If I stay – Gayle Forman (2009)

Book number 1 from the Book blogger rec’s 2011 reading challenge.

So, I cheated and started this challenge early, if someone wishes to get picky about the dates, equally I will of course end on the same date a year later, I’m not trying to wangle in an extra two weeks worth of reading.

1. If I stay – Gayle Forman 4/5

This novel was refreshingly different… at least in my personal reading experience, with no clear cut answers or ending, which in and of itself is pretty synonymous with one of the main themes of the novel.

I loved the quirky characters, the music references (I am listening to Yo-Yo Ma playing Beethoven’s cello Sonata #3 as I type) which are rather niftily explained and expounded upon in the back of the book, so my next port of call is to look some of them up.

I actually, for a change, liked the flashback explanations of Mia’s life with her family and her relationship with “groovy”… whose actual name I am completely failing to recall at this moment… In this instance, this sort of narrative really worked as you found yourself much more emotionally involved with the characters as they were so slowly but completely unfurled.

I love seeing what makes Mia tick; her family, boyfriend and importantly her music, all of which make her very real and easy to empathise with and want to follow her story rather than being put off by it.

This was a sad yet ultimately thought provoking book and I really appreciate that the author didn’t try to pass off some random platitudes and pseudo science about loss and grief and leaving.

An excellent novel, that I ould certainly read again. Equally it was an exellent start to this challenge so thank you. I may well have never even picked this book up otherwise as it is not of my usual reading material particularly.

I have heard tell that there is or will be a sequel, which I would certainly be interested in reading as this one left me, rightly so, wanting more.

Part of me wants to give 5/5 but something seems to be staying my hand, I think it might have been the handful of extremely glaring grammatical errors that peppered the first half of the book. Though truthfully I am happy to blame shoddy editorial work rather than the author particularly. Whilst they were vexing and two took a moment to actually make sense of what she actually meant, they by no means truly detracted from my enjoyment of the novel.

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About Nerdsbian

I am a nerd for ALL seasons. I am a genderqueer wlw Librarian who unsurprisingly likes reading...a lot But I love being outside too...sometimes even reading at the same time. Also animals, any and all of them. Never yet met one that didn't get on with me and vice versa. I do a couple of different voluntary jobs (animal charity related) and have recently completed my MA.
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