If I Stay

If I Stay - 4 stars: liked itView full review here!If I Stay is one of those books (not unlike Looking for Alaska by John Green) that tore me up inside. I felt sad and laughed and felt horrible for laughing and felt even more sad. It was a freaking rollercoaster. It broke my heart a little.What I knew before I read this book: there was going to be a car crash. What I didn't know: Gayle Forman wastes absolutely NO TIME coming to that point. We follow Mia as she and her family end up in a horrible accident that leaves Mia in a coma, but still able to watch what's happening around her. As she starts to understand what's happening and what's left of her old life (and what's not), she tries to decide whether she should stay or let go.What made this story stand out, for me, was the perfect way Forman switches Mia's present day experience with flashbacks of her old life. They come together flawlessly. Because even though I knew about the terrible accident, it was the flashbacks that made me feel sad for her the most.In the flashbacks, we come to know how much exactly Mia had to lose. And she had a lot in her life: a loving and supporting family, a boyfriend as they only come in fiction, a best friend who loves her unconditionally (a breath of fresh air!), an outstanding talent for playing the cello and an almost guaranteed spot at Julliard. As I was reading on, I was dragged along in the horror of the choice she had.Forman's beautiful storyline and lyrical prose are incredible. This story shows the despair in the choices we have to make, and the beauty in that despair. After finishing, the questions kept bugging me. What if you lost everything in a second? How can you even live when the people you love the most are gone? Would you be able to live on? And honestly, I don't think I ever could.No, I didn't cry. But this book has touched my heart and left me wondering.