Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: April 2009
Age Range: 12 and up
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
*Spoiler* While I normally don’t include spoilers in my reviews – There is a scene mentioned from the book – You have been warned!
If I Stay is an intense and powerful story centered on music, family, love, hopes and dreams and choices about life and death. Gayle did a fantastic job, the writing is beautiful. I love how Mia reflects on her life, which builds up to the decision that she has to make should she stay or go. This was a quick and engrossing read I had to know Mia’s decision. I was completely engaged in Mia’s story that I was moved to tears. Gayle’s writing is that powerful you can’t help but be consumed by the story.
There are so many heartfelt moments in this novel that I absolutely have to mention one in particular. As I said before I don’t like including spoilers in my reviews but I’m going to make an exception for this book. I totally lost it during this scene with Mia and her Grandfather.
Gramps: “It’s Okay,” he tells me. “If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.”
Gramps: “But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”
As I was losing it with this scene, my daughter is sitting in my lap and turns around and sees me crying, she rubs my face and says “ Mommy it’s okay,” she has no clue what’s going on, she’s only 2 and that only made it worse. I had to take a breather and recollect myself before I could continue reading this book. I’ll let you ponder that.
I asked Gayle this question in an interview and this was her response:
What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
I get asked a lot of questions and you asked some unusual ones here. I get asked all the time if there is going to be a sequel but nobody asks me what how I think the characters in "If I Stay" fare in the future. Which is funny because I've thought about that a lot. See what I mean about letting go? It's hard.
I would love to see more of the characters and I can understand how it’s hard to let go of the characters after reading this novel as I did not want the story to end.
Rating: 5 out 5 Stars