Book Review, Workouts

If I Stay

Yesterday was a pretty typical Wednesday, lots of meetings and nothing too outstanding. I did make it to the gym and I did love watching the Bruins win. I did a quick workout in the morning on the arc trainer at the gym, playing with the resistance to get a sweat worked up. I was in a very country mood for some reason so my mix below is straight country, except for the one Nicki Minaj song that snuck in.

IF I STAY BOOK REVIEW

Image from http://books.google.com/books/about/If_I_Stay.html?id=J27QI1JeSDEC

Are there angels watching over us? Do we really have the option on whether or not we stay in our human
form or leave this Earth? Regardless of anyone’s beliefs or opinions the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a beautifully written story that captivated me. Gayle Forman reveals in a Q&A that this book was inspired by a tragedy that she was a part of a few years before she wrote the book. The books seems very therapeutic in helping her grapple with that as it deals with a very intense tragedy, yet isn’t a sad book, in fact it is almost more upbeat than most young adult fiction out there.

The book follows the journey of a senior in high school who is with her family in the car as it is in a horrific accident. The aftermath leaves the girl unharmed, or so she thinks, as she dusts herself off and begins to see if her family is ok. She then realizes she is not fine, as she is having an out-of-body experience which takes her to the hospital where the story unfolds.

I confirmed with my mom and she has not read this book, thus there will be no spoilers as I think she would really like it. I will however share in why I really liked this story. I love Mia’s character and I love the way Gayle made her an actual teenager with teenager problems. Though being faced with the decision to live or die is not a teenage problem, it is also not a problem that any human can characterize in an age group. There was the theme of her going away to college in New York while her boyfriend stayed behind in Portland, Oregon which is a problem most of my friends faced when they went away to college. Another issue I remember facing in high school was telling my friends that I had gotten a boyfriend and that was woven into the story, which enabled me to relate to Mia on a personal level.

The book had a fluid movement from past to present, it was very clear why the past was being brought up and it didn’t interfere with the way the present story was unfolding, in fact it enhanced it so you knew why Mia was feeling certain emotions. Another aspect that kept the plot of the story in focus was the fact that the only real developed character was Mia, Gayle didn’t waste time developing the boyfriend or the family beyond what was needed to show how they linked to Mia and how Mia saw them. The one weird fact was that Mia only had a boyfriend and one friend, I wasn’t in the popular crowd in high school but I still had more than one friend, most kids in the high school did. Perhaps Gayle didn’t want to muddle down the story with nondescript characters, but a simple mention that Mia saw multiple friends coming in or at least talking to her family in the waiting room would have seemed more realistic.

The one thing I didn’t like about this book was the timing of when I was reading it vs. what was going on in my real life. Having lost a grandfather and a friend in the last few months really makes a book focused around death hard to swallow. Though the tone wasn’t depressing and didn’t bring me down, there were a few points in reading this book where I just had to take a step back and do something else. I think any other time I would have gone through this book in a day or two but this one took me a tad longer.

Looking on Gayle Forman’s website I see that she has written more than this so I am going to check out her other books, if they are anything like this I am sure I am going to love them. Hopefully I have found a new author to follow!

Have you ever read a book where the timing was bad for the story that was being told?
Besides this I use to always read sappy romance novels when I was going through boy troubles. I think I more used them as an escape but in the end the person always finds love so it left me hopeful. Delusional, but hopeful. 

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