Book: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
For: the readathon
From: library book sale
When I was shuffling through books to figure out which ones would work for the readathon, I came across this one and thought to myself, "Wait... what? I have this book? I've been dying to read this book and I had no idea I had it!! Cool beans!" Don't you love it when that happens!
And it was a perfect book for the readathon... short and quick.... and very engaging.
It's a simple story really, about a girl who, on a snow day and home from school, goes on an adventure with her family. They get in a terrible accident, and before she knows it, she is in the hospital fighting for her life. She is there, out of her body, watching the whole thing unfold. Her grandparents coming, the nurses and doctors working, her best friend freaking out, etc. Meanwhile, seeing everyone makes her think about stories from the past, so there's lots of flashbacks to let us in on everything that's been going on in her life. At some point, she realizes that the decision is hers.... does she stay? Or does she go?
I loved it. I loved it because there's tons of music references that I can relate to. At our house, we have a drummer who has his own rock band, and a violin player who has classical concerts and recitals. I loved it because there were a lot of bookish references too. I loved it because she's a family girl, and even said she felt embarrassed sometimes if her friends would learn that she would rather hang out with her family then them. And I'm pretty sure that my kids feel this way sometimes too. So I thought that was cool.
And then the end... oh boy. I knew it would be rough, but the circumstances were so similar to what we just went through in our family last November with my brother in law, that it was hard to read. I'm quite sure his spirit lingered for a few days and was present during all the trauma and that he could hear all the stuff we were saying to and about him. My sister in law felt it when he finally made his decision, and his presence was no longer there.... that is if he even had that choice. I have a hard time believing he would choose not to stay, and to leave behind his four young boys, but something else must have been going on that we weren't aware of, because leave is exactly what he did.
Reading the thought process Mia was going through was heart wrenching. I can't even imagine. To see what she chooses, you'll just have to read the book!
Bottom line: I loved it, even if it did make me quite weepy.
Reading Through Life
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