Wednesday, August 6, 2014

If I Stay Review

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My interest in If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, wasn't sparked until I saw that the movie was out.  I'm the kind of person that won't read the book after seeing the on screen version.  This is the reason I have yet to read Game of Thrones.  I just can't seem to get myself to read something that I've already seen. I guess the plot has been spoiled.

The novel focuses on Mia, a senior in high school and a musician aspiring to go to Julliard.  Her plans are suddenly changed when a seemingly normal ride with the family on a snowy day turns into a fight for her life when the car smashes into a truck.  Now Mia is trapped in a state between life and death where she can see what is happening around the hospital and can relive peaces of her life before the crash.  Along the way she sees the people she loves, including her boyfriend Adam, try and give her the strength to live.  Mia must decide if she has enough to live for now that her parents and younger brother are gone.

Now at first I thought, why is the world so obsessed with dying teenagers recently.  I mean I love a good tear jerker every once and a while but I thought the world would have been satisfied for a while with A Fault in Our Stars.  (Not to say that I didn't love that book. If you want to know what I thought I wrote about it here).  Then I proceeded to read the book in one day. I was able to read this book quickly probably due to three things.

1.  I haven't read something in about two weeks so I was hungry to get my hands on something else to read.

2. The book was addicting. It is the perfect concoction of drama and cute romance to keep you going.  I loved the point of view because while the book is told in first person narrative it has many elements of third person narration because Mia can see everything while she is in the limbo between life and death.  This take on narrative allows the reader to see the events but also gives us an opinion on those events.  I felt pulled in by both the plot and Mia's commentary.

Then there is the tear jerkiness of the whole plot that makes it addicting.  I cried multiple times and no matter how much it hurts we all know sometimes you need a good cry.  Plus, crying is always better when its for books and movies.

3. The book was an easy read.  If you read a book in six hours you undoubtably skim a little and if the book is easy to read you are able to skim that much faster.  I know it's not good, but I skim and skip over sections of books.  In the case with If I Stay there were bits of narrative I was simply not interested in knowing about.  This was especially true in the later half of the book.  Whether this makes the book good or bad I'm not sure, but I do know that these sections were not long enough to warrant putting the book down for more than five minutes.  That must say something about the books merit.

I think this book was a good quick read.  I would say it's an easy beach read but I ended up crying.  Unless you are alright with the public seeing your tears you might want to stick to reading this on a rainy weekend day.  Also here is a peak at the movie trailer if you want more incentive to read this book.

ox Caitlin

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