If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Summary from Goodreads
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.
Stay, he says.
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.
When people told me to read The Fault in Our Stars because the book made them cry, I expected to cry. But, I didn’t. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I don’t cry when reading books. I feel like that I can be heartless. This time, when my friends told me to read If I Stay, I read and expected not to cry. But this time, while reading the book, I felt a tear get out of my eyes.
People would think that Mia Hall is just your average teenage girl who loves to play the cello, a quiet one and would like to keep up with her studies. But that is not the case. There is something about Mia that I love. It’s her passion and dedication for music. When she started to play the cello at a young age, she took it seriously and has the ability to play hard pieces. Because of music, I believe this what made Mia become to be a strong person despite having that quiet side of hers. I believe that I have this connection with Mia. Since Mia’s passion is to play the cello, my passion is all about dance. When I was a kid, my mom enrolled me in a ballet school. As a kid, I enjoyed ballet because it is different from what other kids would want to do (a.k.a sports). Dancing helps you release your creativity and emotions that is bottling up inside of you. Because I fell in love with dancing, I stayed long enough compared to my other classmates. Upon the 6th grade, I wanted to learn another form of dance which is street dance. By taking the basic lessons of street dance, I also fell in love with this dance and took it seriously. Every weekends, I would go to a dance studio to learn other forms of hip-hop. Because of this, I was given the chance to perform in a mall.
Then there is Adam. Adam is your typical popular guy who is in a band and plays the guitar. You might think that he is after those popular girls as well. But, no. He fell in love with Mia which I love. It may sound like your typical “popular guy falls in love with a quiet and simple girl”. But there was a different vibe they both had and it was all through music. One of my favorite quotes of Adam would be “But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow.” He loved Mia for what Mia truly is. That is what I would love to look for in a guy, someone who will love you for who you truly are and not use you.
In YA books, the author would usually focus the story on the main characters (a.k.a the love team). I love the fact that the author also focused Mia’s relationship with her parents. The author was able to show how great and open-minded they are towards Mia’s decision in life. When Mia was still a young kid, her parents were actually into the rock and roll industry. But because of having Teddy in their lives and wanting to be better parents to both Teddy and Mia, they had to make sacrifices. The father had to quit being a rockstar, sold his drum set and bought a cello and eventually became to be a music teacher. The mother had a part time job and took care of the house. Having Mia’s parents would be awesome because they are so open-minded with everything. That is why it was easy for Mia to share her feelings to them. One of my favorite quotes would have to be when Mia broke up with Adam after the New Year’s party and her mom said “But I’d understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love’s a bitch.” I also loved the scene where Mia was asking her dad about choices and his response “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” My last favorite quote (which actually made me cry both reading the book and watching the movie) was when the Grandpa was there with Mia in the ICU and he said “It’s okay,’ he tells me. ‘If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.’ His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. ‘But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.’
So to those who haven’t read the book, I urge you to read it and to get your tissues ready ! 🙂