If I Stay
(If I Stay #1)
By Gayle Forman
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
Eliana’s Opinion :
We enter Mia’s life in the middle of a regular weekday, and suddenly tragedy strikes. As such we have little time before the accident to get to know Mia, this is quickly remedied by a series of flashbacks throughout the novel. Mia was a realistic and thoughtful protagonist. Faced with difficult decisions she tries to hide and take the easy way out and is always open and honest with herself. However in spite of this I felt detached from her past and felt a little disconnected from Mia.
The only thing I did not enjoy about this novel was the premise. You will find that almost everything I read tends to lean towards supernatural, fantasy and fiction. Therefore I rarely dive into a book where the plot is based on something that could manifest itself in real life. I wasn’t crazy about the car crash, comma, life flashing before your eyes idea. However having said that, the reality of the plot and the constant series of flashbacks are the only things I did not appreciate in the novel.
Mia’s relationships with all the other characters brought something unique to the novel. I was enamoured with every character. From Mia’s hilarious but largely unconventional parents and their punk rock friends, to her sweet, impressive and slightly blunt best friend. Mia even has a charming guitar playing, song writing boyfriend named Adam. What I enjoyed about their relationship was that while adorable and sweet (to the point where I’m sure I have cavities after reading the book) their relationship was messy and imperfect. Through her flashbacks you saw her coming to terms with having a boyfriend and them finding a balance in their relationship. I positively adored this.
I thought the ending gave us enough closure and was actually quite shocked that their was a sequel. Nonetheless I am still looking forward to reading what is next for Adam and Mia.
I found the novel “If I Stay” had an interesting concept in the way the novel was narrated. I loved how Mia was looking back on various memories and journeys. It gave the novel a unique feel to it, not only were we able to see ones life from a dying perspective but also in a rather neutral way. Even though this was Mia’s life her retelling of events were surprisingly neutral taking into account her mental and physical state.
I found that Mia was a dynamic character, she kept me interested in the events taking place around her. Although certain moments I did grow rather frustrated with her behaviour and the actions of those around her. I really liked the way Adam was portrayed and I found their relationship to be a perfect exemple of a typical teenage romance. They had their ups and downs and that best friend that didn’t get along with the boyfriend.
To conclude, the novel was nothing special. It was a feel good book to read on a rainy day.