If I stay by Gayle Forman
If I stay is a young adults novel about a girl called Mia (who loves classical- and even plays the violin) is involved in a car accident with her family (Mum, Dad and younger brother) and wonders how her loved ones will feel if she chose to die in the coma, only having to make the final choice.
I decided to read it as research for a story that I am writing at the moment about a car crash, and the ones which I read about are usually rather dull. This book, however, really opened my eyes to the fact that a car crash is not the ending of a vulnerable persons’ life, if fact it is probably the start, and I could see all the references and influences from the movies of a similar plot line such as Charlie St Cloud and Ghost, two movies that I have enjoyed. I also wanted to read it because the film was coming out- and starred one of my favourite actresses Chloe Grace Moretz. It is not just aimed at preteens like people say, I could give it to my 22 year old sister and she would probably love it.
Gayle Forman has a way with words. There are the books that lead you down one long road, no diversions, not even a three point turn in the driveway, they are just long, boring, predictable, tediously samey. However, there are other ones, like this one, where the author takes its readers with them. It isn’t a long boring path, you crash, you hold your breath for what they might do next, where it might come crumbling down, debate whether she should leave her family and boyfriend behind. There is a sequel called ‘Where she went’, of which I have not read yet, but is from the perspective of the boyfriend Adam when she chooses to live and they split, and it sounds like something on my imaginary ‘things to read’ list.
I love the charecters, the father is very much a changed man from his wilder early days. The mum was well written, and the younger brother Teddy seemed to be very sweet within the pages, and it was heart wrenching when she concluded that he might have died, the way that she described how, as he is only about eight or ten, that his life was not over yet, so she was alone in the world, with the thought of her love of the cello and watching over the people who loved her like Sam loved Molly.
The film of If I stay is out, but like other books to film releases, they have alot to live up to. I wonder how they will portray the car crash scene, and everything that the novel delivered, or if they will go down the path of Charlie St.Cloud. Some bits made me think and brought tears to my eyes.
Brilliant novel, rather short though but interesting, sad, and captivating reading it as one of those ‘2.45’ narrated stories.