In a moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family.
Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
This book is...
You have to stop there. They're are no single words for something that is too many for a nutshell. Several things can describe it: heart-achingly beautiful, harmoniously poetic, musically lovely, painfully wonderful, a difficult-to-describe, sweet and agonizing experience: all you can think is, will she stay?
If you do not like touching tear-jerkers, you will not like this book.
If you do not want your pulsating heart clawed out of your chest and thrown on the floor at your feet, you do not want this book.
If you don't love books that are going to stay with you, night after night, and refuse to leave your streaming subconcious, you will hate this book.
In the beginning, the story seems so bizarre. This girl has a great life - what's there to write about? She gets along beautifully with her funny, 'cool', insanely intelligent hipster parents. Her little brother isn't the agnst of her existence, in fact, the kid's adorable and quirky. Her boyfriend is passionate, devoted, HOT-AND-IN-A-BAND! She's a little socially outcast, but she's fairly pretty and has a best friend. She's intelligent, talented... this girl lives and breathes music. To the point where you picture a digital depiction of her bloodstream containing little, 2-dementional cellos and notes along with all the round red and white cells.
Then it happens.
I seriously feel for this girl.
She loses the irreplaceable: her mother, father, and perhaps the worst of all: her baby brother. She's suddenly alone in the world, devestated, faithless. All she can do is sit by her own bedside in the form of an invisible third-party, feel empty and watch. Even as everyone else in her life visits and begs her to find the will to live, even after a loss that can rip the heart out of your chest and leave you convulsing on the ground.
This book is this wonderful, different, refreshing breath of life and death. Your heart races and aches, and you get so lost in every word stamped onto the pages that you forget that the pages can't seem to turn fast enough. It's rare that an author captures such fathomless grief, and can make it a healing-though-she-never-can-heal tale of discovering hope and love. In the most painful loss imaginable, doubts and fears from her life before - some she didn't realize she had - is ripped away and bleached to perfection.
Directions for reading If I Stay: retrieve book, retrieve tissues and get comfortable. You will be crying, you will be dying, you will not put it down. You will read it again and then some. It'll sit in your brain, on your heart, even in the pit of your stomach.