Sunday, December 6, 2009

If I Stay

Seventeen year old Mia seems to have everything a girl wants; fun-loving parents, a happy family, a friend that is like a sister, and a boyfriend who is romantic and edgy at the same time. One, moment took all those things away from her.

After a car accident, that killed the rest of her family, Mia has to make a choice. She is having an outer-body experience, and can hear and see the doctors working on her in the ICU, her family and friends talking to her, and her boyfriend going to great lengths to try and get her to stay. Mia has the power to decide to either die in the hospital bed, or to go on living without her family. In the novel, If I Stay, the author, Gayle Forman, takes the reader is taken on a quest, showing us her memories of being with her family and friends. These stories are her favorite memories of life, and those harder times. It is kind of like her life is flashing before her eyes, but in memoriy form. It is interesting to see which memories she chooses, and why that memory in particular is going to be influential in her decision to stay or go.

I saw nothing but strengths in this book by Forman. The author writes in away to not allow the reader to pity Mia, and Mia does not try and pity herself. She uses great imagery and reasoning in Mia’s debates, that it allows the reader to see both sides of her decision. If she stays, she will have to live without her family and become an orphan, and if she goes, she will have to leave behind her true love and her best friend.

I definitely believe that this would be a great book to read as a class in middle school. It was a quick read (under 200 pages) and it was hard to put down. I think this book would be great for reluctant readers, because it keeps the audience in suspense throughout the whole book. It provides a lot of themes all rolled into one; coping with the death of a loved one, young love, and the responsibility of growing up. I would say, for those who love, Lovely Bones (which is now becoming a movie), read this book! But the choice, as always, is up to you!


Marcella said...

This book sounds truly powerful and interesting. I think it will be great in getting teens to talk about making difficult decisions. I can wait to find out what choice Mia makes and how exciting that it is becoming a movie.

Hutting said...

This is another one of my books on the floor next to my bed waiting to be read. I thought she was in a coma from the book award listing, this sounds better though. Why do you say its for middle school? Do you think high schoolers could get into this book?

Stephanie said...

Mia in the book is kind of in a ghost-like state. She can leave her bedside and walk around, which makes it quite interesting. I think it would be great for both middle and high school, but the reason I said middle school was because of the length. It was a very easy read,and the chapters were short. It was a great "introductory novel". I loved the book, so I think it is a good read for all ages.

Ms. Edukated said...

This book sounds kind of creep. I always get weirded out when I think about ghosts and spirits. But I think that I am going to check this book out. I am interested in seeing how Forman transitions between Mia's thoughts and outer-body experience. I'm curious to know if the Forman herself has had an outer-body experience.

Hutting said...

My daughter picked up my book and read in in 5 hours - all in one sitting (she is 14 and stuck in bed recoverying from pnenomia). She loved the book, she cried, but highly recommends this to read. She liked the storyline and how the author flip flopped between present tense (in the hospital) and her past (visions of her life before the accident).She said it was hard to read, cry and cough from pnemonia, but it was that good that she had to find out what she decided to do - stay or go to heaven with her family. Healthy or sick - read the book!