Thursday, May 5, 2011

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Release Date: May 2009 (If I Stay); April 2011 (Where She Went)
Rating: 9/10

Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.

These two books are definitely among my favourite young adult books written in the last few years. Or ever. If I'd read these books when I was a teenager, it would have made my I-want-a-boyfriend-that-understands-my-insane-love-for-music so, so much worse. Adam would've had my heart.

I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.

Both books are about love, family, loss, death, survival, grief, music, and the passions in life that keep you going. The frank discussion of the process of grief in Where She Went was incredible, like nothing I had ever read before, even in an adult fiction novel. When Adam says "what is competition it is" about grief and when Mia wonders who was there for Adam when Mia lost all that she lost, they were some beautifully poignant moments. I decided to read If I Stay when it was released because the story sounded like it would be an emotional and inspiring read, but luckily I was also given a book about music. Little references throughout it, and to a lesser extent in Where She Went, to all types of music, but particularly the little punk jokes Mia's parents make and Mia's inability to understand nor care about "rock talk" made me happy.
Barrel of the gun, rounds one two three
She says I have to pick: choose you, or choose me
Metal to the temple, the explosion is deafening
Lick the blood that covers me
She’s the last one standing