Book Review : If I Stay by Gayle Forman


“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

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My Rating : *3 stars*

Okay before talking about this book I want to share a memory. 
In 12th standard we read this poem called “Curtain” by Helen Spalding, this poem is about separation and end .

It goes like this :

  Curtain

Goodbye.

 Incredulously the laced fingers loosen,

Slowly, sensation by sensation, from their warm interchange,

And stiffen like frosted flower in the November garden.

Already division piles emphasis like bullets;

Already the one dark air is separate and strange.

Goodbye.

There is no touch now. The wave has broken

That for a moment charged the desolate sea.

There is a word, or two, left to be spoken

– Yet who would hear it ? When so swiftly distance

Outmeasures times, engulfs identity ?

Already like the dreamer startled from sleep

And the vivid image lost even in waking,

There is no taste now for the shrunken sense to keep,

And these, the dreamer’s eyes, are not alive to weep,

And this, the clinic heart, the dreamer’s, is not breaking.

It is so easy, then? Goodbye no more than this

Quiet disaster ? And is there cause for sorrow

That in the small white murder of one kiss

Are born two ghosts, two Hamlets, two soliloquies,

Two worlds apart, tomorrow ?

So, I guess after reading this poem you might have got an idea, that this is about the separation of lovers and when I read this poem, I felt the emotions, this poem pulled those emotions out of me, of sadness, of loss and what not!

 

But that was not enough, we had a discussion on this poem, a “Class Discussion”, and my literature teacher made it even more dramatic, talking about loss, grief, separation and she made this poem relatable to everyone. She talked about separation  of a parent and a child, about brother and sister, about husband and wife. And that obviously made it even worse.

Well, ma’am I love you, but this is also true :/

Let me tell you, I’m a very strong person, I don’t cry easily, but this poem and my teacher’s dramatic tone, made me weep. I was hiding my tears and after the class, I had a conversation with one of my friend who was sitting with me.

She : Eti, were you crying ?

Me: No, I was not!

She : No! you were, I saw.

Me : Then why the fuck you are asking.

She : Well, because I never saw you crying.

Me : What do you expect, she was making me to think about the death of my parents. Hell! I felt bad.

Yes! she did make me cry 😦

Now, about the book. This book was about a girl, Mia. She had a nice family of four. One day they decided to make a visit to Mia’s parents’s friends house on a cold February morning….

And then they met an accident….and in a single moment everything changed, she watched her own damaged body taken away from the accident point, at that moment she could not understand that what just happened to her family. No idea if her parents and her younger brother are dead or alive.
Then she faced the reality, about the loss of her family, she was alone, she lost everything she once had and now was the time to make a decision, that if she want to Stay or not. 
The writing wasn’t perfect or outstanding, but at times I found it beautiful ,for me this book was not very sad, as people explained in their reviews. I think Forman’s writing is very simplistic and to make those emotions that Mia’s was feeling, it should have been made a bit dramatic. For me it didn’t pull out those emotions of loss and separation and I didn’t feel sad about her situation, yes I did feel a bit, but this did not make me cry or weep like it was said! (The reason I talked about my teacher and the poem:D)
Mia for me was quiet relatable as a person, and from all those glimpses of her family, it looks perfect, sweet little family. I wanted to know more about Adam,Mia’s boyfriend, I wanted to know more of what was going inside his mind.
I didn’t find myself very attached to any of the characters and all the time I was expecting something even more reckless to happen to her, I wanted this book to be even more sad, I like tragic and sad endings. And the romance between Mia and Adam was fine, nothing great.

But but but! This book had an wonderful ending! I loved the book when it came towards it’s ending, made the reading worth it and I basically loved this book for its ending.

 I think characterization in this book could have been better, there is a need of improvement in characterization department and things could have been made a bit more dramatic and sad.(as I said before)
Though the ending did the justice! Well mind you,not a sad ending.
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And she did!

So this book is basically about  appreciating all that you have, all that you have lost- and all that might be.

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