Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 6, 2010 (paperback, first published April 7, 2009)
Overall: 5 Stars
On a day that started like any other…
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
Why oh why did I not read this sooner? If I Stay was unlike any other book I've read before, and that's saying a lot because I always have a book on the go. Heartbreaking, romantic, tragic, riveting- there are so many words that could describe this book and just how good it was.
Gayle Forman weaves a beautiful tale about seventeen-year old Mia, a girl with a loving family and boyfriend, and a passion for playing the cello and dreams of Juilliard. Then, in an instant, her life is shattered when she gets into a car accident with her family. Mia awakens only to find that no one can see her as she watches paramedics frantically hurry to try to save her life on the side of the road. She doesn't understand why she's having this out-of-body experience, but she follows the paramedics anyways as they speed her damaged body to a hospital.
What follows is a heartrending story that switches from moments in Mia's past and back to the present, where she's lying in the hospital. While Mia can only watch as life continues in the hospital, she thinks about the most important question- should she stay?
Throughout the novel, I was crying on and off as I felt all of Mia's pain and loss. You'll be kept guessing until the very end if she'll decide to ultimately stay or not, a fact that had my eyes glued to each page. I was sucked in from the very beginning and never did I try to itch forward and read ahead because the book always had my full attention.
You can check out Gayle Forman's website here.