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Review: If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

if i stay

pamsfour“Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal”

Title:  If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Book: Book 1 of If I Stay
Genre: YA Contemporary Fiction
Found: NSPCC Book Fair 2012
Rating: 4 Voodoos

With the cinema release of If I Stay fast approaching, I thought I would grab my copy to read before I see the film. Now, I’ve known what the general storyline was ever since I bought it. It’s not that hard to work out especially if you’ve read the synopsis, but for some reason nothing can prepare you for the heart-wrenching sadness that Gayle Forman manages to achieve.

I’ve seen some compare it to The Lovely Bones, and while I see the similarities, I found this one much more moving. I found The Lovely Bones to be very clinical. I think the fact that this story lacked someone to blame was just so much more upsetting. There was no malice or twisted human decisions, it was just Fate. Fate that left Mia to make a terrible decision… ‘Should I stay, or should I go.’

It wasn’t as fast-paced as I expected, (as its only 272 pages long) but was actually rather slow, which worked, as it mimicked the situation, with her loved ones sitting by watching every second pass agonisingly slowly, as they pray for her to wake up. It’s not an easy choice for Mia, there are many flash backs to the months before the accident, that highlight good and bad points in her life. I found myself weighing up the good and bad with her and trying to decide what would I do? I keep wondering whether I would have been more upset, had Mia been older. As she would have had more experiences in life to reflect on, but then again perhaps it was the lack of experience that made it harder as you think of all the things she hadn’t yet been able to do.

I must admit that I did at one point burst into tears. This is a rarity that I have only had happen twice before, while reading. So I think that raised my rating. Overall, as it’s only a short book and yet full of emotion, I would recommend this. I can’t wait to see if the film is as moving.

 “We are like Humpty Dumpty and all these king’s horses and all these king’s men cannot put us back together again”



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