"The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid." — Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Monday, June 28, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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Summary: A teen accident victim in a coma must decide if she stays and lives, or dies and is free. 

This book was heavily featured on Goodreads.com, and it was a good book, just not a great one.

Teenage cellist Mia is the only survivor of a car accident that has killed her parents and injured her younger brother Teddy. As Mia observes from above, her remaining family and friends hold Mia's hands and talk to her, trying to get her to stay.
"I stand over the bleeping tubed lifeless form that is me. My skin is gray. My eyes are taped shut. I wish someone would take the tape off."
Mia narrates the entire book. Sometimes Mia doesn't sound like a seventeen-year-old teen, even if she does have hipster parents and lives near Portland, Ore. When she's teased, she refers to it as "taking the piss out," older British slang.

When she and her boyfriend Adam become intimate, he invites her to play him like a cello, which is Mia's instrument. It's a pretty racy scene even if there is no actual intercourse, but very evocative and tender as well.
"Adam lay perfectly still, little groans escaping from his lips. I looked at the bow, looked at my hands, looked at Adam's face, and felt this surge of love, lust, and an unfamiliar feeling of power. I had never known that I could make someone feel this way."
The scene where Mia's grandfather gives her permission to go, to leave this life and be with her parents is heartbreaking and wonderful. Kleeenx should be included in this book.

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