if i stay

Jun 03

If I Stay

if i stay is definitely one of the more serious YAs I’ve read in a while. Simple and serious. Girl’s family gets into a car accident one snowy morning and girl is the only one who survives. She ends up at the hospital in a coma and the whole story is about her decision to stay in this world or pass on.

I picked up this book at the airport on my way to New York to visit one of my best friends from college back in the end of April. I actually finished reading this a while ago, but only have had time now to update. Let me say that I am new to Gayle Forman, but I thoroughly enjoyed this book. She managed to take a simple concept and answer a question that many have probably had on their minds at some point: what does the body think about when deciding to wake up or not wake up from a coma? I mean, you never know for sure whether it’s Mia’s ghost or what that is walking around taking an outside-looking-in kind of stance, trying to make sense of everything, broken piece by broken piece.

I am a huge fan of getting to know what characters are thinking and Forman does this so well I could really sense the urgency of Mia’s dilemma. You just have to know what Mia chooses in the end. To be with her mom, dad and little brother Teddy or to live without them in a world with her boyfriend Adam. I can relate to Mia in that when I was her age, I was also quite serious with a stringed instrument, though admittedly I was not on the track to Juilliard. It was also pretty cool that Adam is part of a band that is slowly rising in fame. I think every girl at some point has had that fantasy of dating a rock star and here Mia is, not one of the groupies, but the actual girlfriend of said rock star. One of my favorite scenes is when she’s remembering the time when she and Adam played each other on the bed like they were playing their instruments. He touched her like her body was his guitar and she touched him like his body was her cello.

Many books include an intimate scene between a couple, but this is the first time I’d read an original way to write about it. In fact I think the only novel I read the comes close is when J.D. Salinger describes playing a girl like playing a violin in The Catcher in the Rye. I think that’s pretty nifty when an author can remind you of one of the classics.