When I first picked this book up I could not get past the first chapter, and left it on my book shelf. Fast forward three or four years after seeing the movie trailer, which took my breath away and left me in tears, I had to pick up the book again and give it another shot. I am more than happy that I did, because I could not put the book down.
Multiple times I would lose myself in the book and by the time I looked at the clock I had ready four hours. I found myself constantly thinking about the book and counting down the days till the movie was released, re reading the book multiple times just to get that feeling again. I even got the chance to see that movie, another time that I shed my fair share of tears.
If I Stay by Gayle Forman is the story of Mia, an average seventeen-year-old girl who has a lot to love in life; she is a cellist with a chance at making it into Julliard. Her family and friends give the story an added bonus with their loving, caring, charming, and lively qualities. And Adam, her perfect boyfriend– their love makes the story and makes it that much better. But after a car accident takes away her mom, dad, and brother, she is forced to make the choice between life and death.
I always put myself in the character’s place, when reading, and after I found myself constantly wondering what I would do if I had to make the decision.
Before even starting the book my decision, was without a doubt I would stay. But about half way through the book I changed my mind. During one of the many flashbacks, this one in particular was when Mia’s dad quits his band so he could make a better life for Mia and her brother soon to be born.
This brought into play my sister, and how I could not imagine living without her, how I would never be able to call her, or sing songs with her. So the choice seemed again, easy.
But that was leaving a blind eye to the fact that I would be giving up everything that I had already worked for. And all the dreams I had, and the thing that I had not been given the opportunity to do. The friends I have not made, the books I have not read, the music I have not heard. And was I really willing to give all that up?
So I was stuck again just like Mia, thinking about all the things that would be keeping me from making the decision either way.
The perfect was to describe it is a part in both the movie and the book where Mia and her mom discuss the in convinces of falling in love at seventeen and how she is torn in half over a decision. She explains, “Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you?”
This seems small when in the book, just something a parent says, that we would probably ignore. But after thinking about it, those fourteen words split into three sentences describe the whole book and was genius representation of universal theme. That conveys all the emotion and the hard truth of the book.
Which is why this became a big changer for me again, and I realized that either way I would never be completely happy with the decision. So I end this with my favorite quote of the book, one that I believe is different for everybody and describe the choice perfectly.
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” – Gayle Forman
-Shelby B., 10th grade