Monday, September 8, 2014

Book Review: If I Stay

--------------Book Review----------


Living is hard. Sometimes taking that next breath after making a decision feels like you are going to explode, but you will undoubtedly make another hard choice within the next week, or month. I guess it also depends on your definition of a hard choice. Some people would say picking out a change of clothes would be hard or which answer sounds like the right one for a test. Others, it could be a relationship, a new house, the name of your first child, heck, the second or the third. Any of these can be hard. But I think the hardest is living. To wake up each day anew and to realize you will have to make all these choices again and again and again. Might drive some people mad and others it already has.

In this book, If I Stay, Gayle focuses on the good and the bad. She has a character, which I loved, who is quiet, knowledgeable, talented, and a lot of fun rolled up into one she is experiencing the worst possible thing the choice of life or death. To hang on and fight it or to slip away. How can anyone be made to choose this, let alone a 17 year old girl?

We join Mia over the course of a couple of days which gives us a glimpse into her life and shows us the people she loves and why. We get to experience the love of her family, her boyfriend, her best friend, and everyone in her life as she hangs on by a thread. But is it enough? She has lost her parents and the fate of her brother is uncertain. Can she stay without them? Can she leave Adam, her boyfriend behind?

Follow along and find out what Mia decides in this heart wrenching and emotional tale.
The characters are so dynamic. From Mia’s musically inclined father who played the drums for a local band, to her badass mother who gave birth to Melvins, and to Mia’s boyfriend, Adam who plays in the band Shooting Star. All of Gayle’s characters are different, and filled with life. A grandmother who sees her relatives as animals, a best friend who started out as an enemy, and plenty of avid characters who come in and out of the story. There wasn’t one person I didn’t fall in love with, nor think they weren’t real. Each person I could put a face to within my own life. That’s the kind of story that gets you attached, when you begin to see the faces of your family on theirs and you see their life play out before you.

A great trick to this book is getting you introduced to Mia’s family and then the accident happens. (SPOILER!!! Sorry.) Next thing we know Mia is standing around the crime scene looking for Teddy when she sees herself and realizes what is going on. Now from here we play the story both forward and backwards. As the next forty eight hours unfold throughout the books we share pieces of her past giving you insight into Mia and see that the decision she is making is not easy.

There will be heartbreak, a smiles, moments of laughing, and others where you are searching for the tissue box desperately so you can see and continue reading. But you will love and cherish it. Maybe not everyone because there are slow parts, but I know I loved it and I will definitely continue to recommend anyone to read this.


-Brenda Franklin, author of The Pulse Trilogy

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