A week ago, I read Gayle Forman's book If I Stay, mainly because Kaleb Nation wrote a review of it for NPR. I tacked the book onto an Amazon order so that I could get free shipping, as one does.
The premise is similar to The Lovely Bones, yet very different; that book did not resonate with me the way that this one did. Instead of a 13-year old who is tells us on the first page that she was murdered and then explains what happens as she watches down on her family as they deal with/don't deal with the trajedy, If I Stay is in the voice of a 17-year old whose entire family is in a fatal car crash in the first chapter. She realizes that she is still alive (for now) and struggles to accept her new situation and what decision she must now make. The Lovely Bones was about "an event;" If I Stay was more about plain emotion.
At times, it was greatly saddening: descriptions of Mia's life and her relationships are set against what is happening now at the hospital. It is a short book that I thought at first would only take me a day, but I had to slow down for the first half. After that, I moved more quickly because I simply had to know what Mia would do. She becomes so important to you as you read: it's more like reading someone's memoir than a novel.
And when I finally closed the back cover, I felt like calling everyone I know to tell them how I appreciate them . . . I didn't actually do that, but the point is, this book made a definite impact on me. That's a big statement for me. I found this book so close in with human experience that I had to take something from it and continue pondering its content.
It seems Summit Entertainment is trying to make a movie out of it. We'll see how that goes.
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