Book Reviews: If I Stay Duet

I found myself in possession of a Kindle, which I had been trying to hold off on forever. But this great opportunity presented itself, and I couldn’t resist. The best part of having a Kindle for me is taking advantage of the library’s e-book collection. We don’t live near the great library system where I was a patron anymore, but I can easily log in and request the electronic version of these books. I can also ask for multiple books and not worry about their many due dates and scheduling a trip to return the books to meet all the due dates. And downloading them is very easy with Amazon. It doesn’t require any kind of special software or updates. It’s just easy. I’ve had the Kindle since February and have read at least ten books in this fashion and haven’t bought very many books since.

With all that said, one of the genres I have been tearing through in e-book form is Young Adult. Several titles are being released each month, both by seasoned authors and by newcomers and they’ve been so good! I have quite a few to talk about, so I’m going to try and break them up over the next few posts. First up is the popular If I Stay duet by Gayle Forman, a veteran in the YA genre.

If I Stay

Mia Hall is seventeen, and has just barely survived a terrible car crash that has taken her parents and younger brother. As she lies unconscious in the hospital, her extended family and boyfriend, Adam, wait with bated breath to see if she will wake up. As this is happening, Mia is in a state where she is able to see her those around her, and decide whether she will fight to live to be with the people who love her on Earth or die and go with the people she loved the most. She travels to places in her memory with her family, her grandparents and Adam, and we learn what kind of ordinary and simultaneously amazing life Mia led. Music plays a big role in the story as Mia is a cellist, Adam is a guitarist, and her parents were rockers. The story was engaging and even though I knew where it was going, I liked having a back story and peeling back the layers of Mia. There were moments that felt trite and slightly out of place, but I still liked it. 3/5

Where She Went

Adam Wilde has been living the musician’s dream. He’s made it. He’s about to start the international leg of tour with his band. He is in a relationship with a Hollywood starlet, and he basically gets what he wants. But he is riddled with anxiety. He can’t handle the press and the screaming fans and the constant talk about what he is doing. After a dark period of mourning his relationship with Mia, he just can’t go back to that place. It’s been a few years since the accident, and Adam accounts what happened after Mia woke up, but only from what he knows. It takes him three years to find out the rest of the story after Mia packed up and went to Julliard without much of a goodbye. Now, on this night in New York, before she goes to Tokyo and he goes to London, they have the chance to open up to each other and find love again.

I have to say I enjoyed reading from Adam’s perspective more than I did from Mia’s. I also really like resolution, which this book gives us. I would rate this one similarly, but give it a smidge more for feeling like a complete story. 3.5/5

Have you read these stories? How do you feel about the flip in perspective? Is that a device you enjoy in general? Or would you rather just hear from one person the whole time?


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