If I Stay by Gayle Forman is the story of Mia, a seventeen year old cello player. She is blessed with an amazing family, two parents who are absolutely not cookie cutter– they were both in a rock band, and they are anything but boring. They have a wonderful relationship with Mia and her younger brother, Teddy. However, a perfect family roadtrip on a snowy day is instantly altered. Mia does not remember the accident, she remembers riding with her family down the snowy road in Oregon. And then nothing.
The next thing she knows, she is watching her body being pulled from the car’s wreckage. Guys, I had to emotionally prepare myself for this one. I have heard from several bloggers out there what a great book this is, but they all also said they cried during this book. They were not lying… if you do not want to cry at least once, do not read this book. If you want to read a book that you will become completely invested in– with happy moments and the sad– read this book. I will admit that my ugly cry reared its head this afternoon. But I found this book to be heartbreaking, funny… a novel about family, and about friends.
There was not a single character in this book that I didn’t feel was unique. They were all multi-layered, and I have to say that one of my favorite characters was Mia’s best friend, Kim. Honestly, I think that everyone deserves to have at least one friend in their lifetime like Kim. She is blatantly honest, strong, independent, and hilarious. She is there for Mia without hesitation. In a lot of young adult fiction, friendships are so highly superficial. About stabbing each other in the back, or stealing each other’s boyfriends. I’ve only read a few young adult books where the best friends are just that… best friends. And this was one of them.
It I Stay is told from Mia’s point-of-view, reflecting back to pivotal moments throughout her life. And, watching her family and friends at the hospital in the day following her accident. And Forman brings up a difficult question… what if you had to decide whether to fight for your life and stay alive, or give up the fight and brave the unknown?