17 July 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
Gayle Foreman
Narrated by Kirsten Potter

I’ve only read a few of Nicholas Sparks books, and to be honest, I didn’t really like the ones I read.  But I feel like if he wrote books that I actually enjoyed, he would write something like If I Stay.  Imagine that you wake up one morning to a snow day (waHOO) and your family – that you love dearly – decides to go for a drive.  However, tragedy strikes and by the end of the day, you’re the only one left alive.  Mia is a senior in high school who finds herself in this exact situation.  After a horrible car accident, she lies in a coma and her spectral self has the ability to see and hear everyone around her, she can even follow them into other rooms, but she can’t seem to find a way to either re-inhabit her body, or let go and go to Heaven.   And more importantly, she’s not sure she wants to stay behind without her family.  The entire story is her remembering her life before the accident and trying to imagine her life without her family and her struggle to decide whether or not to stay and possibly go to Julliard, or go and abandon her grandparents, her boyfriend and her extended family.

I have been blessed in this life to have a kick ass family.  They are not perfect, but they are mine and I love them all fiercely.  This past winter when my dad had heart surgery my entire family was suddenly and brutally faced with our own mortality - our individual mortality and the mortality of our family, and it scared the pee out of all of us.  Lucky for us, my dad is fine and now has a whole new set of valves to clog with cholesterol.  The way that Foreman wrote this book, the reader is forced to consider tragedy like Mia’s.  What would I do if both my parents and my siblings were killed in a horrible accident?  Would I be able to go on?  Now that I have a special someone in my life (it’s about flippin time!!!) does that change my reaction to the situation?  I don’t know and I hope I never have to find out.  In any case, Foreman has created a beautiful book that is emotional, real and an absolute page turner.  Or in my case, a CD switcher*.  I highly highly recommend it!

*This post is connected to my post about audiobooks.  Feel free to read it!

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