Sunday, November 21, 2010

Gateway 21: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

First I have to say as I was titling this blog post that I think I've messed up my numbering on these Gateway posts. But finally, a female protagonist!

This was a pretty interesting book. The main character is 17 year old Mia. She is a musician with a promising future and a rock band boyfriend, as well as a wonderful family and an awesome best friend. At the beginning of the book they have a snow day and since school is cancelled the family decides to take a drive. On the drive they have a wreck. Mia comes to standing outside the car. She sees her father and mother are both dead. She soon learns her younger brother has been taken to a close hospital where she has been taken farther away because of the condition she is in. The whole story is told from Mia's viewpoint as she watches over her body and what is going on around it. It's really a very short time period, but we get lots of flashbacks to learn about her and her life.

The title refers to something a nurse says that first day, that it is not up to the doctors whether Mia makes it, but up to her. She must decide to stay or go. We get to hear her friend, family, and boyfriend all plead for her to stay. The part that made me choke up was when her grandfather tells her that as much as he wants her to stay, he understands if she wants to go having lost her family. The author puts it much better, but I totally almost cried at this point.

I've seen this book at the bookstore where I work. Without actually reading the book's information, I just assumed it might be about suicide. But it's not really, just Mia deciding whether it is worth coming back to life after such a loss. In the end, it's almost as if she doesn't get to make the choice, that it's made for her. But I won't spoil it for you. Read it.

I've also attached both the cover pictures, the blue one is for the hard cover, and the girl's face is the paperback. I actually like the paperback cover better.