Friday, March 4, 2011

IF I STAY, review, giveaway, winner

Firstly, I apologies for being a day late. I was running around like a headless chicken yesterday. And unfortunately, I can't preprogram a post that depends on

The winner of SORTA LIKE A ROCK STAR is....


Email me at muchlanguage (at) gmail (dot) com with your address.

Today, up for grabs, a copy of IF I STAY by Gayle Forman.

Quick summary: Mia and her family are involved in a terrible accident, which claims her parents' lives. She then has to choose whether to stay and live without them, or to go and join them, wherever they are.

The raw truth:

I did not connect with this book. And it really bothered me. Because my Mom was in a band just like Mia's parents, and I identified with a lot of what she mentioned. And because the prose had a certain simple beauty to it. Also, everyone on the blogosphere raves about this book. I WANTED to love this book.

I read IF I STAY at the end of last year, and it has taken this long for me to post about it, because I was trying to figure out what was missing for me. And then it hit me. The fundamental problem is whether to live or die. That's what Mia spends the majority of the book debating. And that's never even a question for me. (Life is hard as a bipolar. If God gave me half a choice, I'd be gone before you could blink. Don't worry I'm not suicidal. Just realistic.)

My one bad:

The present tense. It's hit or miss when you move a book out of the past tense. The present tense, in particular, pulls a reader into the moment. Unfortunately, if it's a moment that you don't want to be in, the present tense has an effect that is the polar opposite of the desired one. It would be like being made to watch years of home videos featuring a family you didn't know.

However, if this is a question that you'd puzzle over, then you'll probably love the present tense in this book.

My one good:

The relationship between Adam and Mia. I get really tired of YA pretending that relationships are all roses and lollipops. Adam and Mia didn't even feel like teens in their relationship. And that makes sense, because of who Mia is- she's applied to Juilliard, so that means when other people her age are out getting drunk, she's practicing the cello with music students or her tutor.

IF I STAY is well-written and thought-provoking. I think it would be an asset to anyone who wonders about the line between life and death.


First week of the month, so this is open to everybody.
It's international.
To win, tell me: Would you stay if you'd already lost your family/friends?


Judit said...

Oh, Claire, you have always such a great giveaways running on you blog! I was being sort of on a "giveaway vacation" last month, trying to resist entering every possible contest, but I am not able to resist this one :)

Are you asking if I'd stay? That probably depends on if I'd have somebody to return to. I love life and I can't really imagine to willingly leave it behind me but you never know, right? If you know there is nobody waiting for you when you wake up, you might decide to leave and move on to the other side, hoping you'll reunite with your loved ones.

Thank yo for this giveaway and congratulations to the recent winners:)


judittten at gmail dot com

Aleeza said...

good question--but it sort of depends on whether or not i had someone like adam (sa-woon! he was amaaazing) to lean on after such a huge tragedy. so yeah, it depends. said...

Hey! Thanks for the review, I have to agree with what you said about relationship in YA being almost always a sweet fairy tale.

I personaly think that it's a shame to give up your life if you can make your own choice. I'd never give up. I'd fight to stay no matter what, because life is worth living and even the worst situation isn't in my opinion so bad that it can't eventualy get better.

I just hope, Mia is a fighter not a quitter, othervise I may cry reading this book :-)

Thanks for making this giveaway international!

Michael Offutt said...

Thanks for the book review. As always, your insights into writing are fantastic. Probably comes from the mastery of so many languages.

o genki de irashaimasu ka?

Marsha Sigman said...

Present tense it so hard. If it isn't done right, then it's just annoying for the reader. But the book sounds good.

As to your, I wouldn't.

I think when someone you love dies, a piece of you dies with them. If my family died, there wouldn't be enough of me left to go on.

Sidrah said...

yay! Thanku so much Claire *happpy* =D
I have mailed you.

If I lost everyone I love, I still wouldn't want to leave the world. Cos even if I do, what are the chances I will be with my loved ones. Also it'd be like giving up, my family n friends won't want me to do that =|
Every cloud has a silver lining =)


Julie @ Knitting and Sundries said...

I probably wouldn't stay if I'd lost my family and friends; I don't fear death - I only fear leaving my children without a mom.


Aanchal @ Book Flame said...

If I didn't have anybody to wake up to than no I wouldn't stay death is inevitable anyways.

Brooke said...

Yes, I think I would. It would feel too much like giving up otherwise, even though it would be very tough.