Thursday, November 10, 2011
If I Stay by Gayle Forman Review
Preface: I thought this would be a contemporary fiction novel. I didn't know it would be a paranormal young adult novel, and it ultimately made the hit-or-miss of YA lit as a hit. I thought Mia would have survived the car accident and be adjusting to what happened; I ultimately thought during that she'd be suicidal. But this book definitely wasn't what I expected while I nearly hit the target.
What happened to Mia is horrifying. If all my family suddenly died in a car accident and I was the only one who still had a chance at making it, I'm not sure what I'd do. I may or may not stay. In some way I could see myself wanting to kill myself and another to still live on. It would only be my choice and no one else could decide for me; it would be the most important choice I'd ever make. This is what's going on with Mia, stuck in between life and death in a coma. She can either stay alive, or die. This is her choice.
One thing I really liked about this book was how human these characters were. A lot of YA Books have such flat characters I can barely remember who's who. This was not the case in this book because everyone stuck out. No one was stereotypical and everyone was people I could imagine as real. There's really no antagonist in this book and it's hard to hate anyone. Everyone was just who they were.
The things other than the paranormal aspects in this book are usually pretty true to life (but I'm debating about when the punk rock chick went to the hospital). The people here aren't doing crazy stuff, they're just being human. You can understand how everyone other than Mia feels about what's happening almost as much as you feel it with Mia herself. This is looking at a fictional, but in your heart true tragedy.
Adam and Mia's relationship was a healthy relationship you can't help but like. They're the cute, cliche "boy-girl" relationship. They both feel strongly for each other and understand themselves. I'm glad this was real and not insta-love or evil stalker. Adam actually cared about Mia. But I didn't like the "playing music" scene. It was either me being asexual or the fact that I was waiting for Raph to bust himself out of Adam's pants.
This book involved two characters who identified as feminists and they were portrayed as normal people- Mia's mom and her friend Willow, the nurse. Positive gay characters were also put out in the book as normal people. Mia and Kim also may be feminists. That also made me happy.
I nearly cried at times. I know, Katherine is so evil, she didn't cry. I almost did, but it's also because I'm a sort of recovering germaphobe, and touching my eyes has been a personal fear of mine since I read Gary Larson's picture book.
Five stars. I'm definitely reading Where She Went.