Publication Date: April, 2010 (paperback)
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterward, 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, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
When I picked up If I Stay at the library, I wasn't expecting to finish it in a day. I started reading it in the car (my husband was driving, I don't read and drive) and was positively jolted by the first few pages. There was no way I could put it down after that! Nor was I expecting to get a spark of inspiration to work on a novel that's been ruminating in the back of my mind for awhile. Not that my novel has any resemblance to If I Stay, but sometimes a great work can inspire you to find the greatness within yourself.
If I Stay is the second book I finished in one day so far this year, and the first since the Harry Potter series to make me cry. It is a beautiful, brave book. It's so rare when I find nearly nothing to fault in a book, but there's nothing here to pick at. Mia is a wonderful character, and I fell in love with everyone that surrounds her, from her parents to her extended family. I enjoyed the premise of the story, that what if it were up to us to stay or go? Mia observes her family as she's caught between life and death, and the story jumps between her observations to her thoughts from earlier periods in her life.
I could recount every passage or page that I loved about this book, but I'll sum it up by saying if you haven't already read it, you simply must. I was lucky enough to win the sequel Where She Went from Librarything's Early Reviewer's program, and I'll be reviewing it in the coming weeks.