IF I STAY.
I read this book overnight and found it to be really beautifully written and touching. It was ironic because I had just finished "Charlie St. Cloud" not too long ago and some of the themes in the storyline were similar. It is also not unlike "Before I Fall" by Lauren Oliver. Both stories are very heartbreaking in that they are intertwined with loss, guilt and pain. They are also very reflective when recounting flashback stories. I really loved that although this book had a very sad main plot, it was lightened by a lot of witty remarks. I also loved how music was a very prominent theme throughout the book and you can tell that the author is very well-educated on the subject (bands like Nirvana, The Smiths and The Clash are mentioned).
Ultimately If I Stay is a story about how a 17 y/o girl named Mia gets into a car accident with her family and in the shock of it all ends up being trapped in an "in between," similar to a limbo. She sees all the things that go on around her as her body is transported (still alive, but barely clinging to life) from the accident site to the hospital, surgery and finally the ICU where she is left to recover whilst in a coma. She finds that her parents were killed on impact and that somewhere in another hospital her little brother is also fighting to stay alive. As the story progresses you learn more about Mia and her family (grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins), best friend Kim and boyfriend Adam. One of the nurses tending to her makes a comment about how it is her decision to come back or not. She could decide to go on and be with her family or learn to live without them. But amidst all the chaos and surgeries and breakdowns Mia has to make the ultimate choice; should she stay?