After years and years of saying, "I have got to read Gayle Forman's If I Stay," I've finally done it, and boy was it worth the wait.
Before I started If I Stay, my mother informed me that I would either love the characters in the book, or be incredibly annoyed by them (since I am annoyed by female characters very easily). I have to say, that intrigued me quite a bit.
About a week ago, I decided I was going to read the two Forman books, one right after the other, and I would get back to my Stephen King/Robert Galbraith binge.
Little did I know that these books would deeply affect me, and give me a lasting book hangover. In fact, such a lasting book hangover, that when I listened to A Great Big World's "Say Something" on the radio this afternoon, I almost curled into a ball and cried my heart out because I miss Mia and Adam so much.
If I Stay is about a young girl, Mia, who has to make the choice between living and dying. After a fatal car accident involving a truck and her family's car, Mia has been transported out of her body, witnessing the frantic panic of the car accident's aftermath.
Will Mia choose to move on to whatever awaits us after we die, or will she stay and live?
Where She Went is about what happened to Mia after she made her choice, and most of all (since it's told in his perspective) what happened to her boyfriend, Adam.
If I Stay is probably one of the most beautifully written and told books I have ever read. It left such a huge impact on me, I just cannot get over it. I feel as if reading this book committed me to a long-term relationship with my one true love, my soul mate, and when it ended, I felt betrayed that it would end without so much as a "goodbye."
I never expected to fall in love with this book as much as I did.
That being said, I was incredibly hesitant to start Where She Went, knowing that the book was told in Adam's perspective, not Mia's.
I love Mia. I wanted her to tell me what happened to her after she made her choice. Not Adam.
But I continued on. I had to know what happened.
At around a hundred pages, I became emotionally invested in Adam's story. I cared about his outcome and his future, and...well, I became an emotional wreck because of him.
At one point in the book (I won't say when, where, or what happened because as you all know, I keep my book reviews spoiler-free), I almost choked on my sobs. Not because something terrible or tragic happened, but because I was so overwrought with Adam's emotional turmoil, I couldn't stand it.
Gayle Forman is a genius, an artist, and a master at writing such amazing stories. She made me feel as if I were right in the middle of this story, feeling what the characters felt, and experiencing every human's worst fears.
There is rarely a time where I add books to my "Books I'll Recommend to Literally EVERYONE" list, but I'll make an exception this time. Just as I do with John Green's, Susanna Kearsley's, and Markus Zusak's books, Gayle Forman's books will be recommended to my nearest and dearest.
If I Stay and Where She Went are some of the best books I have ever read. I am positively, absolutely, 100% in love with them, Gayle Forman, Mia, and Adam.