If I Stay is a beautifully and tactfully written book, and if I wasn’t snuggled into the comfort and beauty of political classics I would even venture to say that it is one of my favourite romantic books.
The story revolves around Mia, a seventeen year old cello player, and her journey through deciding whether she stays in the world or leaves it to whatever happens after death. She is forced to make a choice because a tragic accident leaves her an orphan and puts her in a clinical coma. Her little brother, Teddy, doesn’t survive the accident either.
The story is written in a flashback-to-present format, which appropriately suits the plot. The flashbacks mostly include happy moments spent with her family and her lovely boyfriend, Adam.
One of the reasons I really liked this book was that it had social elements entwined in it to form a perfect braid. There were mentions of Mia’s family (especially her mother) being ardently pro-choice – which is something I really admire in a book or in any media outlet. It is so important that talks about abortion are shown in a positive light in media, and this book definitely does produce a positive image of bodily autonomy and reproductive rights.
There were also homosexual characters, which were not inserted for a more diverse character-base, but simply because homosexuality exists in its most natural form. There was never an exclamation moment when someone couldn’t believe that someone else had a different sexuality than theirs. There was a perpetual acceptance of the LGBT community; just like in the book: When God Was a Rabbit.
I really loved this books from the start to finish. Although, I must admit that I was a little wary of it because I don’t generally like romance novels. I can never relate to them and all of them seem so unrealistic, it makes me cringe. But this books was different. It did have its cliché cool boy and unpopular girl, but the love story between them took a much more eccentric path than it does in most other books.
What added to its eccentricity was probably Mia’s parents. I fell in love with them more than I did with Mia or Adam – something that rarely happens because I never dwell too much on the parents in a book. But Mia’s parents were beautiful, they had the kind of ideology that I wish every parent had. They were charming and iridescent.
Also, the rock-talk in the book was absolutely savage. There was this melodious blend of rock music with classical music that felt so delicious and endearing.