If I Stay – Gayle Forman

‘I realise now dying is easy. Living is hard.’

After a fatal car crash that leaves 17 year old Mia barely alive If I Stay lets us follow her through her as she questions whether to comeback, after being certain she has lost both of her parents. Mia has a choice to make. As she watches her family and friends come to terms with the disaster she has to decide will she stay? Or will she let go into the unknown…

As with many other people I because aware of this novel because of its film release (due later this year), I’s heard good things about the novel and the film looked brilliant. We’re guided through the novel by Mia herself as she struggles to watch the rest of the day unfold. All she can do is watch and listen. Her family, friends and boyfriend are all willing her to come back and it’s up to Mia to decide if that’s enough.

Although I like the idea, the novel didn’t particularly stand out to me. The novel is fairly short and sways between the present and past and gives us a good insight into Mia’s life before the accident. I found it hard to connect to the story, of course it made me sad but I didn’t feel a deep rooted connection to Mia or the characters around her. That said, I did feel an incredible connection in relation to how she felt about her music and the prospect of being a musician and this added to the sense of tragedy. If anything I would have loved more insight into her love of music and her hopes and dreams, although maybe this was intentional.

Forman has ventured into a question that few of us will even consider answering, if I could chose would I live or die? For many of us we would instantly say I’d live, but would we? This is not the first novel of its kind, however, it is the first for young adult readers, it makes them think. I makes the reader consider a life without their loved ones and the choices and sacrifices that are made every day. I wouldn’t say that the novel is morbid in that respect but it deals with death in quite a straight forward way, for Mia it appears to be more of an escape. It also raises the question of life after, we have no idea how Mia will be affected by her injurys if she decides to survive. Will she play Cello again? Will her dream of going to Julliard be snatched away from her as her parents were? Is her younger brother Teddy, who she adores, still alive? As I said it is a novel full of questions and what if situations.

If anything I’d say that the book could have been longer. Although well written, there was so much crammed into the book that at times I felt rushed through. I wanted to know the smaller details, memories and possibly more about more minor characters in the novel to give them a bit more life within the novel. Also what about afterwards? If she decides to die, does she meet her family? If she lives do her dreams come true? I guess to an extent this leaves us to make up our own minds but I wish this was included in the novel. 

 I give this novel 3 stars ***. I liked the idea and found Mia to be a nice character but failed to interact with her as a person. I also found that I was hungry for more at the end of the novel and felt that it could have had a better ending or more to it maybe? If you’re looking for a shorter read that raises questions then If I Stay may well be for you.

 

Review by Chloe Metzger 

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Moving on

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L-R Charlee, Me, Lucy, Melanie, Daisy at Headstart pub night! 

Many of my dedicated followers will have noticed that I have dropped off the radar for the past week or so. Fear not I am back with some fantastic news!! I am now a student of English Literature and Creative Writing at Kingston University! I did it! With a mention in my local paper may I add (even though they got some of the info wrong it was still nice). I ended up getting a B in English Literature, A in Extended Project and Distinction star, Distinction, Distinction in my Music Practice diploma. The best thing? After being up most of the night I got a lovely little text from Kingston at 7am saying congratulations I have been offered a place, which turned in into a jumping screaming girly girl. I will be moving up in 3 weeks and let me assure you the shopping is now well under way and I have some amazingly interesting text books! Luckily I stayed in Kingston 2 weeks ago on a summer school thing for potential students (see above) and made some wonderful friends (oh and won an iPad!). This means I now feel super excited and confident about going to uni!!! 

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As well as my results and failing my driving test (again!!) something lovely happened in the past week. I spent my five year anniversary with a cozy day in and pizza with my lovely other half Alistair. A lot of people have an idea that because we have been together so long that we are the perfect couple. We will both tell you straight that we are not, we drive each other absolutely crazy! Although you know what they say, opposites attract and in a lot of ways that is what we are. Normally I wouldn’t bore you with my love life but without Ali I wouldn’t be going to uni. Before I met him I wasn’t going to uni and didn’t believe I could with his encouragement as well as my family and friends) I am now starting in 3 weeks! We’ve had a rough old time in the past especially with my illness but he is honestly my rock at the low points.Image

Ali and I at a We Are the In Crowd concert back in April. It is so much fun to go and see bands together, especially when he lets me stand on his feet! 

I called this piece moving on because I truly am. I can feel myself changing in a good way. I have some exciting things for the rest of the summer and I am in talks about an internship with a big writing company (if I get it then you will hear more!). As well as all this my new band No People Club have been doing really well,getting a lot done as a three piece before we find our bassist and drummer in London. This is important because when For All That Goes broke up I lost my faith in music but now I feel like a stronger person and singer with that behind me.

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L-R Ben, Me, Ali

No People Club having fun! 

 

So that’s it for now! I will have a review up for you in the next few days! Also I may abandon The Green Mile because I am SO BORED. New updates soon!