This really heart touching book is by Gayle Forman. It was my first book of her and as always, my only regret was I saw the movie way before I read this book but as much as I hate to say this, movie seemed better than reading this book. In this book Gayle used a very non-formulaic approach of story telling and created believable characters. A quite moving and thought provoking story which includes life choices like reality. Author captured struggles of a teenager with family loss and personal conflicts and you feel like she compacted deep emotions on each page. The strong passion of her character is really admirable. Though the heaviness of premise, Gayle still provided a pinch of humor in this story. A very sad young adult romance novel that will leave readers awestruck but you feel connected to the story throughout the book.
Story began with a car accident. YES! you are not familiar with characters yet and they are dead. Anyway, it’s a story of a 17 years old Mia who is a passionate cellist and a music enthusiast. One day she along with her parents and baby brother went for a morning drive and they met an accident in which both her parents died and she was in come. This was her ghost or you can say her spirit telling her story throughout and it’s an out of body experience that she was sharing. At first she did not understand what is happening, is she alive or dead just like her parents, then she ran to see her brother and found him in a very critical situation. She saw her relatives gathering and heard them talking but she could not speak to them or they can’t see her. Then she witnessed her best friend and her boyfriend trying to get to her and she runs after them. At first everything seems to be in vein but soon she realizes that her body is alive and struggling between life and death. She got the news of his brother being dead too when her grandparents were talking.
During her stay in hospital she had flashbacks of her past and she was thinking about her future life choices. She had two options, whether to live without family with her grandparents and boyfriend Adam or to simply die and end her physical and mental suffering. Her love for music played a vital role in her choice to stay alive but the loss she had just seen was heavier than anything one could imagine. All of a sudden your whole family is dead, which is pretty tragic for a character who is very caring, loving and sensitive about family. The story becomes moving when Adam her boyfriend, sat next to her body and was begging her to stay and on whichever terms possible made my heart melt for the two of them. Other than him, everyone was tied to that one string of hope that Mia stays alive and they would do their best to take care of her and beautiful thing was Mia was listening to them as well. In between the war of heart and brain, she made up her mind once and for all.
This book will make readers think about everything we take for granted in our lives and how important they become when we are on the verge of losing them . It gives message to the parents that they should at least be open to their kids and talk about all the things that are considered taboo. Kids are parents’ responsibility and parents should talk about adult stuff to kids beforehand and before they get to know or get involved in something which turns out to be dangerous for them. On the critical side, this book becomes boring to read at some points because it’s continuously sad. There is a little bit of humor there when Mia’s parents are involved but all those happy memories eventually become sad since her parents were gone. In the start you feel difficult to connect with characters. The element of romance was barely there as it should be in a young adult romance but over all it was okayish.
My favorite quote from this book was “And that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.” ❤
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