Beautifully written and evocative of Love Story, If I Stay will resonate with teen readers.
What choice would you make? Life or letting go? Mia is in the position to choose life with all its tragedies or simply fading away--the easy way out. Mia wakes and finds herself at the side of the road and realizes her body is on a stretcher bound for the hospital. Her body is in a coma after a horrible car accident leaves her without her mother and father and little brother, but her mind is active and alert.
The reader looks back at Mia's life through her eyes: her early years with her semi-hippie parents, her dad's playing in a rock band, her mother's feminism, the birth of her baby brother, her dad quitting the band and becoming "responsible."
Mia loves life and her boyfriend Adam. In her "out of body" experience, she is able to hear and see her grandparents and friends as they visit her in the hospital. A bright musical future awaits Mia, the classical prodigy who may earn a spot at Juilliard. If I Stay tells the story of Mia and Adam’s meeting and falling in love and how much Adam wants her to live.
Break out the tissues! Readers will be weeping while Mia decides "if I stay..."
Recommended grades 9-up. Mature grade 8 readers will probably be okay with this novel. Some langauge.
Recommended by Pamela Thompson, MLIS, Library Media Specialist
visit her ya novels blog at http://booksbypamelathompson.blogspot.com/
*now a featured blog on the Texas Library Association's homepage at http://www.txla.org/TLA-blog
In the blink of an eye, Mia’s world is changed. She’s alive, the only survivor of her family’s car accident, and she’s in an in-between world where she’s watching her injured body fight for survival.
Gayle Forman tells an emotional tale of Mia’s fight to decide if she’ll stay in a world that her parents and brother have left, or if she’ll join them on the other side. The story is told in alternating chapters. One story tells of Mia and Adam’s journey. It’s a story where a hard core rocker falls in love with a classical cellist, born into a musical family that more matches the taste of her boyfriend.
It’s a beautiful high school love story, that by itself, is a wonderful read. The other chapters detail Mia’s struggle to die or not to die. It was this side of the story that truly captivated me. Mia is floating in a world watching her friends and family mourn over the loss of her parents and brother, while at the same time watch and wait for Mia to survive her injuries, and multiple surgeries. The most heart wrenching events that Mia must watch are the visits from Adam. It is one of these visits where Mia truly decides if she’ll stay.
I chose to read If I Stay because it’s sequel, Where She Went, is nominated for YALSA’s 2012 Teen Top Ten. It was a short, quick, and easily a one-sitting read. My struggle with the book is that I loved each story that was separately told in the alternating chapters, but I was so much more involved in Mia’s struggle to stay or go, that I found myself skimming through the chapters that detailed her love story with Adam. It in itself is a wonderful story, but for me, it really stayed in the shadows of her story to survive.
Recommended by Shawn Lane, Librarian, Texas, USA
Visit her blog at http://www.whatireadyesterday.com