Thursday, December 30, 2010

Justine's Thoughts: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
By Gayle Forman

Source: Library (though I wish I own it)
Book Description:

On a day that started like any other. . .

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left--the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

A quote:

Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.

Any thoughts:

I knew from the very beginning that I would love this novel. Firstly, Gayle Forman is a brilliant author. Secondly, it’s going to be adapted to a movie. Thirdly, it’s a well-known tear-jerker. And fourthly, just look at all the praises for this novel!

It was an emotional, fascinating, and deeply touching ride. I loved the kinds of big topics that were explored in this novel: music, family, friendship, death, life, choices, happiness, and especially love.

The way Gayle Forman tells the story is admiring and gracious. With glimpses of the past that develops Mia’s relationships with her loved ones and tells the story of Mia’s journey and how she came to be, it is hard not to cry at all. The realness of the characters, the emotions they experience, it emanates a heartbreaking feeling that the reader is able to feel. Somehow, there’s a string of connection that is shared with everyone. Forman’s ability to do that is quite a talent.

There are tons of quotes I’d be willing to share. One of them is spoken by Mia’s mom, who is way too cool, just like Mia’s dad. Mia confides in her mom and tells her about her being caught in a tug-of-war in her relationship with Adam. Mia’s mom tells her, “I’d understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love’s a bitch.” There is definitely truth in that.

Though it seems like there’s much sadness and grief and death, there’s a whole lotta love and beauty and life. The reader is left with a shining hope and thoughts that will stay for a while. It certainly opened my eyes to life, and recognized the choices I have right now. Yes, it’s a definite must-read. I truly recommend it.

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