Sunday, May 2, 2010
Okay friends. This book. Oh, this book. I can barely even begin to form words to tell you how much I loved this book. I had picked If I Stay by Gayle Forman up a bunch of times, but wasn't sure I would like it. Then I saw a facebook post by Maggie Stiefvater about it and decided to give in. I trust Maggie.
Here is a quick synopsis from the If I Stay website (which is SO much better than what is written on the back of the book - please just ignore all of that):
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
And here is how my reading went:
Page 50: Feel the need to make facebook post, "Am reading If I Stay by Gayle Forman. 50 pages in and I am in love with this book."
Page 90: Realize I am reading too fast. Force myself to slow down and try to savor every word.
Page 104: Text to Meadow: "You MUST go get If I Stay by Gayle Forman for your trip. I am in love with this book. Forcing myself to put it down to make it last."
Page 152: Smiling and crying through the beauty of the scenes of Mia's life.
Page 185: Scrunching up my face trying not to cry again.... Then, f*ck it. My eyes will just be perpetually wet.
Final page: I wonder. How did she do this? How did Gayle Forman sit down and write such beauty? I don't know. But this I do know: This is why I read. To happen upon a book like this. One that moves me to tears and laughter in the same moment. One that I want to last forever. One that I can't stop thinking about and never want to finish. One that I'll never forget. This is why I read.
And now... I'm not sure why I loved this book so much. I know part of it was Mia's family. I adored them. Mostly, I loved her mom, who was smart and tough and used the word "f*ck," but also was kind and loving and understanding. Not to mention punk rock. Is it sad that I identified most with the mom in this book? Nah - I'm okay with that.
And Mia. Even now I want to cry. Seriously. I'm not going to claim that everyone will love this book. Obviously I had a very personal reaction to it. But, honestly, I hope you love it. And I definitely think you should give it a chance.
If you've read If I Stay, I'd love to hear your thoughts, and if you plan on reading it, let me know!