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Monday, October 6, 2014

If I Stay - Buddies Say

I’m used to reading books with bloody murders, vampires, crazy robot killers and mutated humans. I do well with these kind of books. I become addicted, excited, curious, eager to solve the mystery and I love some good action. And then I read If I stay. 

I read this book as a buddy read with my friend Penny and even if we both rated it with three stars, you’d be surprised to find out how our opinions differ. It will be fun!

I started reading it, without having read the synopsis first so the crash was a huge surprise to me and I was like what? What is going to happen now? I kept reading the book, which is so beautifully written and pretty soon I realized that I had already read half the book. But wait … what had really happened?

Athina convinced me to do a buddy-read with this book which I must admit had been sitting in my to-read shelf for quite some time. I had heard so many good things about it, I was prepared to be blown away but the truth is...I wasn't. You see, apart from the crash in the beginning nothing really happened! In the very few pieces of the book where we were actually in the present story, Mia was just wandering around the hospital doing nothing.

I know what you mean. It’s kind of eventless but there were some parts I really enjoyed. Like the constant change between memories and reality. I think it was a good way to keep me interested enough to keep reading. I love these kind of switches in a book. I have to admit though that some parts were kind of dull. Don’t get me wrong, it was an emotional read and I could connect with Mia, a little, but I can’t help but wonder that something was missing, that it could be a little tighter. Maybe what I wanted to see was a reaction to the whole I’m having an out of the body experience. She seemed to take that pretty cool. I’d expected her to lose it, yell, stand before her family and wave her hands. Something to show them that she was there, to run around the hospital searching for her parents. Something.

Let me help you here Athina. Mia didn't have any interesting reactions about the out-of-the-body experience because she was a boring character! I mean, instead of exploring the possibilities of this astral projection thing, she just sat around waiting for the Boyfriend or bringing back memories. Oh, the memories! I was so frustrated with this constant back-and-forth. Truth is that only 5% of this book is the current story. The rest of it is memories from Mia's entire life. And this 5% is cut into about twenty pieces, just a few lines to divide the different memories.

But without the memories there isn’t actually a book, right? I think that was inevitable. No?
Personally I was a little disappointed with Mia. I expected more action from her. I know that through the memories we saw her pain and desperation, but I wanted so see something in real life too. And that’s the main reason I gave this book three stars.

The only reason I gave this book three stars is because the Voice of the writer was pretty good. And probably because there were some scenes that made me quite emotional, none of which were Mia's though. They were mostly words or actions of some other character. And you are right Athina, without the memories this book would have been a big fat nothing. That's the point! And all those memories were actually one big exhortation towards Mia giving up. And that was my main problem with "If I Stay" since I like my MC's to be strong and witty, not sitting around waiting for someone else to decide for them.

The voice was really good, I agree, and that’s the reason the book was so easy to read and it confused me. I wasn’t sure if I liked it a lot or not at first. Did that happen to you too?

Plus I’m thinking you weren’t so fond of Mia, right? Is she a let-me-slap her character?

Now that you mention it, she actually is! I'm putting her on my let-me-slap-her GR shelf as we speak. As for the writer's voice, it was what kept me reading the book. That and the potentials of the idea. It just didn't turn out as promising as I'd thought. What did you think about the ending? For me it was very disappointing, Mia never actually made a choice. And to think the book was supposedly about choices!

Hmmm, I know! Reading the end, I frowned. Not because I didn’t like it, it was the perfect ending. I couldn’t think a better way to end this book, but it’s just that I wasn’t sure about Mia. The huge dilemma of this book is about Mia making a decision. What will she decide? Is she staying or not? So I expected the final moments that she would be divided, confused and panicked. I wanted to see her making that choice.

That's it! Here are our thoughts and I’m sure Penny didn’t go wild on that one. She can be very judgy, I’m telling you! :P I always love to tease her about that!

Feel free to share your thoughts and even irritate Penny a little about this book. I’d love to see that! ;)

Happy Monday!


  1. This is so much fun! My best friend is more judgmental on books than I tend to be so ours would look a little like this I'm sure. I don't like the idea of the MC in this one obviously because neither of you really like her. The concept sounds neat, and a writer's style is very important to get through a book well. Thanks so much for the review :D Jaclyn @ JC's Book Haven.

    1. I know what you mean, Jaclyn. And it's fun!:)
      I'm glad you enjoyed this post.
      Thanks for stopping by!