‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Foreman had got to be the most tragic book I have read so far this year. Don’t let that put you off though – the story is beautiful and engrossing and impossible to put down.
Mia is a talented cellist with a lovely family, boyfriend and best friend. She has great prospects for the future and so much joy in her life. Then something happens and Mia finds herself having to make the most difficult choice she will ever have to make.
The story is made up of flashbacks with the past and the story in the present. This gives you such a clear picture of the characters and emphasises the importance of Mia’s choice. You find yourself loving the characters and, at the same time, finding yourself deliberating what you would do in Mia’s place.
I found the novel to be terrifically powerful and very emotional – I was close to tears near the end. However, I will say that there were moments that did not ring true for me and felt very out of place. The present tense also took a while to get used to. But despite that, I really enjoyed this book, and would recommend anyone read it.