April 9th 2009 (US)/May 6th 2010(UK)
What if you had everything:
A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?
Quirky hip parents who totally got you?
A musical talent that could take you anywhere?
What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take?
Follow your first love--music-- to New York City?
Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family?
What if one day, you went out for a drive...
And in an instant everything changed?
What if suddenly all the other choices were gone?
Except for one--the only one that truly mattered?
What would you do?
A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
If I Stay is probably one of the most moving, most beautiful books I've ever read. And not just because it was sad. Because it was sad. It was pretty damn tragic. But it was funny in places, it was happy in places, it was really really upsetting in places. It was a rollercoaster of emotions and it took me on extreme highs to extreme lows. I cannot even describe how well done this book was.
The book starts fairly normally, and I admit I was kind of like, what was all the fuss about? I wasn't really sure what to expect because the summary is pretty vague. It doesn't really let on to how the book really is. Anyway, I was sort of meh about it until the crash. THEN I knew what all the fuss about.
After the crash Mia ends up in a tragic state, and she has to make the ultimate decision. If she stays, or if she leaves. The majority of the story is told through flashbacks of various key points in Mia's life, from the first time she picked up a Cello (or played one rather), to the day her brother was born, to her first kiss, and it is through these flashbacks that we get to know most of the characters, in particular her immediate family.
I loved her parents! They were so brilliant, such vibrant people, and I can relate to having Punky parents ;P And I adored Teddy! He was so cute and sweet. Come to think of it, there probably weren't any characters I didn't like in this book. They were all so well written, and all thought about with the love that Mia had for them because of the flashback format. I felt like they were my own family, that I knew them as well as Mia did. I loved Kim and her fancy coffees and her no-nonsenseness. I could imagine being good friends with her. And I LOVED Adam. He was so amazing. He plays in band, he cares a ridiculous amount for his girlfriend, he (probably) has nice hair, he has a similar taste in music to me... He was just... There was nothing not to like about him. And I like the fact that they had arguments. That their relationship wasn't just smooth sailing, that they had to work to make it work and it wasn't always fine. And Mia was such a wonderful, three dimensional, fleshed out character. I loved her passion for her music, and her love for her boyfriend, and her indecision, and that she wasn't perfect. That she had problems. That she WANTED to just go. And that she sorted through her problems, or at least that she began too.
If I Stay is a touching, emotional book that I won't be forgetting any time soon. Oh that ending was a killer. Somebody rec me a funny book soon, please. I need to stop reading all the sad books all the time! But If I Stay was positively amazing. 5 stars :D