Thursday, August 2, 2012

Double Review Day #2


'IF I STAY' by Gayle Forman

Goodreads synopsis:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

My thoughts:
Have you ever started reading a novel but decided you no longer wanted to only a few pages in? Like you just weren't in the mood for that type of story? Well that is how this book was for me.I really wasn't sure if I wanted to read it at all so I posed a question to some of my extremely bookish internet acquaintances and received several answers urging me to give it a another try; so I did. I'm not going to lie and say that I am thrilled that I did, but I don't regret reading it either. I thought it was going to be one of those 'perfect family' scenarios, and in a way it was (who wouldn't want Mia's life, minus the tragedy?) but not quite how I thought it was at first. Eventually I really loved Mia's family and how much their lives revolved around music. In a way, I can relate to that, since both of my parents were musically inclined and my mother and stepdad both played in a band together for years. The other band members were like family and their were lots of 'accidental Labor Day BBQ parties' where they all got together and played. Though I was never priviliged enough to learn or be taught any instruments, my life was heavily influenced by music. I played the keyboard as a kid and attempted to play the acoustic guitar as I got older.
I really enjoyed the musical parts of the story, even if the rest was quite sad (no, not enough to even illicit a tear, but I can understand why others told me it made them cry.) There seemed to be an overall deeper message about life to the story, though, which made it worth while.

'WHERE SHE WENT' by Gayle Forman

Goodreads synopsis:
It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.
Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future-and each other.
Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined If I Stay, Where She Went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.

My Thoughts:
I think I liked reading from Adam's perspective more than I did from Mia's, though for the first few pages I thought I was reading from Mia's point of view. Adam's narrative was more fast-paced and full of raw emotion which felt more real despite the obvious fact that Adam is a 'rock star'. I felt like Adam's story was actually happening instead of just seeing flashbacks of a coma patient's life. And it was. Where She Went is fast forwarded three years to a night in New York when Adam and Mia are brought together again (by fate?) and have to face each other and explain the decisions they made leading up to then.
Overall, this story is about love, the hardships of love, and how, with the right amount of persistence and acceptance, love can conquer anything.
It truly is a beautiful story, whether your a die hard fan of music or a hopeless romantic.