17 year old Mia agonizes about whether she should go to Julliard to pursue her dream of playing cello professionally even if it means possibly losing her boyfriend Adam and leaving her family and friends behind. But one snowy February morning, when Mia takes a drive with her family, one tragic instant leaves Mia with a choice more agonizing than any she’s faced before.
I don’t think I’ve ever read a novel about death that was so life affirming and ultimately uplifting as this one. As I write this, my cheeks are tearstained and my heart feels like it will burst. As soon as I finish, I plan to call my father and tell him I love him.
It was refreshing to read about a family that was so close, not perfect, but who experienced so many moments of happiness together. Each of the characters, the parents, the little brother, the grandparents, the aunt and uncle, the best friend and the boyfriend, has their own defining moment(s) that makes them seem achingly real.
99% of this novel was pitch perfect - moving but not manipulative. Gayle Forman is a formidable writer who is as comfortable writing humorous scenes as she is the tearjerkers. There was just one scene that I really could have done without – a cringe-worthy flashback with Mia and Adam that reminded me too much of that cheesy animal cookie scene between Liv Tyler and Ben Affleck in the movie Armageddon.
If I Stay will be released April 2nd in hardcover and I wholeheartedly recommend it. Stay tuned – it *might* just turn up in a giveaway here in the next couple of days.