It has been a while, but crappy freshmen essays seemed to be holding me back from reading. *Gasp* I know, an English teacher who has too many essays to grade. Crazy.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman took me a while simply because of how sad it was. I was going through an emotional period of time, and I knew that if I read this book at a steady pace, I would be bawling.
Mia Hall is a senior in high school with a loving family, a wonderful and supportive boyfriend, and a promising future. She applied to the Julliard music program for the cello, and all signs point to acceptance. Her boyfriend, Adam, has a band that is just beginning to take off, and her family is picture perfect. Then tragedy strikes. Mia and her family are in a car accident; She finds herself watching the events to follow from the sidelines, literally, and realizes she is at the in-between stage. She isn't dead yet; this is the choice she must make.
This novel is full of flash backs of Mia's past, her worries about the future with Adam and her choice to attend the music school in New York, and her family. Mia has lost her family, this much she knows, but her decision to stay on earth with whatever she has left is a struggle. Everything tells her to give in and let go, but there are still things she is desperately trying to hold onto.
The novel gives a new meaning to the idea of strength. Mia is a teenager who has lost everything she knew, yet she has to make the decision to hang on in hopes of being strong, or to let go in hopes that she and the rest of her friends and family can move on.
Every turn of the page was full of emotion. Forman made so many references to music- classical, rock, punk- so it made it even more interesting. I mean who doesn't like a Nirvana "Something in the Way" reference?
This was a great read; sad and very emotional, but worth it. Mia's strength, her character, and everything that surrounds her makes her choice harder, but she shows us that choice is exactly what everyone has.