Tuesday, August 25, 2009
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.
This is the long-awaited sequel to Airhead. (Well, it was long awaited by a couple of my voracious 7th grade girls.) In Airhead, a video-game playing feminist teenage girl is killed and her brain is transplanted into the body of Nikki Howard, international modeling sensation (who also happens to have just died of a brain aneurism). Unfortunately for Em, she is now basically held hostage by Stark Enterprises and is unable to tell anyone but her immediate family that she is alive. In this book we see how Em is going on with life in the body of Nikki. She knows that she is constantly watched and that everywhere she goes there are surveillance devices to monitor her. In spite of having a life that many girls would envy, all Em wants is to win the love of her old best friend Christopher. But of course he thinks she is dead and in a surprise twist wants to avenge her death. When Nikki's previously unknown brother shows up and tells her that their mother has disappeared, the book turns into something of a mystery with Stark Enterprise being the bad guy. I loved the book right up to the end, but I hated the ending, which seemed to me like a contrived lead-in to book three of the series. I can't say this was a great book but it was lots of fun which is what books should be, after all.