I was a fan of If I Stay from the moment I heard about its premise: A talented musician and her family are in an awful car wreck that kills everyone. Everyone except teen cellist Mia, who lies in a hospital bed in a coma, where she debates whether to stay on earth or let herself pass into death. Mia narrates her experience of the accident and the aftermath, flashing back to happier times and observing how those who are left behind - her boyfriend, grandparents and other extended family - are dealing with the tragic loss.
Happily, the novel lived up to the emotionally gripping story it promised. Sadly, the original cover looked more like it belonged on an inspirational Hallmark card than a tragic tale of love, loss and letting go. Luckily, the paperback cover (see top right) conveys the novel perfectly. As proof, I offer to you Caleb Nation's review of If I Stay, which aired on NPR's All Things Considered. I don't know how I missed hearing the story when it aired, but thankfully, someone on the YALSA-bk listserv directed my attention to its existence.
Already read and loved If I Stay? Look forward to the release of its sequel, Where She Went, in April. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of it this past weekend at the ALA Midwinter Conference, and am very much looking forward to its arrival via FedEx Ground later this week!
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