Mia has experienced the ups and downs of life. She is a talented and serious cellist with a somewhat unusual family and an incredible punk-tastic boyfriend. After school is canceled due to a snowstorm, Mia and her family get in the car to visit some friends. Then the unthinkable happens: a fatal accident that leaves Mia a spectator to her own frantic rescue and hospitalization. After witnessing the parade of doctors, nurses and worried family and friends Mia realizes she must make the ultimate decision in her life: continue to live…or leave it all behind and simply let go.
Slim it is, fluff it ain’t. Heartache, pain, tenderness, love and sacrifice fill every page as Mia is visited by friends and family and flashbacks to various points in her life. These flashbacks contain vivid memories of her parents, grandparents, brother Teddy, boyfriend Adam, best friend Kim, and a love affair with her cello. Each visit or memory underscores her unique relationship those she loves; each one contributing to a different facet of Mia’s personality and illustrating the difficulty of her choice. Along the way, Mia discovers dying is easy, living is what’s truly hard. If I Stay could have easily turned itself into a trite melodrama with cardboard characters, but instead, it deftly handles life-altering challenges with sensitivity and extreme care. I couldn’t help but review those things that make my own life worth living after reading this little book.