#75- If I Stay
I had read this book before (in fact I lost my copy, bought another one for the project and then came across my other copy so now I have two books in my bookshelf.) and knew that I enjoyed it so I was happy to pick this one up again for the re-read.
If I Stay is a book about a girl named Mia who is in a terrible car accident that kills her entire family. We are introduced to her family, her boyfriend, her friends, and her life through a state of sub-concious. She lets us know about them through first person story telling and we dont get much interaction from others. After the accident Mia is in a coma and the story follows her in a trance like state watching everyone around her at the hospital and seeing how this tradegy is affecting everyone else in her life. As somewhat evident by the title, Mia the soul/spirit/ghost/however you choose to look at what she is, must now decide whether she wants to stay on Earth or go to Heaven (or where ever her parents may be depending on what you believe) with the rest of her family.
Let me first say that the description of this book on the NPR list is completely inaccurate. It claims that when she wakes up she has no memory of her life and must decide what to do with it, thats completely untrue. We are following her the entire time in a trance like state and she doesnt ever forget what has happened to her... I thought it was strange that was how they chose to describe it.
I found this book really heart wrenching, given the description you now know that her entire family dies (it says so on the cover, no spoilers I promise) and the way that her character deals with this is extremely difficult to read. Not in the I cant read this kind of way, but in the I feel really sad for this person, yet want to know what happens next kind of way.
I personally really enjoy sad books, I think that seems to be the way books are going these days (people have labeled it sick-lit, I politely disagree) and I think its because when we read we want to feel the emotion behind it. So this book delivers in that aspect.
Along with the family dying tear-jerking parts, we are introduced to Mia's boyfriend. The story of how they meet and fall in love is really well done and I found myself really liking the guy as the pages continued. This made it even more sad when he comes into the hospital and into the picture. Mia's best friend is also introduced and while she was an important aspect I cant quite think of everything exceptional to write about her, but she was a good friend in certain circumstances and I understand why she was written in.
Overall, a very good read, get ready to cry, but also be touched and inspired due to the secondary characters in the narrators life.