Hey guys! Today I’ll be reviewing the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman as part of Peanut Butter Finger’s Book Club. Every month Julie has us vote on a book to read, and at the end of the month we all review it in a linkup. It’s really fun and I love participating each month! This month’s book was especially good, so I recommend you stick around to read my review!
At the beginning of If I Stay, we are introduced to a quirky family planning how to spend their impromptu day off from work and school. After a few minutes of playful conversation, the family decides to go on a drive to visit their family friends, and they head out for the day.
Within just a few minutes of their drive, their car is involved in a brutal car crash, killing both parents and gravely injuring the two children.
The story is told from the perspective of seventeen-year old Mia, who finds herself in an out-of-body experience after the crash. At first she simply thinks she has been safely ejected from the car, but when she sees her body mangled up in the wreckage, she knows that cannot be so.
When the EMTs arrive, she hears them say that she is barely alive and will need intensive surgery immediately. She is taken to the hospital by helicopter, where Mia watches her body undergo complicated surgeries.
At one point Mia hears a nurse talking about her. The nurse says that medically-induced comas are just “doctor babble.” In reality, if a patient wants to live, he or she will. It’s not up to the doctors; it’s not up to the nurses or the families; the patient has to decide.
It is at this point that Mia realizes why she is having an out-of-body experience. She is in a third dimension because she has to decide if she wants to live or die. Without parents to care for her, it’s easy for the young woman to want to leave the world, but after evaluating her life and imagining the life she could have if she lived, she has trouble making the decision. The book shows various flashbacks of Mia’s life, which helps us understand what she’s going through. In the end, I found myself agreeing with her decision.
This story was written beautifully and I felt like I completely understood all of the characters. The dialogue was witty and quirky, without being unrealistic. I felt totally sucked into this story and I couldn’t put it down until I knew what was going to happen. I read this book in less than two days; it was that good.
This book also made me revaluate my own life a little more, and I found myself wondering what I would have done in Mia’s situation. It was a really interesting concept and a really enthralling read, so I definitely recommend this book!
Question of the day: If you read this book, what did you think about Mia’s choice? Did you wish we found out more detail about Teddy? What did you think of the relationship between Mia and Adam?