When I started reading this book, I had no idea what it was about as I mostly ignore the blurbs (Yeah, I am a very spoiler-panic person) nor did I read anyone’s review. All I knew that it was one of the most famous books of the year, still, I had not kept much expectations but sadly, it didn’t even meet those standards.
I wasn’t even going to review this book, it was one of those insignificant books you read sometimes and forget and hardly bother about its sequel. But after finishing it I checked out a few reviews by other users and was surprised to see that most of them LOVED it. Many even cried through this and found the book beautiful. Let me tell you this, I am a sucker for sad, depressing, make-you-cry books, hell! I even had tears in my eyes while reading The Casual Vacancy! But I did not feel any emotion while reading If I Stay except for boredom.
Here’s the story – Dying girl’s memoirs. Mia loses her parents and brother in a car accident and she is on life support stuck in the in-between place like in The Lovely Bones. So her ‘sort of ghost’ recounts all the sweet moments and realizes that it is up to her whether she should die or stay and live a tough life that is in front of her.
I know, it sounds kind of nice and touchy but the book didn’t deliver it. At least not according to me. I got so bored at a point that I didn’t want to continue reading it even though only 20 pages were left. I don’t want to write anything more but there’s one thing that really needs mentioning is how music was perceived in this book. Every memory that Mia went through had an element of music in it and every character was connected to each other by it. Mia was a cellist, her boyfriend, Adam, a guitarist, dad a drummer and mom was a ‘80s Glam Metal fan. Even though I don’t play any instrument but I love music, particularly ‘80s era. I can’t imagine my life without it, and that’s what was exactly captured by Gayle Forman in this book. All the characters were webbed together by it and that part was simply beautiful. I have not read a piece where music was considered a religion and incorporated as such a significant part of the story so piously.
So, conclusion is that book deserves 3 stars rounding-off for a good plot, better than average writing and the music part that I have discussed above but that’s maximum I can do. I don’t see myself reading its sequel Where She Went in near future.