Saturday, March 31, 2012

There's always another side to the story


A book written in first person can be tricky—if I don’t trust what the narrator says happens then the story never really sucks me in.  Despite all the rave reviews, that’s how I felt about Gayle Forman’s If I Stay .  The narrator is Mia, a 17-year-old very talented cellist, whose life is ripped apart after a horrific accident. Her family's car is struck, and her mother, father, and only sibling, her younger brother, are killed. She finds herself standing outside of her body trying desperately to comprehend what happened. She is in a coma, suspended between life and death. As her body lies mangled in the hospital and her extended family and friends rally to her side, she reviews her life and comes to realize that it's up to her to choose whether to stay or leave.

In Where She Went, Forman decides to do what I often wish authors would do—she tells the rest of the story (overlapping with the first) and this time, we have Mia’s boyfriend Adam as narrator.  His story picks up three years later and Adam’s life has both hit the big time and fallen completely to ruins. After the car accident that nearly killed Mia and the choices she made upon recovery (life=yes, Adam=no), he has poured all his heartbreak into songwriting, gotten the fame he always wanted, and become a pill-popping, angst-ridden shadow of his former self. The emotion in his story seems so much more genuine, rawer and angry, yet he still can look at himself and laugh. Ironically enough, from his perspective I learned to like and understand Mia more as well. He is in New York, waiting for his band’s first big tour or Europe, when he sees an advertisement for Mia's recital and decides to go, just so he can see her one more time.  I think I’ve given you enough spoilers for one post, so you will just have to read what Adam and Mia go through in the next twenty four hours yourself!

No comments:

Post a Comment

What can I post on your wall?
Commenting & Posting Guidelines

Welcome to your library on social media!

Pima County Public Library (PCPL) offers blogs and other social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter for educational, cultural, civic, customer service, and recreational purposes. They provide a limited (or designated) public forum to facilitate the sharing of ideas, opinions, and information about library-related subjects and issues.

By choosing to comment or post on our social media accounts, you agree with the following:

Comments and posts are moderated by library staff, and the library reserves the right to remove any that are unlawful or off topic. Posts containing the following may be deleted:
Copyright violations
Off-topic comments
Commercial material/spam/solicitation
Sexual content, or links to sexual content
Threatening or harassing postings
Libelous or other kinds of personal attacks
Conduct or encouragement of illegal activity
Content that reveals private, personal information without permission
Vulgar language or content
Comments in support of or in opposition to political campaigns or ballot measures
Content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, disability or other classification

P.S. Protect your privacy. Don't post personally identifying information in these public spaces, including details like your library card number, phone number, or medical information, etc.

Young people under age 18, especially, should not post information such as your school, age, phone number, and address.