The last thing Mia remembers after the fatal car crash is hearing a Beethoven sonata continue to play through the old Buick’s radio, even though the car looks completely crushed. She slowly realizes that while it feels like she’s walking around the scene of the accident, her body is actually lying in a ditch, bloodied and limp. She quickly realizes her parents are dead, and sees the paramedics attending her little brother, Teddy.
The book details seventeen-year-old Mia’s next twenty-four hours, as she decides if she wants to continue living, without the love and comfort of her family. In a coma, she watches the doctors and nurses tend to her, and comes to realize that it’s up to her to decide “if I stay.” The most important parts of her life are told in her own thoughts and flashbacks: her gifted cello playing and audition for the renowned Juilliard School, her close-knit family which she actually enjoys spending time with, her rocker boyfriend Adam who she’d have to leave behind in Oregon if she goes to Juilliard, and her longtime best friend Kim who begs her to hang on. “Please don’t die. If you die, there’s going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school… I know you’d hate that kind of thing.”
I have to admit that I cried A LOT while reading this book. It touched me so much that she was so loved and faced such hard decisions as a teenager. Be sure to have a box of tissues handy–you’ll need them. This book will surely make my top 10 list for this year!