Tuesday, November 10, 2015

If I Stay

I have been on a roll with audiobooks lately. They are perfect for when I'm washing dishes or working on a puzzle or anything else really that requires my hands. THey also help me keep my eyes in near-perfect condition. If I Stay by Gayle Forman has been on my radar for years, and I finally got around to reading it via audiobook last week. Here are my thoughts:

Retrieved from Goodreads
Mia is a rising cellist with dreams of going to Juliard. She has a loving, quirky family and a great boyfriend. But all that changes one morning when Mia and her family go for a drive. The car crash killed her parents at the scene, and Mia is evacuated to a hospital where she's in a coma. But she's also awake. Some bit of her that no one can see can walk around and think and see what is happening around her. And as the night lengthens she realizes it's her choice to wake up. She's just not sure she wants to.

I don't really understand why this book got all the hype. Sure, I enjoyed it, but it wasn't like WHOA, life changing. It reminded me a bit of Before I Fall, with the specter of death that's already happened and is to come, It also has an aspect of "don't know why ghost-Mia exists" which is similar to Lauren Oliver's "Don't know why Samantha is reliving the same day over and over." If I Stay hit me in a couple ways and fell flat in some others. The everyday tragedy of a car crash hurt me. Because a family was destroyed, one with history and a future and fights and love, due to an accident. It snowed, and cars don't do well on snow, and so a family was torn apart. Adam's final speech to Mia also jerked at my heart strings, I think in part because the narrator of the audiobook was very good and putting emotion into the words. The ways in which this fell flat include: 1) Family seemed stereotypically perfect 2) I didn't end up caring for Mia's parents like I should have, so their deaths didn't hit me very hard 3) I guessed the twist very early on, so it wasn't  a surprise when it happened and I wondered why Mia hadn't been worrying about it more 4) The ending. While the last few lines were nicely written and would make a great end to a movie I just....her choice whether or not to stay seemed like a no-brainer that wasn't addressed too much during the book. I wish it had been more prominent, with compelling reasons on both sides.

Goodreads Rating: 3 Stars
Up Next: 13 Little Blue Envelopes by Maureen Johnson

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