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Nessa's Thoughts

Just a British girl who reads a bit too much.

Currently reading

The Dead Zone
Stephen King
The Diving Bell And The Butterfly
Jean-Dominique Bauby
Clarissa, or, the History of a Young Lady
Samuel Richardson, Angus Ross
Orange Is the New Black: My Year in a Women's Prison
Piper Kerman
The Cuckoo's Calling
Robert Galbraith
If I Stay - Gayle Forman I keep hearing that If I Stay by Gayle Forman is this wonderfully heartbreaking novel. Some reviewers have cried, some have felt empty after reading this, and... unfortunately, your Auntie Nessa is just not one of them. (Also, haven't read this book since July 2012, finally decided to finish my review... in January 2013. Go me.)If I Stay follows the story of a girl named Mia, with a perfect family who decide to go out into the city on a snow day, and their car crashes, killing everyone in it. Except for the main character, who lingers on as a spirit and has to deal with the fallout of losing her entire family but being unable to do anything about it. There's also flashbacks to her and her boyfriend, concerts, and by the end of the book, her spirit merges back with her body, despite the inner turmoil she has between leaving this world, or living on as an orphan.Maybe it's because I really can't stand 'chick-flicks' such as The Note Book, that this novel just didn't go over well with me. I didn't know too much about the plot, but I just didn't feel sad at all when Mia's family died. It's upsetting when you stop to think about it, but it just didn't get any visceral reaction from me while reading.I think my main fault was with the characterisation of everyone. They are way too perfect. (Well, the dad loses a few points for dissing Alice Cooper and insisting on playing The Ramones instead during the car journey. Just a personal thing.) I mean, the novel starts out like a freaking 'perfect, white middle class American family' commercial. It's snowing outside, but everyone is snug and warm inside. They're making stacks of pancakes and Mia's little brother is saying silly, naïve things. The father is just like: “Hehe, you go, sport.” And then we are told that our main female character has incredible musical talent. And her boyfriend Adam is in a band, and he is also musically gifted. Oh, look! The radio announces that there's a snow day! Much rejoicing!Until, of course, the car accident. Now, thankfully, I see Mia as becoming less of an annoying shit-head than Ever Bloom was in Alyson Noël's novel, in a which a perfect girl also lost her family in a car accident, but I found it an absolute chore to read. Flashback, then Mia being sad at the hospital, then flashback then hospital then... argh. Seriously, it was always some revelation about her out-of-body experience, then it went back to her family, and this kind of narrative just didn't do it for me.The ending was also really dull, and I just felt nothing after reading it, like I had wasted my time.If I Stay had some nice writing at points, though. I also grew to like Mia somewhat after being in her head for all this time, but her boyfriend's behaviour was kind of ridiculous at times. I mean, this is a guy who considers pulling the hospital's fire alarm so that he can sneak into the intensive care unit Mia is in without the nurse noticing. Mia is also guilty of this, since when she sees her grandparents showing up (as her next of kin), she instead thinks of how much she wants to see her boyfriend. What?I'm sure if you like tearjerkers and cozy 'chick flick' books, this one will light up your world. Unfortunately, I'm not about to forgive the boring pacing, the constant flipping between different time periods, and the lack of emotional connection with the characters. 2/5.(This review is also on my blog: http://book-wyrm.blogspot.co.uk/2013/01/if-i-stay-by-gayle-forman.html)