Sunday, May 30, 2010

2 stories told over one day.

The books are read, and for once I have a minute to blog at the same time as the books being in the building.
So I started on 'If I Stay' by Gayle Forman. It's a shorter book than I would usually go for, but on reading the back and being in one of my thinking-about-life-and-it's-shortness moods, I picked it.
Imagine if all your choices were gone. Except one. And it's the only one that really matters.
The last thing Mia remembers is the music.
After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parent's car - even though she can't feel a thing.
All she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her.
As the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash - and what could come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all.
If she stays...

Now, I'm not saying at all that this book is a great work: the overall plot is pretty easily presictable and the writing is simple and unsophisticated. But anyone who reads this is sure to come out the other side thinking differently about their life and their own mortality. Two lines in the book really surprised me when on reading them tears immediately sprang to my eyes... I always like that in a book, when I laugh out loud or get watery eyes. The book uses the "kiss-of-death" style of writing that is flashbacks, but it does definitely work in keeping you in suspense about what Mia's decision will be, though really it is easy to guess. But I found myself wanting to skip through the flashbacks to get to the conclusion, sadly not down to the suspense but due to finding that the flashbacks could get a teensy bit dull.
'If I Stay' has been released as a book for adults but I would say that the style it is written in with basic and simple sentences makes it more suited to a younger teenaged audience.

'The Weight of Silence' by Heather Gudenkauf was more my kind of thing, though I wasn't as blown away as I'd hoped:
It happens quietly one August morning. Two families awake to find their little girls are missing.
Calli Clark is a dreamer. A sweet, gentle girl, Calli suffers from selective mutism, brought on by a tradgedy she experienced as a toddler. Her mother Antonia tries her best to help, but is trapped in a marriage to a violent husband.
Petra Gregory is Calli's best friend, her soul mate and her voice. But neither Petra or Calli have been heard from since their disappearance was discovered.
Now Calli and Petra's families are bound by the question of what has happened to their children. As support turns to suspicion, it seems the answers lie trapped in the silence of unspoken secrets.

Though this time the writing was more sophisticated, the conclusion was still quite predictable. I love books where you see the story from several characters' perspectives so it worked for me! You are held by the suspense created by switching characters, but as I said, it is predictable in that when I found out at the very end who is to blame, I was not really shocked or surprised. There was no real twist or change of pace in the book which I found disappointing.

I realised neither of those "reviews" are overly-positive, but I would actually reccommend both of these books! It's just that if I could re-do, they would be books I had borrowed from the library or something rather than bought myself :)

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