The only reason I picked If I Stay off of the library shelf was because I heard an enormous amount of buzz surrounding it. That seems to be a habit for me lately. Anyway, I really didn't know much about the book. I had a very vague idea what it was about, which I'm glad, because if I would gave read the synopsis or something, I probably would not have checked it out. Reading the synopsis now, I realize that it doesn't sound like my personal cup of tea.
Therefore, I was taken on a stunning adventure with this book that exceeded all of my expectations, which rarely happens when books are built by the hype. Get ready for a gush-fest, because when it comes to good books, I've been known to gush with the best of them.
If I Stay was one of those books that grabbed me from the very first page and held me like an unshakable vise. I think I may have set a new world record on how fast it is possible to turn pages! I read this book in one sitting, afraid that if I put it down it would magically dissolve or something. I had to go to bed after finishing it last night, but I wasn't worried about writing the review, because I was certain that this story was going to remain inprinted in my mind for weeks to come.
The plot was original. The idea that Mia gets to make the choice whether to live or die seems rather hard to pull of to me. There were so many directions it could have gone. It could have been totally unrealistic or annoying, or so many other bad adjectives. Instead, it was tear-jerking, heart-wrenching, and just plain gorgeous. I felt Mia's pain, I cried for her. At first it did seem a little silly, because if you could choose to stay in the world or go, why wouldn't you want to stay? But Mia's got reasons. Tons of them. And the fact that she wants to go becomes completely understandable, and a part of me wanted her to go, just so she didn't have to deal with everything that was going on around her. Of course, I really really really wanted her to stay.
Mia's narration of the story is perfect. There's a noticeable tinge of nostalgia, darkness, insecurity, longing...you name it. She was just a delight to read about. This book is told a lot through memories, which is a style that I have always loved. This is only the second separate book series that I've read that is like that, and I loved it just as much!
There is a beautiful romance in this book (once again, mostly told in memories, but the parts that are happening in the present are, well, beautiful) but not an overwhelming amount. Adam is sexy and sweet and wonderful, and I am so excited that the sequel, Where She Went, is told in his point of view.
This book is one of my new favorites, and I'm not even going to add a "Reasons I Liked It" section, because I cannot pick out individual reasons. The prose was breath-taking, heart-breaking, and pure magic. I loved absolutely every aspect!
RECOMMENDATIONS: (Cute little banner thingamajig will be made soon for this new feature!)
For people who love Sarah Dessen's Dreamland, and Laura Weiss's How It Ends, this book is definitely for you!