If I Stay by Gayle Forman

4374400Usually, I’m pretty decisive (GASP) when it come to books. I’m never decisive about anything. My friends and I struggle to make decisions…and as a result that usually results in throwing the responsibility of deciding the group activity onto someone who isn’t you…and we waste a few good minutes trying not to be the person to make the decision and not step on other people’s toes. I don’t know how we function or do things together, because at that rate, we should never be going anywhere at all, because we could never decide.

This book was kind of like me with my friends trying to decide what to do. Mixed feelings and no strong objections or approval. But right now, I’m going to make a decision and say that yes, I liked the book. I didn’t love it. I liked it, and I think that anyone who picked it up could enjoy the storyline and the unique style of writing. The reason that I’m deciding to like the book is because the style in which it was written was refreshing; it’s not a style I come across often.

The book was made into a movie that was released last year under the same title, so I’ll assume you know the premise: the protagonist, Mia, and her family are in a horrendous car accident in which she finds herself the sole survivor. She must decide whether or not she wants to keep living. What I found quite interesting was that Mia was the narrator, narrating the events in an out-of-body experience. The readers know that she is, in reality, in a coma in the hospital, but her…mind? Essence? Her conscious is narrating everything, and she sees everything as if she were actually living it, even though she is, for all intents and purposes, a ghost. The story is also told with lots of flashbacks, which I always enjoy because I don’t see myself as the writerly type who could arrange a book in that way and ensure that it would be cohesive. So the readers find themselves ping ponging between past in present, as Mia and her past are slowly revealed in sad little morsels. The one thing that sealed the deal was the end: you never find out whether or not she wakes up! She regains consciousness, but I have a passionate hatred for cliff hangers, so for that reason alone, I only liked this book. There is a sequel, titled Where She Went, so you know that she does eventually wake up and decide to keep living…but the ending was too abrupt for me.I n short, I’d recommend it…but I won’t read it again.

Happy reading!

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