I woke up at 5:45 am this morning to run outside. I had four miles on my training plan, but I only ran three miles because I am flying to Atlanta, Georgia today, and I wanted to be back home before Jacob left for school.
I’m excited to fly to Atlanta today for a very cool project – more details soon!
I have to get ready and finish packing, so here’s my latest book review!
If I Stay Book Review
This month the book for Julie’s book club was If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
About the Book
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.
The book begins with a small snowstorm in Oregon. School gets canceled for highschooler Mia and her younger brother, Teddy. The family makes plans to visit some friends, and off they go. Within the first chapter of the book, Mia’s family suffers a terrible car accident, and Mia is the only survivor.
Mia lies unconscious in a hospital bed but is also present outside of her body. She can see everything that is going on, but no one can see her. She finally realizes that she has to make the difficult decision to stay on Earth with her grandparents and love of her life, Adam, while feeling the constant heartache of losing her entire immediate family or she has to choose to continue on to the afterlife with her parents and her brother and leave her remaining family and boyfriend back on Earth.
This book was a pretty easy read. I finished the whole thing in one afternoon.
While I liked this book, I didn’t really love it. I thought that the concept of the story was something different – given a choice would you stay on Earth without your immediate family but with your boyfriend or choose to leave Earth rather than live without your family.
I think it really was supposed to be a love story between Mia and Adam. The whole reason Mia would want to stay on Earth is for Adam. Mia makes the comment that all the extended family in the waiting room is family that she only sees once or twice a year and isn’t very close too. The only family that she has left is her grandparents, her best friend, and Adam.
So, what it comes down to is – does Mia want to be with Adam and continue on without her family or follow her family into the afterlife. To me, this is where the story kind of feel apart. First, Mia and Adam are teenagers. Teenage love doesn’t last forever – of course, their are some exceptions, but throughout the whole book the author points out how different Mia and Adam really are, how they are sometimes akward around each other, and disagree about most things. The only thing that ties them together is their love for music – Mia plays the cello and Adam is in a band.
Music is a big part of the book, but it still doesn’t mean that music alone can keep Mia and Adam together. Mia is waiting to find out if she was accepted to Julliard and Adam plans to travel with his band. I think Mia and Adam love each other but I didn’t feel like it was the crazy undying love that would last forever.
Although Mia’s whole family passes away, I wasn’t terribly overcome with sadness like I felt I should be. I don’t think the author had me feeling like I was invested enough in the characters to feel such close to ties to them. Yes, it was sad, but I didn’t feel enough connection to the chartacters as a reader.
I did cry one time while reading the book – Mia’s remaining family and friends visit her and tell her how that even though she has lost her parents and brother that doesn’t mean that she’s lost all her family. They say that she needs to stay on Earth because she still has family left that loves her and wants her to pull through.
The part that made me cry though was when Mia’s grandpa comes into her hospital room and tell her that’s it’s okay to let go. That yes, she has family left, but she doesn’t need to suffer just for them. That it’s okay if she wants to die. It’s okay if she wants to join her parents and brother.
I found that part to be the saddest part of the book. It really is a hard choice that Mia has to make – if she stays on Earth, she has to live through the pain of losing her parents and her brother for the rest of her life. It made me think about how I would feel if lost my family – could I survive without Danny and my kids? Could I survive without my parents and brother? Honestly, I don’t know if I could. What a hard decision to make.
After I finished the book, I read the note from the author saying how If I Stay was loosely based on a true story – she had friends that passed away in a similar car accident but one of the children held on to life longer than the other three, which is what gave her the idea for this book. Sometimes the world is filled with such sadness that it’s hard to find any happiness. I think If I Stay was the author’s way of trying to find happiness in a sad situation.
I have more thing that I feel the need to discuss – the front of the book says “Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight.” – USA Today. This statement made no sense to me whatsoever. I have read the whole Twilight series and this book doesn’t even come remotely close to being anything along the same lines as Twilight. At all.
If you are hesitant to read this book because you’re not a Twilight fan, please read it because I completely disagree with that statement and I happen to be a Twilight fan (Yes, I said it.) The only similarities are that there is a teenage boy and girl in each story. That is all.
I don’t see how it’s appealing to Twilight fans? Yes, it’s an appealing book, but not along the same lines as Twilight. Unless I’m missing something.