LA River School

Book Review: ‘If I Stay’

“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman is about a 17-year-old high school student, Mia, who has a great love for playing the cello. In the beginning Mia has it all: a loving family, friends and boyfriend. Though sadly, that all changes when Mia and her family suffer a car accident. Mia is the only member of her family to survive and ends up in a coma.

Throughout the coma, Mia has an out-of-body experience; she is able to hear and see everything around her. Throughout the story, the reader is able to follow her in a series of flashbacks in which she is stuck between the past and the future.

The overall topic of If I Stay is choice. Although Mia is unconscious throughout the story, she is faced with the challenge of fighting to stay alive or giving up. Being the only member to survive, she must grasp the idea that only she can make the decision.

One of the story’s weakness is that it is at times, very cliche. In the story, Mia shares that her boyfriend, Adam, is very important to her, but their relationship seems like any typical” love story”; Adam is considered to be the popular/cool guy and Mia is considered to be the nerdy/outsider.

One of the story’s strengths is its depiction of the complexity of life and death. The book starts off with a car crash and describes what a very traumatic experience it is. This isn’t very common in many books.

While Mia is in a coma, her grandmother, grandfather, and aunt care for her. Her relationship with Adam and her best friend, Kim, grow even closer because of the fact that they do not leave her side.

In the end, Adam cries and begs Mia to continue to fight. Mia comes to realize how important her life is, and is given a second chance and is grateful for it.