Tuesday, August 25, 2009
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I have read several books about teenagers caught between life and death. The Afterlife by Gary Soto, Everworld by Neal Shusterman, and Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin all come quickly to mind. If I Stay is in a class by itself. It's the moving story of Mia who is an outstanding cello player, a good kid, and part of a loving family. Best of all, she's in love with Adam who is a musician in an up-and-coming band. Both are passionate about their music and though they are very different it's what brought them together. The premise of this book is that Mia and her family are in a fatal car accident. Her family is dead and Mia's body rests in a coma while Mia finds herself outside her body deciding whether to live or die. The moving part of this story is how Mia's family and friends pull together to try to bring her back to the living. In the end it is Adam who helps her make the difficult decision she needs to make. There are humorous flashbacks that make this book less serious and also let you see just how rich and full Mia's life was and how much she has lost in the loss of her family. I think it's an outstanding book but it is mature. I would only recommend it to high school students and possibly eighth graders.