REVIEW : If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

If I Stay

Author      : Gayle Forman
Publisher   : Gramedia Pustaka Utama (Indonesia)
Source      : Bought
Pages        : 200

Summary from Goodreads :
A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.” - Mia

I had no idea what exactly this book about at the first I read the summary. It sounded a bit strange and I thought it would be like a ghost story since Mia, the main character and the narrator of this book is the one who involved in a terrible accident that killed entire of her family and put herself in a state between life and death. I also already prepared for another tear-jerking reading because I'm that person who easily shed tears while just reading a small touching part. But then I was wrong at the ghost part, and it's way more than just a tear-jerking reading.

If I Stay is being told in a unique way. It's not usual to see the whole story from the one who is in coma instead from the people around her, in this story I can't exactly call in what form Mia is and actually it's still bugging me until now, lol. But that's not really a matter. We also see the whole story in two ways from Mia's perspective; things that happen around her as invicible-Mia and broken-coma body, and flashback of Mia's memories from the past, which honestly made me feel more miserable and sad.

Mia is a realistic character for me, with realistic life and thoughts. I could get an emotional connection with her. I did really pity Mia for everything happened on her and couldn't imagine either if I was on her shoes. I would think exactly like she does if it's like everything I had was gone and nothing left in me, and there's no positive points at all. But thankfully, beside her beloved lost parents and little brother, she still has wonderful people who still there and love her: her grandparents, Kim, and Adam, her boyfriend. My eyes got teary each time I read their restless effort especially from her granddad and Adam, convincing Mia to stay alive.

This book doesn't have such a flowery and passionate love story and it's not the main point of the whole story. Instead we see both Mia and Adam, although they are in love, are still learning to understand each other since they're very two different persons in and out, like classic and rock-band. They some times face unpleasant moments of adjusting, but it feels more down-to-earth and realistic. That situation gives more rooms for good development in their relationship and I really like it.

Such a emotional, tragic, sad story with powerful voice that could affect your mood immediately, but in the same time you can feel heartwarming feeling and hope. Forman successfully deliver meaningful messages about the values of memories, good one or bad one, and supportive people around us in our life because once we maybe need them to convince us to keep staying.
This book is one good reading about value of life, so you might not want to miss it. Don't forget prepare your Kleenex, in case you need it ;)
Happy reading!

“If you stay, I'll do whatever you want. I'll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I'll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would be too painful, that maybe it'd be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I'd do it. I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay.” - Adam


Jennifer Messerschmidt said...

This was so emotional but so good! I had no clue what it was about going into it! I was like WTF I thought it was more of a love story lol but I really really balled my eyes out in the sequel. Adam broke my heart and I actually cried more for his story.

Elisa said...

Jennifer : I agee with you, I also found that Where She Went was more emotionally affecting me. Adam really broke my heart and I was sighing in relief at the end =D

Thanks for visiting Jen <333

Hilda K said...

Aww, the quote in the end of your review just make me want to cry, Elisa! <3 I love this book very much, it may be one of my favorite contemporaries ever. And I LOVE Adam. I love how much he loves Mia, I love how real he is, I love how passionate he is with music... well, I think I love his everything. :')

Beautiful review like always, Elisa! <3 Anyway, I think I love the Indonesian cover more than the US cover hehe! x)

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