Tuesday, October 26, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

What if you had to make the decision whether to live or die? Now this may seem like an obvious answer for some, but for Mia, there is no easy answer.

Mia has everything that she needs in her life and is perfectly happy. She has lively, retired rocker parents and a rambunctious little brother named Teddy. Mia and her best friend, Kim are always together, and they know everything about each other. She even finds a rockstar boyfriend, Adam, who shares her great love for music. A prodigy at the cello, she will almost certainly be accepted to Juilliard after her phenomonal audition. Her lone worry is having to leave Adam if she moves to New York to go to Juilliard. "I'm calling it 'The Girlfriend's-Going-to-Juilliard-Leaving-My-Punk-Heart-in-Shreds-Blues," Adam tells Mia (Forman 212).

But everything changes in the blink of an eye. Mia and her family get into a car accident, killing her parents and brother, and leaving Mia in a serious coma. For some reason, Mia is outside her body though and can see everything that is going on around her. As she observes her surroundings at the hospital, she recounts many significant events in her life from her first cello recital to her first date with Adam.

While in the ICU, one nurse helps Mia to understand her out of body experience. The nurse says, "She's running the show" (Forman 87). Mia quickly realizes that it is her decision whether she will live or die. So should Mia choose to live without her family or should she leave behind Adam, her friends, and grandparents and the great life ahead of her?

1)If you were in Mia's situation, so young and with a great life ahead of you but no family to come home to, would you choose to live or die? Why do many people value their family so much?

2) Two repeated themes throughout the book are about making sacrifices and choices. What are some differences and similarities between these two words, and how do they shape our lives?

3) Many times throughout our lives, we have to deal with great loss. Why do you think we are able to move on with our lives after loss? Does our love for the people we lose ever die?

9 comments:

Vanessa D. 13-14 said...

To answer number one, I would choose to live. Sure it would be hard to go on with no blood related family, but I feel that family consists of the people who you surround yourself with and who cares about you. At such a young age I would want to keep experienceing life as it comes to me. I would want to move out, go to school, travel the world, get a great job, get married, etc etc. I would not be able to leave my future and choosen family behind.

I feel that people value their family because they know family is always there. If you ever need any assistance or just simply someone to turn to, it is said that one always has their family.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

Vanessa, I greatly agree with what you said. It would be very hard to live without my family, but being the same age as Mia in the book, there is so much more that I want to experience in life. I also don't think that my family would want me to miss out on these oppurtunities.

Also, I believe that is a major reason that people value their families so much. People come and go throughout our life, but family will always be there.

KatherineS13-14 said...

In response to question 3, I believe that we are able to move on with our lives after a loss because we have to. If we did not deal with these losses, we would be stuck in our past and never move forward. Some people don't deal with losses, and they do nothing with the rest of their lives. Those that deal with the loss continue to thrive in their lives. The love felt for the people that have died never goes away, and I know that from personal experience. I think everyone has lost someone important in their life, and every person will tell you that their love for the lost person is still there. Love never dies, even after the person we love dies.

Bojana D 11.12 said...

1. I would choose to live because even though your family isn't there with you, they would want the best for you and that's obviously life. I know going through a terrible loss like that would take a lot of courage and patience, but to end your life willingly at such a young age is a mistake. To overcome the loss of one's family would only make him or her stronger.


I think people value family so much because no matter what family is there for you. Friends come and go over the years but unlike friends, "you can't choose your family." Family will always have some type of connection to each other.

CorinneS5/6 said...

Its hard to imagine such a tough situation but I hope that I would make the choice to live. I think that Mia's parents and brother who died woud want her to live on an carry on their legacy through her music. To live live without your parents though is a scary thought. Family is i solid rock that you can lean back on when every other realtionship is falling apart. Family is so important because they will always forgive and accept you for who you are, and to go on in life without a definate support system would be difficult.

For #2, choices are always some form of sacrafice because with every choice there is the sacrafice of what you give up. if you choose one college, you are sacraficing another. Even simple choices like teh choice to call your friend makes you sacrifice that time that could be spent another way.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

Katie- I also believe that our love for these people never dies. Our memories that we shared with them keep their spirits alive. Dealing with loss is a great learning experience in our lives, and it only makes us stronger.

Bojana- I agree. Our families would definitely want us to be able to go out and experience life and learn to deal with the grief rather than dying. Also, I believe family is the most important thing in our lives because love within a family is always unconditional.

Corinne- Whether the choices we make are big or small, they effect our lives. In the book, Mia's parents have to sacrifice their music career to start a family, but this is their choice. As we get older, we have to make many important choices, like where to go to college, what to do as a career, etc., and these choices shape our lives. We sacrifice some parts of our life from when we are young to grow old, but I think choices and sacrifices are just a part of growing up.

Kenneth C.M. 13-14 said...

Number 1:
If I were Mia I would choose to live. If she were to get famous and/or rich she could help other people in her situation. For example she could set up a fund to teach instruments to orphans or something along those lines. She will be able to join her family later anyway, so she might as well take advantage of the gifted life she was given.

Laura B. 13-14 said...

2) It is someone's choice to make a sacrifice. It is their decisions through careful thought processes that they chose to relinquish something. Every time a person makes a decision, one thing is sacrificed for another. So in conclusion, sacrifices are the direct result of choices we make.

Kelsey M. 11/12 said...

Kenny: Mia will definitely be able to use her talents to help others. She shouldn't give that up because she really does seem to have a great future ahead of her. She also has the chance to turn a negative situation into a positive one.

Laura: I agree that the choices we make lead to sacrifices. Sacifices are usually to make things better even if they are hard for the person to do, but choices can be good or bad.