Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
If I Stay - Gayle Forman Gayle Forman's If I Stay came to me preceded by a lot of hype. "Breathtaking" was a word often used to describe this book, and my daughter has read it more than once. In fact, it took up residency in her school locker this year, where she kept it when it wasn't being loaned out to friends. The story is about Mia, a high school senior who's extraordinarily gifted at the cello. Her family, a preternaturally hip and cool foursome, is made up of a musician-turned-teacher father, a liberal mom, and a much younger and precocious brother. Her older boyfriend is an up-and-coming rock star. Of course, Mia's perfect life is interrupted by a freak car accident, and the "If I stay" of the title is that she's caught between life and death, left with the decision to stay or go.My feelings about the book may have been colored by too much hype, but after reading it, I simply found it "too-too." Mia's life was too perfect (and apparently, she only applied to one top music school: Juilliard. Never mind any other music school). There are plot holes galore after the accident. And my daughter, an elementary cellist, has been rageball since she first read the book that a gifted cellist such as Mia would have listed the cello strings out of order: something that bothered me as well, and I have no knowledge past Suzuki Cello School Book 1. Everything was too obvious and too over-the-top at its attempts to pull at heartstrings. While it may appeal to the hormones of teens and tweens, I found the concept to be intriguing, but the execution to be mostly cardboard cutout. The cover of my daughter's copy reads: "Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight." I'd say they were on the money with that observation.

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