Musings on If I Stay

May 17, 2013 § 1 Comment

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

The synopsis of the book reads “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…”

Interesting concept, right? I thought so too. Unfortunate that the execution was rather poor. That’s not to say that the book was bad. To describe it, I would use the word meh. The writing was so-so. The main character was rather boring, I felt, but tolerable. The boyfriend, best friend, family were all similarly bland and banal, not particularly interesting characters to read about. They also felt rather flat and underdeveloped.

The plot was incredibly contrived, when there was any notion of a plot. The book follows the protagonist Mia in the present-day hospital as she watches over her own body and the attempts of her family and friends to interact with the now-dying Mia. Throughout this, however, Mia frequently flashes back to her past. The flashbacks were contrived and felt rather pointless. I understood what Forman was trying to do but everything was just so mundane that it was incredibly uninteresting. Not to mention that that was the entire plot.

There are some writers who could have pulled off a plot like this: a plot that relies on emotional connections rather than actual events taking place within the book. However, Forman is not one of those authors. Perhaps if the writing was more prosaic, it would lend more to the plot. Perhaps if the characters were actually fleshed out it would render me, as a reader, to connect with the characters on an emotional level. Most unfortunately, the writing was ordinary and lacking. It could have worked alright for any other book where things actually happened, but considering the nature of this book, it really did require more literary prose. The characters – all of them, starting from the main character – were typical, generic and boring.

Probably the best thing about the book is that it was an incredibly easy read. I think it took me about an hour or two to get through it. I’ve read the synopsis of the second book in the series and the plot somehow manages to sound worse than this. I may still venture to read it at some point in the future (since I like finishing serieses) and this was such an easy read.

Have any of you read If I Stay? Do you agree with my thoughts or completely disagree? Let me know!

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