A collective of bibliophiles talking about books. Book Fox (vulpes libris): small bibliovorous mammal of overactive imagination and uncommonly large bookshop expenses. Habitat: anywhere the rustle of pages can be heard.
What would you do if you had to choose? …so says the cover of this heart-wrenching novel. Seventeen year old Mia has to do the choosing… and I really, really don’t want to spoil the plot of this amazing story, so I’m going to be as cagey as I possibly can. Which is going to be difficult – so this will be a very short review.
Okay, we begin with Mia, her hippy parents and her younger brother Teddy and immediately I loved this close-knit, warm family. They’re such good friends and their warmth immediately welcomes you into their lives. Mia is a musician, in the family tradition but instead of following the rock-band path her father took, Mia plays the cello. There is a very strong musical influence in this book that it plays out almost as a soundtrack as you read.
This is also a book about love. Love for your friends, for your family, for your boyfriend/girlfriend and love for life. I cried a river reading this book… in fact I thought I needed medical treatment for dehydration when it was over. But the crying wasn’t all through sadness, there was some truly heartwarming sobbing going on. And there are times in your life when you need a book to bring feelings out in you, to make you burn with emotion, to give you a release… and this is absolutely one of those books. It gets under your skin and makes you glad to be alive and you realise how lucky you are to have everything you cherish.
The writing is glorious, and there are hundreds of parts I would quote here, if it wouldn’t all give the game away. You really have to read them in context when you get to those parts or the impact would be lost for you.
So, I’m sorry I haven’t told you very much about If I Stay, but I really think you should just read it without any previous knowledge. And if you want to experience the book as I did, please try not to Google too much. Let me tell you that there are so many brilliant reviews out there but a lot of them say too much (there are a lot like me though who are staying quiet). This is a book to come to cold to fully appreciate the story. Read other reviews afterwards to confirm your thoughts or to share your opinions, but try to read the book first. I read If I Stay in one sitting and I defy anyone not to have to do the same.