowns and 2 am philosophical life pondering, I try my best to stay away from these types of books--even if they are critically acclaimed. However, a few months ago, I saw the trailer for the movie adaptation of this book, and while I was convinced that it was going to unleash all the feels, I decided that it would be a good idea to read the book because the movie looked interesting. And, boy, I'm glad I did!

I have always been a music geek. I played piano when I was younger, then moved on to the clarinet, then onto the alto saxophone. And I did it all, too. Concert band, jazz band, and Friday night football pep band (my school doesn't provide a marching band). So, to see the main character live and breathe music was pretty cool. I don't see these type of characters a lot in YA, but when I do, I absolutely end up loving and understanding the character on a level not usually bestowed upon most characters I like. Mia was such a sweet character, and upon her flashbacks that really helped you get to meet the characters, I discovered that she was such a normal teenager. She wasn't self-depreciative or fit into the YA female character stereotype, which I liked. She wasn't some far-fetched teenage girl trope; she was real and unique.

From reading this book, the main message I got from it is that love prevails and that love is something worth living for. For me, that was such a great message and I don't think many people realize nowadays the power that love has. It made me so emotional reading about Mia's struggle to stay alive and how the memories of her past really strengthened her and made her question what life really was all about and the importance of friends, family, and love.

This book, in all honesty, was such a good read. It sucked me in right from the start and I was able to finish it in one night. It was such a quick read to begin with, but bam, before I knew it, the book was done. There were tears and moments where I just had to put the book down and digest the raw emotions that poured from this book. I regret not having read this book earlier because I really did enjoy it! If you haven't read this book already, I highly suggest it.

4.5 Splashes

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