If I Stay by Gayle Forman This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

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Choices are one of the many strange things that make up human life. The choice is to do, or not to do, with some choices you cannot take back. Some are good with choices, others are not, and some let others choose for them. From deciding to wear blue or red, to eat in or out, to say I love you first or wait, these are some choices most people have to make on a daily bases. People make thousands of choices a day, some you might not even realize, like showering before work is a choice not a mandatory action (although it feels like it is). Some are hard choices like buying your first car, accepting the date to a person you just met, to whom you say I do too. Life is full of choices, as that is what freedom is: the choice to do something. Some choices are hard other easy, but all choices are up to you.

Mia, a child of a family of musicians is also a prodigy herself. Starting the cello at age seven, it is ten years later Mia is found in the same place with the same cello. With her audition tape sent off the Julliard, this Oregon girl waits for the good news to arrive. With blowing snow candled school for herself, little brother Teddy, and English teacher father, their mother called in sick as well, and the family is ready for a snow day. The day is planned, visiting friends with a newborn, a used book store stop, then grandparents for supper, the family set off. They never saw it coming. With a sharp turn a truck finds itself indenting into the family’s passenger side door, spiraling out of control, throwing them off the road. Mia wakes up and looks around to find her family. “What springs into my mind are those news reports about tornadoes or fires, how they’ll ravage one house but leave the one next door intact. Pieces of my father’s brains are on the asphalt. But his pipe is in his left breast pocket”. The next shocking discovery was herself, handing half out of the car window, Mia watches as the emergency crew picks her up and rushes her into the ambulance. In coma, Mia watches as her family looks onto her body, while thinking of memory of the past. Mia is thrown into the hardest choice of her life: If I stay = I live, if I leave = I get to see my family again. This heart-wrenching novel takes place in the area between life and death, with classical music playing slowly in the background.

All I can say for Gayle Forman is: wow.  This story explores what truly happens in the trauma ward of the hospital, how significant some moments are in life, and how much meaning someone can have for you. Hitting screens in 2014 with Chole Moretz as Mia and Jamie Blackley as Adam, directed by R.J. Cutler. The sweet relationship between Adam and Mia fills your heart, with young love, as this singer rebel fight for everything to see his classical girlfriend, begging her to come back to him. The worst part was not Adam, but the grandparents, especially her grandfather, as he promises her he would support her no matter if she stays of go. With fast writing, the memories are separated from the present so there is no point of confusion, with an ending that will leave you in tears, this short book (201 pages) will make you fall for Mia’s tragic story.






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