Wednesday, March 18, 2009

If I Stay

Kristin gave me the advanced reading copy of If I Stay by Gayle Forman yesterday afternoon. Less than 24 hours later I was putting it back on her desk, already having torn through it. So far it's gotten starred reviews, and I can see why. I liked it quite a bit.

The book opens on what seems like a perfect day, a snow day in Oregon when school is cancelled and seventeen-year-old Mia is looking forward to spending the day with her family--an actual cool mom and dad plus a little brother she truly loves--before seeing her boyfriend and his band play that evening in Portland. A few hours into the day everything changes. In the aftermath of a horrific car wreck, Mia finds herself in a supernatural limbo. Her body is in a coma while the spirit version of herself watches everything. Her mother and father are dead. Her little brother is barely alive. And Mia realizes she has a choice to make. Stay or go. Live, realizing she must do so as an orphan, having lost some of the people she loves most. . . or go, leaving behind the boyfriend and friends who love her and are desperate for her to survive. As the hours pass in the ICU, her body hovering between life and death, Mia recounts the story of her relationship with her boyfriend and how the musical talent she has for playing cello--she's so talented she has auditioned for Julliard, with a great chance of getting in--may actually tear their relationship apart. What choice will Mia make? Will she stay or will she go?

A fast, beautiful, sometimes painful read. This book is due out in April, and we have it on order for the library. As soon as it turns up in our catalog, you can place a hold on it. It's hard to categorize the novel. In some ways it's very much realistic fiction, but since Mia is narrating events from her limbo state, it also falls into "supernatural." Readers who enjoyed The Lovely Bones would probably like this too.

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