Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Review: If I Stay
Published by Speak in April 2010
I purchased this book; I wanted to read this book so badly but the wait list at my local library was insanely long, which is a good thing.
Synopsis via Goodreads: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
I started this book yesterday and by the time I was halfway through, not only was I tearing up, I mentioned to Jaime of The Perpetual Pageturner and The Broke and Bookish that I was certain that I was going to be haunted by this book for a very long time, no matter how the book ended. This morning I put the book down because I was crying on the kitchen floor, ten pages from the end. TEN PAGES. I even emailed my boyfriend to tell him about it. Finally, this evening I read the last ten pages. My first comment? "I have no words." I have cried over quite a few books in my time, but I was sobbing over this one. It was so intense.
I loved the family in this book. I think that's one of the things that will haunt me. The parents were unconventional, but loved their children dearly and were raising them to be true to not only themselves, but to pursue the things that made them happy. The grandparents are more traditional, but just as wonderful. It was a moment with the grandfather that started the tears for me as well.
I'm not going to give away any of the plot, because I want you all to go into it kind of blankly (if you can) because I did and it was so worth it. I will say that if you're even remotely thinking about this book, DO IT! DO IT NOW!!!
I really truly don't think that I've read a book like this before. I was so deeply moved. The pacing of the novel was a little jumbled, which usually turns me off, but with If I Stay, it really seemed to work. The novel is divided by segments of time. Part of the novel is what's happening in the moment, and the other part is flashbacks interspersed throughout the novel that show events leading up to what's happening in real time. You learn so much about the characters in each format so it was a wonderfully used technique.
The sequel Where She Went comes out in a few days. I'm going to buy it the day of it's release, but I may need a few additional days to recover before diving into the sequel. I'm not sure my emotions could take it. But I NEED to know what happens!!
I give IF I Stay 5 dog-eared pages and a box of tissues.