If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

If I Stay coverThis book was the darling of the book review blogosphere last year and, truth be told, all the buzz kind of put me off of it. But, I found a copy at the used book store for a few bucks and decided to give it a go.

The premise of the book is that a girl, Mia, and her family are involved in a fatal car accident and, knowing that her parents have both died, Mia [in a coma, natch] is left to make the decision to live or die. Of course, the decision is complicated as a stream of people visit Mia in the hospital, including her best friend and boyfriend.

I didn’t fall in love with If I Stay like many people did. I thought it was good, if a bit predictable. I liked that there were more people in Mia’s life than just her boyfriend and while I guessed the outcomes before Mia did, I believed that Mia really didn’t know what to do or what choice to make. (A small but important distinction.)

My major issues with If I Stay were as follows: the fact Mia’s family unit appeared to have no flaws – I had a really hard time buying into that. I mean, there’s getting along with your family and then there’s The Brady Bunch and I saw Mia’s depiction leaning towards the cutout Bradys. Also, as I mentioned above, I appreciated the fact Mia had friends and other people in her life besides Adam (her boyfriend). But most of her reflections seemed to be about Adam and that bugged me a bit, considering what had just happened to her family.

So, a bit on the sappy side for me, but not enough to discourage me from checking out the sequel. I know a lot of people really enjoyed this one and it is a book to check out if you are looking for a good cry.

Where this book came from: my own library!


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