If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5 Stars)
Hardcover, 201 Pages
Published April 2009

So what's this book about? Mia, a typical teen with an uncanny talent for the cello, is taking a car ride on a regular snowy day with her family to go visit some good friends when their car gets rammed on the road. Instantly, Mia's parents die. But the strange thing is that Mia sees all of this...when her body is lying in the car, sliced and bruised and broken and damaged.

Your first thought is Oh my gosh, Mia is dead, right? Her spirit is watching the aftermath. But no, you're wrong. It's not quite like that. Mia isn't dead, but her spirit has left her body. Her and her brother are both still alive but badly hurt, and her parents are announced DOA. 

So now Mia watches as her body is laying in ICU, while she goes through surgery, and while family, friends and even her boyfriend Adam visits her. She realizes that even though the doctors and nurses are trying to help bring her back to consciousness and life, she's the one who runs the show. She's the one who controls if she lives or dies. The question is...which does she want? To live or to die?

I really, really liked this book. The crash scene seemed a bit too graphic for me, but maybe that's just because I have a weak stomach...*shrugs* Eh. I'm easily creeped out, what can I say? There was one paragraph *minor spoiler alert* where Mia thought she saw pieces of cauliflower on the pavement...and then she realizes that pieces of her father's brain are scattered everywhere. I literally cringed reading it and had to stop and collect myself. For most people, it isn't a big deal. But to me...*shrugs*

The only other part that I wasn't really keen on was the fact that the flashbacks were out of order. Throughout the novel, we bounce from seeing what Mia's spirit is seeing in the ICU to flashbacks and memories that she recalls with friends and family. However, the order of the flashbacks was a bit wacky and could have been organized a bit better. For example, one flashback would be based on a couple of weeks after Mia goes to an audition for a school *another teensy spoiler alert*...Julliard, of course. Then, the next flashback would be based years/months before the audition. And since the flashbacks were in no way truly tied to one another (in other words, there was no sequencing based on the year), it really would've been more organized if the pre-audition flashbacks came before the post-audition ones.

*Let me just point out that I'm not the only one that noticed this, so I'm not just trying to pick parts of the novel to pieces!

Other than the minor flashback and scattering-of-brains issue, If I Stay is a great book. Really liked it. :)

Well, I have to curl up with some hot chocolate and a good book to entertain myself for the night. Goodnight and see you all soon!

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