Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If I Stay-- Gayle Forman

Ooooohhhh, a ghost story! But not just any ghost story... If I Stay is a novel of love, family, music, and the most important decision a girl could ever make: should Mia stay in her body and in the earthly realm, or should she go to the ethers and beyond?

Mia is a teenage cello prodigy. Her boyfriend is a punkrocker whose band is just starting to get national attention. Her parents are so cool, they almost seem fake (her mother wore pleather to her own wedding and her father is one of those retro-chic dudes). Although Mia has some tough decisions to make, and she has to work extremely hard for all the successes she's had, her life is pretty darn amazing... And she knows it. But then the unthinkable happens: while cruising down the road in a freak Oregon snowstorm, her dad crashes the car she and her entire immediate family are riding in... and in that moment, everything for Mia changes forever.

It seems like I just spoiled the plot for you a little, by telling you that Mia gets in this big car crash, doesn't it? Well, perk up, I didn't spoil anything! That happens in, like, the first chapter. This book instantly sucks you in; it's compelling, haunting, achingly beautiful, and well written. I also appreciated that Mia had a good relationship with her parents (I think parents and adults in general get a little demonized in teen fiction). Overall, this was a very enjoyable book, and I expect to see it receive many positive reviews (it will be published on 4/2/09).

I would recommend this book to teen girls who liked Whitcomb's A Certain Slant of Light, Zevin's Elsewhere, or to teens who enjoy books that focus on relationships between people in general.

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