It seems at the moment that I have a slight thing for Young Adult novels that I can read in one sitting while bawling my eyes out...
'If I Stay' is another one of those teen books battling big issues that I wish had been around when I was actually a teenager. A quote on the cover from the Daily Mail states "read it and weep" and that is exactly what I did.
This novel began as a light, airy glimpse into what seemed to be the perfect family life - cool parents who are into rock music, the adorable hyperactive little brother, and the protagonist Mia, a talented Cellist, well on her way to Juilliard.
And then it hits. A tragic car accident turns Mia's life upside down. In one life-changing moment, Mia's family are ripped away from her and her own life hangs in the balance. Left somehow outside of her comatose body, Mia watches herself being operated on, hooked up to life-saving machinery while her friends and family will her to survive.
Mia has a choice to make. Will she go or will she stay? Going would be easy. She could be with her family, she wouldn't have to face the gaping hole in her life. Staying will be the hardest thing she's ever had to do. Is she brave enough to step up to the challenge?
This novel was heart-wrenching. I held on bravely for nearly half of the book but there came a point when I just simply could not hold it in any longer and the tears came. And they weren't just the pretty silent tear that rolls down your cheek kind of tears. No, these were the wracking sobs, the giant tears that obscure your vision. These are the tears from emotion so strong that I was tempted at one point to put the book down unfinished as I simply couldn't handle it any longer. But, my need to know what decision Mia came to won over and I carried on to the last page.
And I'm so glad I did.
This is another one of those books I'd recommend you go and read. And seriously, if you can afford it buy a copy for any teenage girl in your life because I'm sure she'd appreciate it.