Tag Archives: Music

If I Stay by Gayle Forman


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.


Although Marie Lu began working at Disney on their video games, and then went on to making Facebook games she really always wanted to be a writer, and as a writer she is an inspiration for all beginners. She began writing seriously when she was 14, but it was only when she had submitted her manuscript for Legend five times that it was accepted by G.P. Putnam’s Sons publishers. 

One of her pieces of advice for aspiring writers is: “Read. Always. You don’t have to be capable of reading 250 novels every year like some amazing folks are. (I’ll admit that I’m a very slow reader and am probably only capable of really digesting about 25 books a year.) But you have to love to read. You have to constantly keep updated on what other authors are producing in your genre as well as outside of it. Know your industry. And most importantly, you have to read because you have a duty as a writer to support your fellow writers.”

Legend is the start of an exciting trilogy – the three books in the trilogy are:

·       Legend

·       Prodigy

·      Champion

There is no slow build up setting the scene, no explanation of how everything works, you start on page one and you are immediately  dropped into the thick of the action. A war is raging in America and events of life and death are taking place. Each chapter tells the story from the perspective of either June, or Day, two young people who are very similar but on opposite sides of the system.  Legend is a book about false loyalties and misunderstandings. It also about a rich political elite ruling a poor population who are struggling to survive in harsh conditions.  Sarah Rees Brennan, author of The Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy writes that Legend is “A compelling dystopic world, with diverse characters, high tension and political intrigue. It’s a cliche, but really: if you liked the Hunger Games, you’ll love this.” If you are the kind of person that likes to have a soundtrack playing for atmosphere as you read your books, then Marie Lu suggests this music.

Legend may also soon appear as a film. In July 2012 Marie Lu talked to MTV News about a screenplay being completed and passed on to CBS Films who hold the film rights so watch this space.

Mrs H.