I liked the book. I really do not know where to start with this review. We have to start somewhere though so let’s start with the writing style. The whole book is told in alternating chapters. Noah chapters are from when he was 13-14 and Jude’s chapters are from when she is sixteen.
If I Stay tells the story of a seventeen year old girl. A senior in high school, Mia is an accomplished and dedicated cello player, the girlfriend of Adam who is the lead singer in an up-and-coming local band, sister to a charmingly sweet Teddy, and daughter to two free-spirited and loving parents. Then one day, tragedy strikes and Mia is faced with an unfairly impossible choice- to let go of the pain and her unknown future, or to stay and suffer the emotional and physical damages waiting for her.
So obviously when I started reading this book, my hopes were high. The quote on the back and the promise of a world in turmoil was more than I needed to capture my attention. Now that I’ve read it, while I can’t say I’m entirely disappointed, I’m not blown away either.
Memory is a slippery thing and something you don’t think too much about until it flexes its darker power to haunt you with things you would rather forget. When loss has been a major part of your life, is memory friend or foe? Do you savor the memory of sweet times with people you love who are now gone or transformed into someone you no longer recognize? Or do you push it away because it hurts too much to contemplate all that you have lost? What about when you cannot control memory, when it controls you and takes over your life, tormenting you with visions that are unbearable – yet bear them you must, as they will not go away? These are some of the themes that Laurie Halse Anderson explores in her newest: The Impossible Knife of Memory.
For some, those “carefree” days of high school are not so carefree or blissful. Not everyone fits into those tightly defined categories that seem to rule the social structures of just about every high school in America. For some of those kids, the KY Governor’s Scholars Program (affectionately referred to as Geek Camp) can be a real godsend, a place for bright, geeky kids to meet other bright, geeky kids. And that is what Sarah Combs’s debut novel, Breakfast Served Anytime explores.
This book is centered around 17 year old Evan Carter. Evan and his father move from town to town never laying down roots and never staying long. Evan is continually the new kid. Evan’s mind seems to focus on one thing, The Girl Who Would Say Yes. That all changes with Collette, who doesn’t meet Evan’s typical Girl Who Would Say Yes profile, a ‘’normal’’ girl. Evan ends up being in the wrong place at the wrong time and is severely beaten because of a jealous ex in a community shower in the private school dorms. In light of his son’s experience, Evan’s father feels that it would be for the best if they take a break from their constant travel and return to their family home in Pearl Lake, Minnesota so Evan can recuperate. As Evan’s body heals however, it becomes apparent that the damage was far beyond physical.
“Quit reading that crap and pick up a book for heaven’s sake!” said I to my fanfic reading daughter at least a thousand times. But after reading Fangirl by the practically perfect Rainbow Rowell, I say: No More! This book took this reader deep into the world of fanfic and made me fall in love with it. This is the world of Cath, the main character who is hobbling through her freshmen year in college. It takes a while for her to find her footing, but once she does, we know she is going to take off in wonderful ways.