If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I’ve been meaning to read this for a very long time. For some reason, this cover has fascinated me, but it took me forever to actually get it. Maybe it was because I had a feeling it would be an emotional one, and it definitely was.

In If I Stay, Mia and her family get into a terrible car accident. Mia finds herself on the verge of life and death and feels like she’s making a choice whether to stay on earth and live or to go ahead and move on. Throughout the book, we see flashbacks of Mia’s life before the accident through which we get to know her character and see all that she has to live for… and all that was lost in the accident. We also see snapshots of what’s happening in the hospital as Mia decides whether or not to fight for her life – the people that come to see her, the care of the nurses, the helplessness she feels.

It’s kind of hard to explain what I didn’t like about this, but I think it boils down to the fact that it was overwhelmingly sad throughout the whole thing. I mean, no matter what, Mia’s life is radically changed. She’s either dead or will be dealing with the death of family while she struggles to recover from the accident.

What I do like, though, is that there’s a prevailing hope that infiltrates the sadness. We see a beautiful and loving family full of rich characters. We see a best friendship that any teenage girl would be thrilled to have. We see a high school romance that just makes you smile with its sweetness and realistic, honest portrayal.

Overall, the emotional roller coaster that is If I Stay was definitely worth the read. It would be a great book to cuddle up with on a rainy weekend and have a good cry over, as we women sometimes need.

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