Monday, May 11, 2009

"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you. Does that make sense?"

Mia is talented. In fact, she has auditioned to play the cello at Julliard--and she will probably get in. But one day changes everything. Mia and her family go for a drive on a snowy morning to visit some friends. There is an accident. Now Mia is faced with a horrible choice: stay and feel the suffering and pain of deep loss or go and never again experience the wonders of her life.

Told in Mia's voice, If I Stay alternates from the present to flashes of the past where she describes various events such as how she and Kim became best friends, how Adam became her boyfriend, what caused her father to finally grow up, how she came to play the cello, and details about the relationship she has with her little brother. These alternating scenes make this book even more powerful--it's hard to let someone go when you know all the amazing details that make up her life.

When I started to read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, I was immediately sucked into Mia's life. I made the "oh my gosh I can't believe it" noise out loud (and got caught by a kid . . . ) at about page 11 or 12 and then I had to decide what to do: put it down or read until I reached the end. Yes, it's one of those books. I had to put it down because I didn't have enough time to sit still and finish it all at once, but I quickly devoured it later. I even began wondering about Mia's later life in my head. No, I don't imagine that there will be a sequal (or that I could even stand to read it?), but Mia's voice will stick with me and I think people will continue talking about this book.

**ps Gayle Forman's If I Stay has hit the NYT Bestseller List--what a great honor for a fantastic book!


  1. I've heard great things about If I Stay. Unfortunately, the ending was given away by an article about how teens today like reading depressing stories. I don't thin kI'll pick it up now.

  2. Liyana: DO read it anyway. Even if you know, I don't think you'll be disappointed by the feelings and the language. BOO for spoilers, BTW.