Wednesday, January 13, 2010

If I Stay

The Book: If I Stay

The Writer: Gayle Forman

The Dealio: On a Snow Day, Mia and her family decide to treat themselves to a car trip into the country to visit friends who live on a farm. Along the way, the unthinkable happens: they are hit by a truck. In a manner reminiscent of Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones, Mia (the teen in question, a star cellist), observes the aftermath of the accident from a place which is neither Heaven nor Hell. Powerless to influence anything that happens, still bound up in her own grief, anger and pain, Mia moves from the scene of the accident to the hospital- at least, she is able to move about within the hospital itself, instead of being stuck in the ER!). Slowly, she begins to realise things about family, about friends and about the boy who had already begun to mean almost too much to her. Most importantly, she is learning about herself. And the biggest question she is asking herself is this: Should I stay? Or, she wonders, would it be easier, would it be better for me, would it be fairer to everyone gathered around her hospital bed for me to just go?

The Grading Session: 4.89 pengies out of 5. If only for the scene between Mia's grandparents, this book is worthy of your time and attention. Do you sometimes wish she weren't so self-centered? Well, sha! She's a teenager, and 99% of everything is dramadramadrama. But the funny images evoked of her Dad as a rocker-complete with 'oh, Dad, you are so embarrassing! clothes, the heart-wrenching scenes by the side of the icy road, the moments recalling the tiniest of things that, now, are somehow, devastatingly important- these will win you over and move you profoundly. In my humble opinion.

Lessons Learned: Repeat after me: a snow day is an excuse for hot chocolate and crock pots of soup-or stew. Not- emphatically not- for careening across the countryside. Literally. Also- as was so beautifully rendered in the movie Up- great adventures, great loves, great emotions are, in real life- comprised of all the tiny, precious moments that make our breath catch and our hearts beat a little faster. Recognise those and you will realise that you already have had enough great things in your life to put a scrapbook to shame. Oh, and get started now!


  1. Nick told me about your blog a while back but it took me until tonight to find it. Your writing is hilarious and refreshingly not annoying as with some critique blogs I've read. I was compelled to sit and read several entries tonight and your taste is pretty much on par with mine. Glad I finally discovered it! Hope all is well with you and Prendi. -Cammi

  2. Thanks! And thanks for reading and commenting