Pages: 212 (Kindle Edition)
There’s a point in every reader’s life when they read a book that just does it in for them, that changes everything they thought reading was in their eyes. I mean, maybe not all of you (maybe none of you) have experienced this…yet. When I try to explain it, it goes kinda like this: It’s like being dunked underwater for a long, long time and you finally resurface. Like being caught in a snow storm and finally finding warmth. It’s like dying of hunger or thirst and finally getting sustenance. When I started reading If I Say, I had been denying that my love of books was dwindling. Every book I read was getting worse and worse. I knew there was nothing I could do about it until a book I really enjoyed came along, hopefully, and got me out of this book-rut. If I Stay and its sequel, Where She Went did that for me.
If I Stay had been on my TBR pile for a year now and I’d never convinced myself to read it until I got it on my Kindle. I had heard so many good things about it, but was a little partial because I’d never read many good contemporary novels before. If I Stay opened up the whole genre for me. And then I think, because I made the decision to read a book that I wasn’t even sure I would actually like totally change me, my life.
When I think of words to describe this book they’re: heartwarming and heartbreaking. Don’t ask me how a book (or anything, rather) can be two, totally opposite things, because I don’t know the answer to that and never will.
I’ll admit the story idea has been done many times. A car crash, or accident, and then the girl roaming the hallways of the hospital looking for answers always ensues. The beginning was a little rocky being as the characters seemed super flat and unappealing at first. Then, Mia and her family get into a car accident and everything changes. We get to see glimpses of those characters into the last detail and they become real people, truer than the people around you. Does anyone know how gifted you have to be to be able to pull that off? No! NO. Gayle Foreman is like, the female embodiment of gifted writing. Is that a thing? Well, I just made it one. I will always be indebted to her because her books showed me what it feels like to really live. Through the eyes of her fictional characters, she showed me what it means to be real.
Mia is one of the most likeable characters I know. Everything she’s put through is just…gosh, it’s god-awful. Someone so young, fictional or not, shouldn’t have to go through the amount of loss and pain she had. Even though she has the total and completely heartbreaking love Adam—her rocker boyfriend—gives her, she doesn’t know if she can answer the question: should I stay or should I go?