Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

     If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Summary:  Mia, a talented cellist player, is a senior in high school.  She has applied to Julliard and everyone is sure she will be accepted.  She seems to have everything going for her:  two loving and unconventional parents that she adores, a boyfriend who is also a musician, an inquisitive younger brother who she enjoys spending time with and her whole future in front of her.  And then in an instant, everything changes.  A tragic car accident leaves Mia unconscious and lying on a hospital bed fighting for her life.  It is up to her to decide whether she stays or whether she goes.  The book takes place in a twenty-four hour span, as Mia recounts her life and the moments that shaped her and will ultimately shape her decision to live or not.

Review:  This book was heartbreakingly beautiful.  The narrative is different than one might expect, as Mia’s body lies in a hospital bed, she seems to hover over herself watching everything that is happening.  The book is loaded with flashbacks as we learn more and more about her relationships with her friends, her family and her boyfriend. The author develops the characters through these flashbacks in such a way that we feel as though we know them and understand them.  I found myself connecting to them all and loving them as much as Mia does.   It is a story of loss and tragedy, but more importantly the power of love and family, whoever that may be.  I would love to read this book with a teen book group.

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