If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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If I stay by Gayle Forman is the story of  a girl with a choice to make; whether to live, or die. The author weaves a wonderful story through time, backwards and forwards, past and present ( pulling together the threads of Mia’s life, her key events, her friends and family) up the point of a terrible accident. It is another example of a story about someone in an “out of body experience”.

Mia is a girl from a musical family but unlike her rock band guitar playing father, she plays the cello. This makes her feel ” as if she [comes] from a different tribe. ” To add to her discomfort she also has a boyfriend in a punk rock band. Mia talks about her mother eventually acquiring a taste for classical music ” like learning to appreciate a stinky cheese”.

The movie opens in New Zealand soon.

Gayle Forman wrote that “music was a huge part of this story [drawing] a lot of inspiration from Yo-Yo Ma – whose own work informs much of Mia’s story – and from Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova, whose song ‘Falling Slowly’ she “probably listened to more than 200 times while working on the book”.

Falling Slowly from the movie Once (2006)

Yo-Yo Ma was born in 1955 to Chinese parents living in Paris. He began to study the cello with his father at the age of four and traveled with his family to New York, where he spent most of his formative years. Later, his principal teacher was Leonard Rose at The Juilliard School.

When Mia auditions for The Juilliard School she has to play five pieces one of which is “a movement from Ennio Morricone’s The Mission, a fun but risky choice because  Yo-Yo Ma had covered this and everyone would compare”.

Mrs H.

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