Usually I don’t like much writing a review of a book I despised. Somehow I feel like I failed as a reader as much as the author failed as a writer. I failed to understand, the author failed to make me understand. Simple as that.
Unfortunately my expectations as a reader have become much higher than they once used to be, and they even increase if the book is a million-copies-sold, worldwide praised bestseller. Saying that I’m disappointed when such a book reveals to be a joke is an understatement.
If I stay is one of those cases I find myself wondering how could it become so popular so quickly. And how could they make a movie from it.
I find If I stay an average book.
To bring up a heart-gripping topic can’t be considered enough to make a story be something worth reading. Apart from the tragedy of this family torn apart by a car accident, there’s little left to intrigue me as a reader.
Mia is 16, she is an excellent cello player and she is in love with Adam, one year her senior, lead singer in a rock band. Adam and Mia couldn’t be more different, and yet it’s their differences to bring them close. They spend over a year together, then the end of high school and them going separate ways to college bring up the first disputes. Mia applies for an auction at the famous Juilliard. Adam is going to move to the other side of the country. Then Mia’s car is wrecked in an accident, Mia falls in a coma and starts wandering around the hospital, an invisible soul still attracted to life by something she can’t understand until the very last page – that means, a predictable ending.
So why I didn’t like this book?
‘Cause the plot is almost unexisting, to start with. Most of the book goes on and on and on with nothing interesting happening, and there comes a point where I was sick to read about Adam and Mia all the time. We’ve been there, had our share of teenage troubles, thanks very much. They bored me to death – they would have even if I was still in my teenage years, but anyway. Don’t get me wrong, I like teenagers’ stories – John Greene’s on top of my list – but there have been a few that really got on my nerves. If I stay happily falls among them. Mia looks so grown up in her insecurity that she ends up being the most improbable character of all, did anyone notice?
For what’s worth, this book only pulls the strings of people’s feelings by placing some heartbreaking moments here and there – read: clichés.
I am indeed sentimental, very, but this book really is nothing special compared to the millions they previously launched on the market. I watched the movie purely as a challenge to my patience, and it managed to be just as unnerving. Applause, applause!
I read too many books in my life which were much better than this to find this one anywhere near as interesting.
My rating: 2/5