Heartbreaking, unique and oh so good

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Opening Line:Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true.”


Well wow, this was heartbreaking and just oh so good, a totally unique and beautiful story that will be hard to forget.

17yr old Mia’s life is pretty great when we join her on a snowy morning in Oregon. A gifted cellist with a bright future at Julliard on the horizon, she has good friends, a family she doesn’t mind spending time with and a gorgeous boyfriend on his way to becoming a rock star who loves her even though she’s kinda straight laced and not into the whole club scene.

At 7:09 A.M school has been cancelled so her family decides to take advantage of the day by going for a drive. They will be back in time for her to attend Adam's concert that night in Portland and a bonus day looms ahead. The reader immediately gets a feel for this loving and happy family that laughs, teases and gets along. Yes, unlike most girls her age Mia actually thinks her parents are cool and likes her little brother. I liked her parents too; kinda hipster and her brother… well I can’t think too much about him now without wanting to cry.

Sometime between 8 and 9 that morning, as her family laughs and fights over which radio station to listen to Mia's life changes forever. In an instant almost everything is taken from her.

"You wouldn't expect the radio to work afterward. But it does. The car is eviscerated. The impact of a four-ton pickup truck going sixty miles an hour plowing straight into the passenger side had the force of an atom bomb."

Now Mia is caught between life and death, her body comatose but her spirit watching as the paramedics scramble to keep her alive. She goes with herself to the hospital and roams the corridors when the ICU becomes too much. Her grandparents are there, friends and family in a waiting room. Is this real? Am I dead? Finally Adam rushes in, his eyes red and swollen and Mia is forced to make a decision.

If I Stay is only about 200 pages long but wow what an impact. As Mia hovers between life and death, she reflects on her life and we learn all aspects of it, her dreams for the future and her relationship with Adam. And we’re with her when she realizes she has to make a choice because to live is going to hurt and take more courage than she may have. Will she stay and face the pain of an unknown future or will she simply let go...

I just loved this story, but I’m such a sucker for a good tragedy, this tore me to pieces in the best of ways. Cheers