The Story is About + young adult

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Release Date: April 9, 2009
Publisher: Dutton
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 208

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 family and friends 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 one that matters.

Although I’d read the synopsis multiple times, I never really “got” what the story was until I read the first chapter when it all happens. When you find out Mia is making the choice as her body lays waiting in the ICU. She becomes an invisible observer, watching and narrating her tragic ordeal from the time the accident happens. And it is here that we join her on her quest. To ultimately decide to stay or to let go.

The choice is resonated through flashbacks, that feature Mia’s parents, brother Teddy, boyfriend Adam, her love of the cello and her best friend Kim. While the prose of the novel would seemingly be depressing, these glimpses are filled with hope, love and often times laughter. Helping the reader better understand Mia’s struggle between life and death.

Though the novel is clearly small in its mere 208 pages, it doesn’t seem inadequate in any way possible. Forman’s writing is gripping, demanding that the pages are turned. The story is exceptional.

Despite the solemn tone, I didn’t find myself shedding any tears until the last three pages of the novel. Not that I didn’t feel my emotions stirring throughout the entire novel, especially a scene including Mia and her grandfather, but I think my emotions bubbled until the last possilbe moment when they finally spilled over the edge.

A powerful novel, intense, and moving. You can’t help but find yourself taking note of the people and things that make your life worth living, after this experience.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman + young adult