Monday, 10 September 2012

Review: If I Stay

I started this book today and finished it today. "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman was a quick read but by no means a light read. It was a novel that was deep and made you question yourself. It's the type of book that can make you see life in a different perspective. But, above all, it's enjoyable.

'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. Everybody has to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope. But life can change in an instant. A cold February morning ...a snowy road ...and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, "If I Stay" will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

If you look up the definition of heart-wrenching you will find the words "Gayle Forman - see If I Stay." Maybe not, but that's where it belongs. This book almost reduced to me tears. And I have no heart. But I can see people crying their eyes out over this, and with good reason. This book can evoke deep and powerful emotions in you.

This book centres around Mia. And one choice. I don't want to give the story away so I might not be as detailed as usual. Whilst Mia is faced with what is one of the hardest choices anyone can make, we are shown flashbacks of Mia's life. We are able to see how music has shaped her life and brought her and her boyfriend, Adam, together. This book would have been so different if music were not mentioned in it.

I remember one quote from page 155 of "If I Stay." It is the last two sentences on the page.

"I realise now that dying is easy. Living is hard."

And I love how simply it fitted in to the book. When I read this book, there are things that Mia says and realises that make you stop and think for a moment. And this is why it is a truly memorable book.

Characters? I really loved Mia's family. I think this is because of Mia's love of her family. Mia also has a fierce love for her brother, Teddy. And he was one of my favourite characters.

This book kept me reading and reading. I needed to know what Mia would choose. The conflict Mia found herself in was the purpose of the book. Would she stay?

I recommend this book to practically anyone. My mum is a picky reader and when this came in the post she had a look at it and asked to borrow it after me. This is a book that can be enjoyed by all. There's no age boundaries. It's just a book that you simply need to read.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 9/10 (I wanted to know more about Kim, Mia's friend)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 9/10 (I was able to put it down for a while)

Total: 28/30

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