Tuesday, 15 October 2013
Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Blurb: Life can change in an instant. A cold February morning... a snowy road... and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.
What I thought: I have to admit, it took me a while to get into this book. The beginning disappointed me slightly. If I Stay was recommended to me by a friend, whose favorite author is Gayle Forman. This girl has read all of John Green's books, so I figured If I Stay must be really amazing, if she thinks it's better than TFIOS etc. It wasn't, at least near the beginning. I mean, it was good, but I didn't love it like I was expecting to. As the story went on, I got more drawn in though, and by the end, I did really like. I think it could have started off better though.
The central event in the book (you probably know what this is already, but I'm trying not to put any spoilers in for those who don't) happens pretty early on, so you don't really get to know the characters beforehand. It seemed to happen too soon for me, like, you pick up the book and then BAM! Also, Mia didn't seem to be too upset. Now, I'm not saying this because I'm a psycho and I want everyone to be miserable, but I figured these were pretty appropriate circumstances, and I didn't really feel her emotion.
Certain people (arghh, so hard to do no spoilers) who you don't really get to know before The Central Event, as it shall be called from now, you got to know afterwards through Mia's flashbacks, which I thought was good. Like, just because they're not there anymore shouldn't mean they don't get to be a part of the story, and through the flashbacks, I came to really LOVE them, which kinda sucked in the end.
Mia's family, and pretty much all the characters actually, are awesome. Really not what I was expecting. I have to say that Kim, Mia's best friend, was my favorite though. I was kinda worried that she'd just be the typical, always-there-but-not-really-relevant girl in the corner, but she was just so cool, and strong, and someone I could really relate to. Not because of the circumstances, fortunately, but just cause she was really down-to-earth, and she had her own problems and attitude, she wasn't just the wingman (wingwoman!).
I think the reason I was so disappointed at the beginning was my friend's raving about Gayle Forman. I was expecting mind-blowing, life-changing writing. I was expecting quotes to rival labyrinth/rain/stars/etc., words so beautiful I couldn't help but plaster them all over my words, and I just didn't get that. The writing was good, sure, but it wasn't amazing. Once I got over that, though, and got into it, this book was just really good. And yes, I did cry at the end. I cry at everything. I get it from my mum, she actually cried at the TRAILER for War Horse. Thank God I'm not that bad (well. I only almost cried at the trailer. Whatever).
All in all, definitely a recommended book. I'm reading the next one right now, Where She Went. I won't do a review for that one, because I don't like doing reviews for all the books in a series, no particular reason why. But I will just say that this one is absolutely worth reading, too. You get to know Adam a lot more, and also New York! More books should be set there.