Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Review in Two: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay Mia is an accomplished cellist, likely to head off to Julliard next fall until one snowy day, her family is in a horrible car accident that takes the lives of her parents and younger brother and leaves her in critical condition. While Mia's physical body remains in the ICU, she watches and listens to the nurses and loved ones at the hospital, as she reflects on her life, and tries to decide whether to hold on to life or let go.

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman
Dutton Juvenile
Release Date: April 2, 2009

Before this book was even released, the movie buzz seemed to be all I was hearing about. Twilight director Catherine Hardwicke has signed on to direct the film version, though no release date has been set. What with all the buzz, I wasn't sure what to expect, but I wasn't disappointed. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters through Mia's memories and loved the way the music (her passion for classical and her parents' and boyfriend's punk) was woven into the story. Even though I was probably supposed to be more drawn to Mia's boyfriend Adam or her parents/family, I wound up liking her level-headed and wryly funny best friend Kim, who seemed like the kind of girl I'd want to be friends with, the most.

I'm not one to get emotional over books or movies, but I teared up at several points. It's a very quick read (208 pages) that keeps the reader turning pages, not only to find out whether Mia decides to live or to die, but also because the chapters, which alternate between the present and her memories, are so compact and revealing that you keep thinking "Well, I might as well read just one more. It's only a few more pages, right?"

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