If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a young adult book that is about the seventeen-year-old Mia who just lost her family in a car crash, which she survived. She is now having an out of body experience where she is watching over the hospital where her anxious family is waiting. The book follows her internal struggle of deciding to stay or to just fade away and be with her family. For a young adult novel, I was surprised at how engaged I became in the book, and I finished it within a day. Although, reflective of most young adult today, the characters were a little too unrealistic for my taste, however, they were tolerable. Now here is the Five Things Wrap Up of If I Stay.
- I love the concept
The concept of this book was fantastic. It is something that we all never want to have to face, and young Mia is only seventeen. She is not yet an adult, but she is at that point in her life where so many doors are being opened. Her family will be gone if she wakes up, but if she leaves she lets go of friends and opportunities of a lifetime. Seeing the internal tug-of-war that Mia is experiencing was written really well. The way Forman weaves in flashbacks from her life adds to the difficulty of the decision. Wonderful concept.
- The characters are not too realistic
The one thing I did not like about this book were the characters. The family was too perfect and tried way too hard to be “hipster”. I am not denying that there are families like this, but it just seemed like we were reading about the family from their Facebook page where every family appears to be more “perfect” than your own. The parents are cool as cucumbers and allow their seventeen-year-old child have sex after their family dinner (Mia says they knew what was going on). They listen to and encourage their kids and are madly in love with each other. The mom equates being a “bitch” with being a feminist, which was a character turn off for me. Moreover, the dad also dresses in 1950s suits…what? Adam is also the stereotypical punk rock boyfriend who is too cool for school which can be a bit annoying at times.
- I love the importance of music
The importance of music for the family and throughout the book was a neat addition. As a music lover, I understand the way music can bring people together and help heal people. The way music brought Mia’s parents together also brought Mia and Adam together. I won’t say much more because I don’t want to go too much into the plot, but music is a big part of the character’s lives.
- Favorite quotation
“You can have your wishes, your plans, but at the end of the day, it’s out of your control,” –Gayle Forman. This quote is something that everyone experiences, and it is called life.
The verdict is 3 out of 5. The concept was great and I loved the book. The characters and descriptions are just make or break for me. I do not like unrealistic relationships or characters. The descriptions were a little too arbitrary at times, but descriptive nonetheless. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys John Green and hopeless teen romance.
Read ya later,