Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I StayIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Have you ever experienced such a tremendous loss? Did you consider “what if I could choose?” For Mia, she was given the chance of a lifetime. Just one chance to choose: should she stay, or should she go?

In this heart-jerking novel by Gayle Forman, follow Mia Hall into her past and watch her present unfold before your eyes as she decides her fate after losing her mother, father, and younger brother in a car crash that has her in a coma. Adam, her best friend Kim, her grandparents and her aunt; they all wait for her on this side, but family was the most important thing to Mia, even above her cello and Juilliard, or even Adam with his leather jacket and bandmates, how could she leave them?

While the language may be what you would expect of a young adult novel, and some points in the novel will make having you questioning “why?”, but it is the overall plot that will keep you engaged and turning page after page to hear Mia’s story, her past, her parents and why Adam seems to be such a colossal part of the narrative. Turning page after page in search of answers to questions like if living on without her parents and younger brother is worth the pain of being without them, or if she chose to leave behind her boyfriend and love and remaining family to complete her family beyond the grave.

The Clash owned Should I Stay or Should I Go long before Forman. It seems an age old question like “To Be, Or not to be” from Shakespeare’s Hamlet. But Gayle Forman poses it in a new light that speaks to many people. Her story makes you reflect on your own life. How often do you wonder if a loved one had a choice before they left? If a coma patient can hear you? Cars crash every day, and people die seconds, minutes apart. What would you choose if the time came?

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