Monday, August 31, 2015

A Vintage Reads YA Review: If I Stay

If I Stay (If I Stay, 1) by Gayle Forman, July 8, 2014 (originally published in 2009). 304 pages. Published by Speak. Source: bought at Library Sale.
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.
First Sentence:
Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

I have this terrible habit when at library sales to just buy whatever young adult, and if I'm lucky middle grade, books I happen to find that I don't own. If it hadn't been $.50, I probably would have never picked up If I Stay because it's just one book that never really called out to me. Since I now own it, I figured I might as well see what all the hype was about.

While I read If I Stay in three hours, it has taken me three weeks to be able to decide how I felt about it. Sadly, I was not all the blown away. It wasn't a horrible read, it was just, well, not nearly as emotionally driven as I was lead to believe. To put it simply, it was one of those books where you either finish it in one shot or you never finish it, you know. I feel somewhat bad that a much beloved book of so many readers did not really work all that well for me. Yet, then again contemporary is pretty hit and miss with me.

Even though the circumstances of Mia's accident and her subsequent choice between saying and trying to live or letting go and joining those she lost was sad. Something about the way the story was written just left me feeling, well, nothing short of pity and sympathy.  Yes it was horrible what happened, but, the story just did not resonate with me all that much.

One thing I did like about If I Stay would have to be that the book wasn't slow. It was quite a quick read that pulled me in even when I wasn't all that invested. My reason for not DNF-ing it would have to be curiosity as to how Mia would come to the decision of whether to stay or let go. Even though I already knew how things would play out because everyone talked about it...and because there's a sequel (or is it a companion), yeah. I was just curious as to how she came to that decision.

With the story being told mainly from Mia's perspective, you would think that one would have a better grasp on what makes her tick, Yet, I felt that while we learned a lot about her we never really came to know here. You see everything from her perspective on things that happened in the past as she sorts through things and watches those waiting for her.

Like I said earlier (somewhere) in my review, the writing and the story were not terrible. It just was not the book for me. I wanted to like it because...well that's my hope with each book I pick up. Sadly, this be going in to the "Didn't Live Up to the Hype" category of books that I've tried.

Final Verdict: If I Stay- Fairly interesting just not my cup o' tea.

If I Stay earns
This book was purchased by me. All thoughts are my own.

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