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STORY (fiction) - First let me vent about Audible's rating system. This book is suggested for kids age 8-10. What are they thinking? The main characters are in high school and beyond. There's the vocabulary, with words like churlish, ablution, frenetic and taciturn coming to my mind. Then there's the F-word thrown in a couple times for emphasis. And of course, anyone who's seen the movie trailer might guess the subject matter isn't for children. So I'll get off that soapbox for a while, until Audible screws up the recommendation for another book!
Mia, the main character, is a high school senior with a cute rock star boyfriend named Adam. She plays the cello and hopes to attend Julliard in the fall. Until the accident. Her parents and younger brother are killed and Mia is unconscious with multiple life-threatening injuries. She has an out-of-body experience beginning at the accident scene. She describes the horrific crash as if it's happening in slow motion, she describes the bodies of her family as she finds them, and she describes her own body laying motionless on the ground. As she's moved to the helicopter and finally the hospital, she continues to describe her treatments and the reactions of her loved ones as they arrive.
The book basically alternates between Mia's out-of-body viewpoint and flashbacks of her life, kind of like her life is flashing before her eyes. She realizes that the choice between life and death is in her hands. It's her choice, just like the title of the book, "If I Stay." I won't tell you how the book ends, but be sure to have some Kleenex handy.
PERFORMANCE - Good job. Sometimes I could "feel" the smile in her voice, and her emotional performance during the more serious scenes was convincing as well.
OVERALL - For mature teenagers and adults only, due primarily to the subject matter. There's no sex, but there is an unusual scene where Mia and Adam play each other like instruments. The descriptions at the accident scene are a bit graphic (complete with brain matter on the road), but they don't last long. Some of the flashbacks were a little slow, but I enjoyed the book and plan to see the movie.
47 of 52 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
This book was recommended by a few different listeners in the YA Audiobook Challenge on either their Goodreads page or blog so I decided to give it a whirl. Plus it is a short book as far as listening goes at a smidgen over 5 hours and since I started the challenge late I needed to catch up by getting as many books in as I possibly could in the beginning (I’m 3 books in now…still behind but definitely catching up!)
I don’t always read more than just the basic little blurb about a book before listening to it and I will basically listen to anything so I wasn’t sure what to expect.
The narrator was great and there was nice musical parts as well. As anyone who listens to books on a regular basis knows, a narrator can make or break a book. I have tried to get through a steamy love story with a ridiculous narrator and just can’t do it. Or, when the author decides to read their own book…not always a good thing. Yeah, Marley and Me, I am talking to you. Sorry but I could.not.listen to that book.
Anyway, the story was great. Not your typical storyline and not a girl-falls-in-love-falls-out-of-love angsty kind of book either. The emotions in this book were real – partially because of the narrator – and it was a little bit of every emotion. I found myself smiling, laughing, cheering, crying, and shocked even. And best of all, it left me wanting MORE. Good thing there is a second book in the series. I haven’t listened to it yet, but I will soon!
37 of 42 people found this review helpful