If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
201 pages, published April 2009
Genre: Young Adult
I became aware of this book after seeing it on a "books you must read before they become movies" list, and finally was able to pick it up from the library.
Seventeen year old Mia is a senior in high school and faced with choices. Should she stay true to her dream of becoming a classical musician even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family behind? Then one snowy morning, everything changes after Mia and her family are in a car accident. Mia is suddenly in a coma, fighting for her life.
I enjoyed the different perspective of this book. The book starts with the car accident, and the crash and it's aftermath are told from the perspective of Mia--who is having an out-of-body experience during that time (don't worry, this isn't a spoiler--this is told in the first chapter or two). She watches the aftermath of the crash and her time in the hospital. Flashbacks from her life are tied in and add to the emotional aspect of the book. Throughout the book, you're never sure why she is having this experience and what is going on, and it keeps you guessing and continuing to read. I was so hooked I read this book in just over 24 hours.
This is part one of a two book series, and If I Stay ends VERY abruptly. That was my only real problem with the book. Otherwise, I felt the book was an emotional and honest portrayal of the realities and difficulties of life. A great YA read, and I look forward to the sequel and the movie!
Overall rating for "If I Stay": B+