If I Stay - Gayle Forman

I look back at all the book reviews I have written in the past and I realize that most are "bad" reviews. Reviews on books that I either hated or strongly disliked. Because those reviews are so much easier to write than reviews on books that I love. I can never quite capture the emotion and beauty I feel when reading books I adore. So I am left to rant on those oh-so-terrible excuses for books I have to work to get through. Just understand I am not an emo hate-filled person. I just find it easier to rant than write stunning reviews. That being said, here is yet another review on a book I didn't exactly like...

This book was okay. It has been given stunning reviews by other readers, but I saw quite a few flaws that I must point out.

The writing is mediocre, at best. It's not the grammar and simplicity that makes me regard it with such distaste, but rather the unnecessary tedious paragraphs which drag on and on. There were so many parts which just didn't fit into the story and were not needed to complete the plot. This novel is rather short, but it still could have been told in half the amount of words. Other than that, it was fairly well-written. There were quite a few promising paragraphs.

The plot. I understand the idea behind the plot. There was a message portrayed through the story; there is always something worth living for. But the way the message was shown to us was so boring that it ruined the meaning of the story for me. The switching between past and present? I hated it. It was confusing and many of the "past" scenes left me disoriented and unsure of how they tied into the (nonexistent) plot. Other than the meaningless "past" scenes, we are left with the ghost of Mia mourning over her loss and debating her decision in the hospital. That's pretty much it. Mia walks around the hospital, randomly thinks about her past (cue flashback), we return the the present and Mia wakes up. The end.

The characters were so flat. There was not a single character that I felt for in this book. NOT ONE. Because we were never introduced to the characters, there was no development. Even when Mia was experiencing an emotional crisis, I did not give a flying fart. It was as if a stranger was breaking down in front of me. I feel bad for them, but I'm not feeling my heart wrenched out with them. Which is why I did not shed a single tear at the end of the book. I was calm, composed and a little disbelieving that the story just ended so abruptly.

The pacing was all wrong. Well... there wasn't really any pacing. Because there was no excitement or emotion to keep you going. It was as if the whole book was an introduction... I was skimming at the beginning, anxious to get to the climax. But the climax never came, and before I knew it, I had finished the book.
I know other love it (hey, you might too) but I really didn't like it. It was a bore and a chore to get through. Cool, that rhymes ;)

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