Monday, April 25, 2011

Must Read Monday: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

In my high school I remember our teachers wanting to make us not just well rounded students, but also well rounded people. While it indeed focused on being on college prep school, it also offered classes that for a 17 year girl were a little uhm weird. High school is weird, so how odd can a class be you may ask. Well, I'm not sure how normal it is for a teenager to plan her funeral. At the time all I could think of was that this was beyond morbid. After the project was over I remember thinking "Man dying is expensive!" What can I say was 17. Aside from the monetary issue, our teachers wanted us to have an actual discussion about death and dying (coincidentally that was the name of my class). I have to say it was one of the best classes I had in high school. I don't remember alot of classes but I do remember that one. As I was reading "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman, I couldn't help but ask myself the same questions that the heroine of the story posed for herself. Funny thing was these were similar to some of the questions that my teacher had asked back then. Not only that but I also found myself going through Kubler-Ross's 5 Stages of Grief thanks to a book!

What It's About:
If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a such a great book.Books are divided into genres. There are alot of people that feel that Young Adult books are just books meant to entertain, not really worthy of being considered literature. To these people I say, read If I Stay and tell me that this book is vapid and meant only to entertain. I dare you.
If I Stay is about a 17 year old girl named Mia. She has a cool family that she gets along with most of the time, good friends, a good boyfriend and she has music. She is just an average girl with an average life. Her life is not over the top. She isn't the most beautiful and popular girl in school and she isn't the ousted and bullied girl either. To me, this makes her completely relatable.
While on a drive to her relative's house with her family, they get into a massive car accident which immediately kills her parents. Her brother's condition is not known and Mia is left severely injured and in a coma. No spoilers, this is just the setup to the plot of the book. The entire story is about the decision that Mia has to make to live or to die. 

Why You Should Read It:
Have you ever read a book where you look at a line and think "man, that's a great quote!"If I Stay, in my opinion, is one big quote. As I read Mia's story I really could see how she could think the way she did. There are so many great lines in the book. So many stand out but one of my favorites is "Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you." 
Mia has a choice to make in this story. Regardless of which one she makes there will be consequences. The thing is none of her choices are easy. No matter which way she goes she, as well, as her relatives and friends will suffer. As she says, "dying is easy, living is hard."
I sincerely recommend this book, as always. It will make you laugh and mostly it will make you cry. You will feel Mia's pain and understand her thoughts. Mostly, though, this book will get you to think about your own life. We take so much for granted and alot of the time we can be our own worst enemy. We let things bring us down and make us miserable and completely take over our lives and that's so dumb. Yes, I said dumb. It is undeniable that there are awful things happening out there and I definitely think that people go through hard times every day. The thing is that instead of focusing on these things, as easy as it is, we need to try and find the good in our lives and focus on that. This book is a gem of a book. In order to find out Mia's decision you can read the book or even Google it, I'm sure there are spoilers out there. To be honest, though, I really hope you read the book because it really is that good. The story is fantastic and you will find yourself caring about the characters. It's one of those books that even after you put it down it stays with you.

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