The Bawdy Book Blog
This is the kind of book that leaves you in shambles when it’s over.
Mia is a gifted musician with plans to go to Julliard. She has wacky but lovable parents who are reformed hippies/musicians themselves and a hipster rocker boyfriend who is paving his way to stardom. She has everything going for her – until she doesn’t.
I spent a good portion of If I Stay waiting for the “good parts” e.g. the part where she wakes up and everyone hugs it out. What I didn’t realize is that it wasn’t necessarily about that. Oh, it was technically about that, but it was more about the means and not the ends.
If I Stay is told in befores and afters. There is no real sequential order to the events in the Befores and it took me some time (possibly because I’m slow like that) to realize, it wasn’t her remembering anything, but literally her life was flashing before her eyes. And that’s when I fell in love with this book. What we think can take moments before death or near-death took her a day, and it’s hard to believe this entire book only progresses over a day when we get to see Mia’s lifetime. We experience her acceptance into Julliard, her first kiss with Adam, her first time in a mosh pit even though she’s a classical musician, the day her baby brother Teddy was born. Meanwhile in the Nows, we experience her realization that her family may have been killed in the collision and she must come to terms while she is in her coma with whether or not she even wants to live. Her experience is truly spine-tingling.
All of the characters were great. I don’t know what else to say about them, except that I wish I had them in my life LOL. They made me laugh, they made me cry, and they felt real to me.
If I Stay is raw emotion. I ripped my heart out and stomped all over it, and left me wanting more. I can’t wait to read the next book in Mia’s story and have my heart broken all over again.
Kirsten Potter was a pretty good narrator. She was on point with voices and inflections and I enjoyed the book told from her perspective. I’ll definitely be looking for more audios by her.
I don’t think that I can give The Fault In Our Stars the praise it most certainly deserves. So let me tell you a little story:
I’m driving down I-95 on my way to South Carolina last weekend to see my family for my cousin’s wedding. I decided I’d finish The Fault In Our Stars by John Green, because I had started it the weekend before and 7 hours in the car was the perfect time for some interrupted audiobook listening (without my boyfriend mocking me, I might add).
John Green’s writing nearly caused 1) an accident, because I was getting so wrapped up in the story, that I was spacing out and not really paying attention to the road (did I mention it rained my entire drive down?), and 2) me to pull over because The Fault In Our Stars caused me such excruciatingly painful (and awesome!) feels, that I didn’t think I could keep driving.
I had to turn it off and listen to Ke$ha for a little while. True story.
This was my first John Green novel. It won’t be my last. I Loved it with a capital “L”. Yep, capital “L” Love. The exquisite and emotional story tugged at me in ways very few novels have. I can probably tick them off on one hand, honestly. Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters are like two star-crossed lovers in my mind. Fated, but their infinity together is unfairly small. Bound together by cancer, they bond, not just with each other, but with the idea that they will not live forever, so they MUST LIVE NOW. And live they do.
John Green doesn’t keep The Fault In Our Stars all sobs and heartbreak. He somehow knows what it’s like, that to have cancer, you must have a sense of humor about life and all the things in it. So many scenes, or small quotes from the characters themselves had me laughing out loud. I quickly fell in love with all of them. The story told from a teenaged girl’s point-of-view is brilliant brilliant BRILLIANT with a capital B. I’ve only been on one side of cancer; now I can say I’ve been on the other, through Hazel and Gus.
So, spoiler alert, we’re talking about kids with cancer. There is no happily-ever-after in this story. There is only before and after. I appreciated the realistic concept, rather than a, “Surprise! You’re cured!” approach I think some authors would take. Green is not afraid to make his readers feel, or think. And that’s what The Fault In Our Stars does: it makes you think, about life, death, mortality, the Before and the After, and what you are making of your life now.
Basically what I’m saying is, this book deserves the highest praise and I bow down its greatness and John Green.