19 juni 2011

Review: If I Stay / Where she went by Gayle Forman

 Om jag stannar (If I Stay)

Plot: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands. (Summary from goodreads.com)

Covers: I have the Swedish covers on display for various reasons. Partly because I did read the Swedish translation and not the English original. Also I like covers from different countries and I wanted to show what our Swedish covers look like.

My opinion: Given its premise If I Stay is indeed and emotional read, and it is effective at evoking all sorts of emotions, though sometimes trying a bit too hard. I always did like the take of telling a story in reverse, starting at the end and working its way backwards. Thus I appreciate the way this novel was written, chapters from the hospital with intermittent trips down memory lane with Mia. All in a matter of 24 hours. Those memories from Mia's life was what yield most in the story, I feel. I preferred them over the scenes from the hospital, because it was those sections that really showed what she's lost. 

If I Stay was rather short and an incredibly fast read. I didn't take me more than a couple of hours to finish it. This was one of those novels that makes your ponder your own mortality. If you were left with a choice like Mia's, what would you choose?

När jag lät dig gå (Where She Went)

Plot: It's been three years since the devastating accident . . . three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever.

Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

Told from Adam's point of view in the spare, lyrical prose that defined
If I Stay, Where she went explores the devastation of grief, the promise of new hope, and the flame of rekindled romance.  

(Summary from goodreads.com).

My opinion: Initially I was surprised when I started the book and realized that Mia wasn't the narrator anymore, but Adam. This change grew on me however and I liked hearing everything from Adam's POV. However, I had very little interest in Adam's rock star life. Those sections of the novel were really slow for me and I had to force myself not to skim passages. Mia's and Adam's nightly browsing through New York City though, was a totally different story. Those chapters captured my interest.

Where She Went is a well-written novel and gave Mia and Adam, especially the latter, well-deserved closure but I honestly speaking found it rather bland. Perhaps contemporary YA isn't for me. I much prefer my YA paranormal.

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