My rating: 2 of 5 stars
DISCLAIMER- This review first appeared on Ayesha's Goodreads profile. Click here to view it.
Initial reaction upon finishing-
When I heard Seventeen call If I Stay "new TFIOS" I should have turned tail and run in the opposite direction as fast as I could.
But like always my curiosity won.
If I Stay is a boring story that can be told in few sentences but has been dragged into a 200 page book. If this book were any longer, I would have marked it DNF right after reading the first few chapters. This book is about a girl named Mia who experiences a car accident which kills her parents and presumably her brother. Mia gets stuck in a limbo-like state soon after the accident takes place. Later, she realises that it’s up to her to choose if she wants to live or join her parents while she recounts moments with her family, friends and boyfriend from the past.
Here are the problems with the book.
The author fails to make this story interesting. I felt detached from the story and constant shifting of Mia’s memories and her present limbo-like state in the hospital. This book offers nothing new; it is filled with clichés and has a very predictable plot right from the beginning to the end. Mia’s flashbacks of her past just show me that she’s one of the greatest Mary-Sues I’ve read about.
Mia is a Mary-Sue. She has no flaws and depth whatsoever. She’s an obedient and perfect child to her parents, she has a too-perfect-to-be-real boyfriend (who too is another cardboard cut-out crawling through the novel), she has a very happy and problem-free life, she is excellent at academics, she is excellent as a cellist and she has an awesome best-friend (who’s a real meanie to her parents and screams at her mother when the latter started crying upon hearing of Mia’s condition…Ugh! What’s wrong in expressing your sadness over someone’s accident? Are adults not allowed to show emotions?).
Not to mention that Mia’s parents were shown to be extremely perfect and cool people whom all teens would love to have as their own parents. They love rock music, they give their children everything they want, they allow them to hang out with their friends and go to parties, they allow Mia to date Adam and barely bat their eyelashes when Mia brings Adam to their house for the first time and takes him to her room alone. I felt that the author deliberately made Mia’s parents all nice and awesome so that readers would feel very sad when they die.
And what on earth even happened to Mia’s brother? The author tells us nothing about him other than Mia’s assumption that he must've died too. As if he was just there in the story to let Mia play her very-kind-and-loving BIG SISTER role.
This book is full of cheesy scenes like the one where Mia brings the bow of her cello and “plays it” on Adam's body like an instrument.
It also had one of the most unbelievable and emotionally manipulative ending ever.
Mia is lying in the hospital and her boyfriend comes to meet her. He tells her to come back *sob**sob**sob**sob**sob* and he promises to let her go awaaaaaayyyyyy
MIA COMES BACK TO HER BODY!1!11!!! *sob**sob**sob**sob*
I gave this book two stars because-
a. I liked the way music was incorporated in every single page of this book.
b. The writing was beautiful.
c. I liked Mia’s grandparents who were good-natured people.
The rest of the book can go in the dustbin.