Tuesday, August 5, 2014

"If I Stay" by Gayle Forman

Hello! As you may have seen on TV recently, there is a trailer for a new movie titled "If I stay" based off the book "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman. I was automatically intrueged by this commercial appearing on my television screen. I thought I had heard of a book by the same title. Later in the month of July, I was gifted this book.

Description on the back cover: 
"On a day that started like any other... Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left-the most important decision she'll ever make.
 Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving."

What I expected from this book: 
           From what I had seen of the movie trailer and from what I had read from the back cover, I had somewhat high expectations. I mean, I figure a book has to be pretty emotional and riveting to make it to the point where someone want to make it a movie. I thought I was going to get emotional. The type where I'm laying in bed reading before falling asleep, and I'm sobbing my eyes out. I wanted to feel an attachment to the main character - a strong one! I imagined the story to be mainly focused on the love life and relationship between Mia, the main character, and her boyfriend, Adam. I was prepared to have my heart bubble in that happy way when you know two people are really in love. I imagined a charming family. I figured that after reading this book, I would feel grateful. The sort of feeling where you run around for a week hugging everyone you know. It was easy to say that I wanted to feel this book in my heart and grow an attachment to it.

What I got when reading "If I Stay":
          Let's start off with our characters. Mia, our main character. She came off as a sort of mouse-y sort of girl. A sort of dull girl surrounded by her eccentric rock n' roll family. She's the sort of girl you don't really look twice at. In a way, this is nice, she's a regular person like you or me. Although, I feel that she could have had some sort of stand out physical feature. Something as simple as soft skin, or long lashes. One thing I really liked, was her passion for playing the cello. The whole "playing cello" thing almost felt like it was brought up too much in the story, but it's part of her, so it's acceptable. Mia also tended to be a downer.  Sure, her immediate family had all just died in a car crash, but she seemed to refuse to see the light in the life she still had. People tried to break into the ICU to see her. Her grandpa told her how much he wanted her to stay. Her best friend told her how much she needed Mia to be there with her, and Mia seemed to take that as 'sure, you can leave me and die'... like no. That's not what she just said. Thank God for her boyfriend. Adam is sort of Mia's opposite in some ways. He's a great character, but I wish we could have had it elaborated to us just how good looking he is. Maybe a great jawline? Nice hair? Muscles? They did say he had good eyes though. Not to mention, Mia also disliked going to her boyfriend's band's concerts. She didn't even bother to fake enjoying having fun. At least she was honest. Kim, Mia's best friend was actually quite like-able and interesting. Same for Mia's entire family and their family friends that are mentioned.
As far as romance goes... there was about one scene in this entire book that was intimate between Mia and Adam. They were pretending to play each other as instruments. Until the end of the book, most of their memories together are them being sad with each other. Instead of hearing about her debating on going to Julliard one more time, we could have had a cute couple scene? That would have been fun to read.
At the end of this book, I didn't really have that over-whelming feeling of being grateful. I had bouts of the feeling while I was reading the book, so that was pleasant.

Compared To The Movie (or at least the trailer):
Full Movie Trailer Here
This book right here? Yes this one. I believe that the movie is going to be better than the book. I rarely feel that way. I just feel as if this movie is going to tear my heart out more than the book ever did. I cannot wait to see this movie. (It's coming out late August 2014.) I just think that this will capture me more. The book was a good read, but it didn't have me itching to read it for three hours straight like some do. When watching the movie, we can hear Mia play the cello, we can hear the symphony. I don't know about you, but I don't know what all of these symphonies played on the cello sound like, but while I was reading the book I wish I did. I wish I could hear Adam's band playing. While watching the movie, it will be easier to do so. With the movie, I think I will finally get the romance I was hoping for.

Overall, this was a really good book. It just didn't grasp me the way I wanted it to. I would recommend it for some one to read since it does make you think. What if you were in Mia's position?

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