Tuesday, June 21, 2011

If I Stay

'Just listen,' Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen. 'Stay,' he says. Everybody has to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope. But life can change in an instant. A cold February morning ...a snowy road ...and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, "If I Stay" will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

Today, very much like yesterday when I sat down and read straight through You Against Me- because I didn't feel like revising and couldn't put it down once I started, I picked up the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman from my shelf of books waiting to be read once my exams are done. But today escape was what I needed. I didn't feel good from the moment I got up, You Against Me story was still buzzing in my head, I had a headache and couldn't revise even when I tried. Strange how books seem even more enticing during my exam period! So when I had watched all the shows I watch on television, at around four or five I started reading If I Stay. Apart from when I put it down to eat my dinner, I read it cover to cover within five hours. Which is the fastest I've ever read a book. I was so absorbed in the story, so on edge to find out what would happen next that the pages seemed to fly away. It has to be by far the most emotional, heartbreaking and life changing books I have read. Similar to Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver- If I Stay has the power to change your perspective on life.
This book is about a young girl who loses everything one snowy morning, loses her parents and younger brother in a car crash. But she is left, hanging on the edge of life and it is her choice. Does she stay? Even though she would be an orphan with out her mother, father her little seven year old brother? What has she left to stay for? Or does she go and join her family so they can be together again, leave so that she doesn't have to put up with the horrid life she is now left with.
This story will leave you in tears, you will not be able to put it down because there is this need to know what happens next, what she decides. Mia's emotions are not there on the page describing how hurt and torn this has left her as you would expect, although that's exactly how she would be feeling, but Gayle Forman has written it in a way so that you the reader fill in those gaps and without the words there the emotion still overwhelms you.
It is such a beautifully written book, it makes me want to cry in both because it is so sad and because I am jealous as a writer someone could write a book that has such an impact on the readers. Because that is exactly what this book will do to you, it will leave an imprint that wont go away. It will remind you of everything you have in your life that you may take for granted is actually everything you need to live. It makes you wonder if you would be strong enough to carry on living even after losing everything you live for.
Throughout the book I wavered along with Mia about her decision. When she was set on letting go to be with her family, I thought that was right because she'd be ok, she wouldn't be hurting any more. 'I'm not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I'm not sure that I want to wake up,' But when she wavered over to stay, to fight because she still has her love Adam, her best friend Kim and her grandparents and other relatives. 'There are like twenty people in that waiting room right now. Some are them are related to you. Some of them are not. But were all your family... You still have a family,'
Subtly Gayle Forman teaches us life lessons through Mia's story. She teaches us to appreciate what we have because it can be taken away in a heartbeat. She teaches us to fight even when there is nothing left to fight for. 'Dying is easy, living is hard,' She explores the possibility that people can decide their own fate, that life or death is no about the physical state but the mental state to whether a person wants to fight or not and with this she discovers the depths within that decision. She strips down 'love' and all the consequences that come along side it, 'Either way you win. Either way you lose. What can I tell you? Loves a Bitch.' and how people would do anything for the person they love, even if it hurt them so 'I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay,'
It is such a beautiful and moving book, that will have you appreciating life and everything you have. I recommend this to anyone, as long as you have the tissues at the ready.
The saddest part is that at the back it says it is based on a true story. So well done to Gayle Forman who wrote such a beautiful, heartbreaking book that touches hearts of anyone who read her words and even more praise to have being able to write such a heartfelt book biased on a part of her life.
If you don't buy this book then you are missing out.
This book will change you, remind you of how strong love can be.

I know that this book has left an impact on me.

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