Wednesday, August 11, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Publisher: Speak, 2009

Pages: 259
Source: My shelves
Genre: Young Adult Realistic Fiction
Parent Warning: This book contains some profanity

Mia is an up and coming master cello player. Her boyfriend Adam is a punk rocker. Her father had his own band. At times Mia feels like an outsider. Everyone she knows and loves plays music that is so different from her love of classical music. Just when she is trying to figure everything out about the direction her life is going, things change.

A car accident changes everything. She must ask her self what life will be like if she stays and fights for life.

This story is told in first person from Mia’s point of view. After the accident as she hovers around her body and watches those she loves she must ultimately decide whether she wants to live or die. At one point her grandfather comes in and tells her he would like her to stay but if she wants to go he understands. This was an emotional book for me for several reasons. When my father lay in a nursing home after stroking out from open heart surgery, the doctors didn’t know why he was hanging in. His body was shutting down yet he was still hanging in. I remember the last time I spoke to him my husband and I kissed him and told him we would take care of my mom and he could go on. His heart rate slowed down and his restlessness seemed to go away. We left and my mom and sister went in. They pretty much said the same thing. I was at their house and got the call. My mom and sister had not even made it out of the building and he was gone. I believe people in a coma can hear. I know as a gospel singer he would not have wanted to live in that state. The other connection I made was with an accident my cousin’s daughter had 3 years ago. They were rear ended and pushed in front of another car. The back of the van was wrapped around her oldest son who had to be cut out. Her baby and car seat were thrown out and he lived 3 hours. She held him and sang to him and told him to go on home and he died peacefully in her arms. Given a choice of staying or going what would you choose. This made me look at the issue. This was an extremely powerful story brought to life through the tragic loss of someone the author knew. This is a must read. Warning, you will need a box of tissues.

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