Friday, April 30, 2010

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Also reviewed by Kari.

Summary: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

My Review: Seventeen-year-old Mia's life takes a drastic turn when her family strikes tragedy. Mia is forced to contemplate life and death as she travels back through memories of her past. Ultimately she must decide if life is worth living when so much love has been lost and when the future feels so uncertain.

As a reader you will travel with Mia as she rediscovers herself and learns her past choices which were so consuming months ago now amount to very little. Forman has done a marvelous job of recreating those moments in teen's life when everything feels so deeply significant - first love, graduation, college choices. One can not help but the recall the difficulties of life in general during this awkward stage between childhood and adulthood.

Music plays a vital role in the storyline of this book. Mia is a cellist dating a rocker and her father had his own band during his pre-teacher life. The section at the end of the book which explains the meaning of each song mentioned within adds uniqueness and dimension to the narrative. If I had realized it was there I would have been referring to it throughout my reading.

This is a novel that will tug at heartstrings. It is a tale of the importance of friendship and family. Ultimately it's about choices and the power generated from these these choices. Many times in life we find ourselves at a fork where we may choose either the easy road or the one less traveled. As tempting as the paved path is, the bumpy uphill road often offers a greater reward.

*Side Note- The movie rights to "If I Stay" have been purchased by Summit. Sound familiar? That's the same company that produced the Twilight movies. It's that teenage love thing both stories have going for them.

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

For the sensitive reader: There is a bit of language and a love scene that eludes to sex. Both would have escaped my mention if this were not a young adult book.

To Sum it Up: A story of love and loss and the magical music in-between.

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