If I Stay by Gayle Forman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
For a long time I did everything I could to avoid any book with a sad or even depressing story. As a rule I still turn to books that I know will end happily or at least not leave me in tears. I have never been a Lurlene McDaniel fan and in fact have always wondered at the devotion of her readers—the ones who can’t get enough of her sad romance stories. I’m not really sure why I picked up this book. It really didn’t fall into the categories I usually choose, but for some reason I have wanted to read this book for a long while.
If I Stay is an emotional roller coaster. One minute you are smiling and laughing, loving the main character, Mia and her family, and the next you are crying because of all she has lost. On a snowy day in Oregon, Mia and her family go on a drive that ends in heartache. She finds herself thrown out of her body as a result of an horrific car accident and left with the choice to live with a loss that will change her life forever or to die.
Mia’s family and friends are touchingly and memorably portrayed. The story smoothly transitions between where Mia is now, and her touching memories of her family and friends. The characters are well rounded and real and love between them and the difficulty of the decisions they make are palpable.
This book made me both laugh and cry. It gave be a better appreciation for a good tearjerker. As I read the book it made me think about my family and what is important to me, and how I would feel if I were in Mia’s position. While I won’t go out of my way to find tearjerkers from now on, I must say I was really impressed with this book.
A must read for those who like tearjerkers!
Cautions for sensitive readers: The main character does have a sexual relationship with her boyfriend although one situation has a rather steamy moment, it cuts off before anything explicit happens. There is also some foul language used in the book although it is very rare. There are some graphic depictions of the car accident that may disturb some readers, but once past that part, the book is pretty tame.
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