Last night I started Gayle Forman’s If I Stay.  Last night I also finished the book as well.  It is a four star weepy book – you might as well keep the box of tissues beside you – you are going to need them.  This is the type of book that will be passed between girlfriends and soon everybody will be laughing and crying as they discuss parts of the book together.  Forman’s fresh powerful writing makes this book memorable.

Senior year – a time to make decisions about the future. Mia auditions for Julliard and had a very good chance of getting in. If she does get in there is no way she can turn down an opportunity like that.  Only two things make her hesitate – her crazy loving family and her boyfriend Adam.  Both though want the best for her even if it means would take her thousands of miles away.   

 Life can change in a blink of an eye

Mia is stuck in limbo. Literally.  She is teetering on the edge of death after a horrible car accident leaves her in a coma. Even though her parents and little brother were taken from her, she still has tons of people who care about her, related to her or not.   In the coma, Mia facing certain challenges, emotionally and physically, and she has to struggle to bring herself back. The question is if she comes back to life what is there to come back to? When she overhears an ICU nurse speaking with her grandparents, she realizes she can either choose life or death. “You might think that the doctors or nurses or all this is running the show,” she says, gesturing to the wall of medical equipment. “Nuh-uh. She’s running the show. Maybe she’s just biding her time. So you talk to her. You tell her to take all the time she needs, but to come on back. You’re waiting for her.” (p. 69). 

No one knows if she will wake up. You will just have to wait and see…..

Written wonderfully, the ensuing pages looks at the relationships she has in her life. We learn about the role music plays in her life, how her hopes and dreams are tied to playing the cello professionally one day. We learn about her colorful family.  We learn about her relationship with her boyfriend and her best friend.  I loved getting to know the people in her life – it’s what kept the pages turning for me.  Nothing I write, review wise, is truly going to give this book justice. I called my parents when I reached that final page and told them that I loved them and then took a look at my life, taking stock, realizing what makes me happy and stay among the living.

Love, life and music

 PS.  In the works to become a movie, Catherine Hardwicke has signed on to direct the film.