If I Stay/Where She Went by Gayle Forman Review

if where combo

 

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

 

Hello, all! Long time, no see. I’m still here, reading and traveling. Unfortunately, I’m also working and busy with all things life. I haven’t managed a lot of reading lately, but I’ve tried to squeeze some in.  These two books weren’t on the top of my reading list, but I gave them a go anyway after seeing a million previews for the movie version of If I Stay (which, of course, can’t be nearly as good as the book).

I went into If I Stay knowing it was going to be heartbreaking. I’m definitely more emotional and touched by things the older I get. Even a poignant moment in Scandal can get me misty-eyed, but I digress.  Almost immediately Mia loses her family in a tragic accident. We learn this through Mia’s eyes as she battles for her life, not in this world or the next. But is she really battling for her life? Or is she battling with herself? Mia’s struggle within herself is the whole premise of this story. She is left with the choice of dying and reuniting with her family, or living with the pain of their loss.

This is a truly gut-wrenching story. That’s probably why so many people are drawn to it. In an instant, everything can change. Your whole life can be turned on its head. How you deal with it may be what defines your entire life. Where She Went, obviously, continues Mia’s story. These aren’t amazing, read-me-over-and-over books, but they are worth reading at least once for the thoughts they can provoke. Life is fleeting. How will you choose to live yours?

-Teri