Thanks to a glowing review on NPR's site, I recently read "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman, eventhough it's a young adult book. The story centers around Mia, a talented 17-year old cellist, whose life changes in the blink of an eye. During an unexpected school snow day, Mia is enjoying time with her loving family when tragedy strikes in the form of a horrific car crash. The next thing she knows Mia is standing beside what's left of the family car and the bodies of her dead parents, watching as parademics work on her little brother and her own seemingly lifeless body. It is at the hospital, where her body lies in a coma, that she realizes that she can choose whether to fight for her life or to let go and be with the loved ones that she just lost. The story interweaves past and present, as Mia stays with her body in ICU all the while recollecting some of the recent events of her life, including being accepted to Julliard. It is through those recollections that the reader gains a better understanding of the scope of her loss but also how much she has to live for.
The book wasn't bad, but I never really felt any of the suspense which the author probably intended given the title. The ending seemed never in doubt and that's what makes it a bit of a letdown.