Monday, October 18, 2010
If I Stay
The book If I Stay by Gayle Forman was a very emotional, yet entertaining novel. The story takes place in Oregon during the winter months. It begins when the kids receive a snow day and the parents call off of work. Mia, the main character, Teddy, her little brother and parents decide to go on a family road trip. Not paying attention to the horrible weather conditions, Mia's father looses control of the car and goes flying off the road. Everything was a big blur to Mia. When she woke up she found herself in a ditch and she saw her dead mother and father on the road. Mia was life flighted to the hospital and had many injuries. The doctors even doubted her survival. "Apparently, I have a collapsed lung. A ruptured spleen. Internal bleeding of unknown organs. And most serious, the contusions on my brain. I've also got broken ribs. Abrasions on my legs, which will require skin grafts; and on my face,which will require cosmetic surgery-but, as the doctors note,that is only if I am lucky" (40). Although Mia could not move or even open her eyes, her spirit, or ghost, was able to walk and talk and think except no one could see her. Throughout the novel, Gayle refers back to Mia's life before the accident. One flashback talks about Mia's love for music, and how talented she was in playing the cello. Also it was music that brought Mia and her boyfriend Adam together. In the end, love encourages Mia to fight for her life. "Stay. With that one word, Adam's voice catches, but he swallows the emotion and pushes forward. There's no word for what happened to you. There's no good side of it. But there is something to live for" (230). She must touch Adam one last time before she can make the most difficult decision of her life. Mia must decide to stay, or go to heaven with the rest of her family.
1. Mia is pulled between wanting to die and wanting to live. If you were in Mia's position what would you choose to do and why?
2. The themes of sacrifice and choice occur throughout the story and play out in several relationships. Discuss the meanings of "sacrifice" and "choice." How are they different? How are they similar?