“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 friends and family 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 that matters.
OPINION: 5 STARS
Astoundingly gripping, realistic, and heartfelt. If I Stay is incredibly unique in the basic plot- Mia has a choice- does she stay and live or die and pass on? That would be an insurmountable choice to face and Forman has pitched it beautifully, executing this one poignantly. Her fantastic idea was made even more memorable by Forman's phenomenal writing style. She easily pulls the reader into this one, putting them right alongside Mia as she watches her body, her family and friends, and thinks back on her life.
Setting this book further apart is Mia's family. Her parents march to their own beat but are, by no means, bad parents. She is close with them, is very willing to spend a snow day taking a joy ride with them and her brother, and a large part of the book shows how close knit this family of four was. There is little animosity between them and that very fact made the entire book even more gut wrenching. If Mia stays, she will be returning to a world without the parents she loves, adores, and needs. The parents that have always been there. She would still have her grandparents- grandparents who have several of their own beautiful scenes- but she is still faced with the choice.
Further compounding her decision is Mia's boyfriend, Adam. In the same way I loved learning about her family, I loved meeting and learning about Adam. Their relationship was explained in an amazing way and watching Adam's responses to learning his girlfriend has been in a terrible car accident and is now an orphan brought tears to my eyes. Adam's character, simply put, it as pragmatically well done as Mia's, enhanced again by Forman's ability to write raw emotion.
Mia's final choice was executed perfectly and the ending of this book was fantastic. Yes, this one brought tears to my eyes and left me feeling gutted- often times, I felt this book was outright eviscerating when everything was taken into consideration. The basic idea may seem simple but the execution is astounding. Forman certainly hit a home run with this one and I highly, highly recommend it. This one for the favorites shelf.
On another note, recently announced is the title of the sequel to this book: Where She Went, set to hit shelves in 2011. I can only imagine where things will go from there and with that title, rest assured- the ending of this book and Mia's choice is most definitely not betrayed. This one will be in Adam's POV which I definitely am loving the idea of. If I Stay could be stand alone but I am very relieved to know there will be more.
This one also will be hitting shelves in paperback April 6, which should give you even more incentive to get it soon!
Source: Checked out from the library
Reading level: Young Adult
Hardcover: 208 pages
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile; 1St Edition edition (April 2, 2009)
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