If I Stay
By Gayle Forman
A terrible car accident strips Mia of her family. Lying in a coma, she is the last one left, and must decide whether to stay and deal with her fractured life, or follow her parents and her brother to what lies beyond.
Although I didn’t like this book as much as other YA post death or near death books (such as Everafter), I still found it to be poignant and meaningful, stressing family as some of the most important relationships you have in your life. Too many teens nowadays hate their parents or distance themselves from them, and this book will make them realize what they are missing.
Mia is a cellist bound for Julliard, and I loved the musical aspect of this book. Although Forman isn’t a classical musician herself, Mia’s world is exactly what a classical musician would experience, and I was impressed with her observations. I wasn’t so interested in the rock band side of things, but I know it was necessary to develop the bond between her and her boyfriend, and I bet teens will love it.
The only problem I had was so much “telling”. Since Mia is only an observer in her world, she tells us everything from chapter to chapter, reliving past events half the time, and introducing us to all of her relatives and what they do. A lot of backstory is hard to read through. Some people may like learning all about her extended family, though. It proves she still has family left.