Friday, 29 August 2014

Kendal's Column: If I Stay- Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
It all ends with a choice. The only choice.

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.
Stay, he says.
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Rating: Thursday
 With the movie out in cinemas, i decided to give the book a read and see for myself if it was deserving of the hype around it. 
I have read books of a similar plot before like Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver which as about a girl who is involved in a car crash but finds herself reliving the day of the crash over and over again and it made me really think about life and how everything anyone does affects others but, if i'm being honest, If I stay didn't do that for me. 

Everyone i've heard talking about this book either says it's so heartbreakingly emotional that it made them question life choices and have a breakdown at almost every comma or they said that it was over-hyped and didn't grip them or captivate them at all and that they couldn't understand why people got so hung up over it. 
I, naturally, am on the fence.

I loved the characters. 
Well actually I loved Mia's parents. They were really vibrant characters and i don't think i've ever read characters like them. Mia was also rather unique as i've never read about a 17 year old who is into classical music and that was really refreshing because, stereotypically,  it's the parents who are into the classics and the teenager tries to rebel by starting a punk band or entering a battle of the bands instead of going to a orchestral audition (...i'm getting off topic). 
Mia does have that cliche 'odd one out in the family' thaaang going on but, as i've said, she's unlike any other misfit i've read about before.

However, some books have fire in them and this just didn't, for me. When i read a book about a devastating car crash which kills family members i want to FEEL devastated and i just didn't. It could have been because the crash was very early on in the novel so maybe i wasn't so connected to the characters at that point but, trust me, it's a graphic enough scene to cause me to outwardly gasp at the description but the novel just lacked the fire to make me feel 'heartbroken'.
Also, there is a scene in this book which actually made me want to put the book down and laugh or cry or throw it out of a window because it would simply never happen (i know its ironic seen as though the book is kind of supernatural anyway but this was a non-supernatural event in the book). I wont tell you the exact thing because i dont want to spoil anyone but it was to do with mia and her boyfriend, Adam, and their music and musical instruments.

Saying all that, i did enjoy reading this book. I felt like Mia and Adam actually had a connection and they weren't thrown together in a day like in some fictional couples. I loved how Mia's character was so original and unique to anything else i've read.

I honestly don't know if i would recommend this book because i think this is a book you either love with a passion or is just 'MEH'. It's a short book so why not?

If I Stay is in cinemas now and the sequel, Where She Went is also out now

Happy Friday!

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