Are you going to read it? You better. Don’t make me come over there.
I read a lot of my friends’ books in draft. As I’m reading, I think hard about what to say, what to praise, what to suggest (gently). As I read Gayle’s book, I didn’t think. I got completely lost in the story. I fell completely in love with the characters. I forgot I was supposed to be offering input. Josie (then seven) wandered in and got as glued to my computer screen as I was. I hated to tear my eyes away to muscle her out of the room as she peppered me with questions about head injury.
“THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR YOU” I told her, attempting to slam the door in her face.
“BUT I NEED TO KNOW WHAT HAPPENS TO MIA!” she wailed.
When I got to the end of If I Stay, I was sobbing. (The book is not a total downer, btw. It’s hilarious and page-turner-y. But it is really moving and really life-affirming. Don’t let the fact that I was a blotchy heaving mess catharting all over the place deter you.) I called Gayle and got her voicemail. When she picked up the message, she told me she had an initial stab of terror: I was crying so hard she thought something horrible had happened to my family. Not so much. Something wonderful had happened to my brain! A totally kickass book! WHOO! It is great to have the awesomeness confirmed by readers, award-givers, film producers.
And Gayle just IM’d me to say she also made Amazon’s list of top 10 YA novels of 2009! Yay!