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Synopsis from GoodReads:
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make - and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
**Someone recently pointed out how my reviews were kind of hard to read because they run together and it just looks like one big paragraph. So I'm going to go back to the 5 point review system, which really breaks apart my review nicely and makes it easier to find what you're looking for.**
Review: I've been wanting to read this book for so long and I finally decided I'd wasted enough time. Once I started, I couldn't put it down; I finished it in one day! We meet Mia and it's immediately obvious that she is very close to her family. Then tragedy strikes and Mia is stuck in limbo; she is able to watch everything going on, like an out-of-body experience. In the end she has to make an almost impossible choice that no one should ever have to make. I'm keeping my overview short and sweet because I really don't want to give away any plot points at all. I want you to read this one for yourself!
1) Character Development: The characters were extremely well developed in this book. It's told entirely from Mia's point of view and we don't get a really good look at her or her family before the accident. Throughout the story, however, are flashbacks of events in Mia's life that were important to her. This really helps us form a connection with not only Mia, but her entire family. We get to see how close she is to everyone and what their relationships were like. Her parents were kind of free spirits, both intensely into music and extremely supportive of their children. The love that Mia had for her mother, father, and younger brother, Teddy, could be felt very easily. The same can be said for the other characters as well, such as her best friend Kim, her boyfriend, Adam, her grandparents. We got to see them dealing with seeing Mia in the hospital post-accident and then bits and pieces of what everything was like before the accident. The author did an excellent job of weaving the characters' stories and making us as readers want to know more about each and every one of them, and their relationships with Mia.
2). The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly: First, The Good: First and foremost, the characters. They were so vivid and real, when they were hurting I was hurting too. If you don't connect with the characters then you certainly won't cry when something bad happens to them. That was definitely not the case with this book, it had me sobbing like a baby several times; it felt like my heart was being wrenched in two. Another thing is the romance between Mia and Adam. Sometimes in books the love stories just seemed forced, but from the flashback stories of how they met and their interactions with each other, it feels like they were just meant to be together. I've said this before about other couples, but they are like two pieces of a puzzle that fit together and you just can't imagine it any other way - and really you wouldn't want to. The story was just beautifully written. Honestly I can't say enough good things about it. The Bad: I can't really think of anything bad to say about this book. The only thing is when the flashbacks happened, they weren't in any sort of order. They always had some relevance to what Mia was thinking about in the present, but they jumped around a lot. That might confuse or irritate some people. I didn't mind it at all, I loved all of the flashbacks and they all enhanced the story greatly. The Ugly: I have nothing awful to say about this book; I only wish I hadn't waited so long to read it
3) Romance Sizzle Or Fizzle: Without a doubt, 100% sizzle. I can't imagine two people who are more right together. They just seem to get each other in ways no one else does and probably never could. The whole time I was just praying for a happy ending for these two, not knowing what the author had in store for the end. My favorite part between them was when he asked her to play him like a cello. It sounds silly, but that part was just so powerful and beautiful to me.
4) Uniqueness Of The Plot: There have certainly been books about people dying and then getting a second chance to do things right (i.e. Here Lies Bridget), but this was definitely different than that. This was a girl stuck between life and death, literally having to make the toughest choice imaginable. I've never read another book like this and it didn't give me any sort of deja vu feeling, like I get sometimes with plots that are overused.
5) Final Thoughts: I don't know what else to say about this book that I haven't already. It's beautiful, enlightening, heart wrenching, and simply breathtaking. It was hard to stop thinking about this book after I finished reading it; it definitely affected me and made me think. I haven't cried that hard in a long time, but I loved every minute of it because it meant I connected with the story in ways that are so hard to come by. I absolutely must buy the sequel, Where She Went, and read it because I am desperate to know what else the author has in store.
Rating: 5/5 stars
Want to read more about the author, Gayle Forman, and her other works? Click her to check out her webpage!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Posted by Jamie Kline (Bookerella) at 11:34 PM