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If I Stay

If I Stay - Read this review at Smash Attack Reads! http://www.smashattackreads.com/2011/12/if-i-stay-by-gayle-forman-full-of-heart.htmlInterest in the book: I’ve wanted to read this book since last year, but being as it is not my normal go-to genre, I’ve kept it tucked away, waiting for the right moment. After meeting Gayle Forman and listening to her speak about the book, I knew I had to read the book soon. And, thanks to Amanda and her read-a-long, I finally read it.Characters: These characters were standout. They leapt off the pages, into your heart, begging you to bear their torment and agony, along with their tears of joy. Mia, her boyfriend Adam, her best friend Kim, her parents, Kat and Denny, her younger brother Teddy and her grandparents. ALL of them make an impact on the story and more so, your heart. I love the journey they all take, and how this accident pulls some closer together, and pushes others further apart. This story is all about the characters.Worldbuilding: The set up of this book was pretty magnificent, and one of the most enjoyable pieces of the story for me. As Mia watches helplessly as her world is transformed into a horror story, she reviews her life in memories over a 24 hour time period. One chapter is Mia in the present, watching over her body and her loved ones as they plead with her to pull through. Then the next chapter is a memory, Mia recalling how she met Adam, different snapshots of life with her parents and brother, her best friend, Kim. We get to know Mia through these memories, which tug at our heartstrings because present-day Mia struggles to survive.Lasting Impressions: Honestly, I do not have words to appropriately describe how you feel after reading this story. You feel breathless as you are overtaken with intense emotions, as you question your own decisions about such scenarios. It really is a gorgeously written story about life, hope and destiny. Read the book.Favorite Quote:“Please Mia," he implores. "Don't make me write a song.”