Reviews

School Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Starred Review. Gr 9 Up-Forman creates a cast of captivating characters and pulls readers into a compelling story that will cause them to laugh, cry, and question the boundaries of family and love. While out on a drive with her family, 17-year-old Mia is suddenly separated from her body and forced to watch the aftermath of the accident that kills her parents and gravely injures her and her younger brother. Far from supernatural, this shift in perspective will be readily accepted by readers as Mia reminisces about significant events and people in her life while her body lies in a coma. Alternating between the past and the present, she reveals the details and complexities of her relationships with family and friends, including the unlikely romance with her punk-rock boyfriend, Adam. An accomplished musician herself, Mia is torn between pursuing her love for music at Julliard and a future with Adam in Oregon. However, she must first choose between fighting to survive and giving in to the resulting sadness and despair over all she has lost. Readers will find themselves engrossed in Mia's struggles and will race to the satisfying yet realistic conclusion. Teens will identify with Mia's honest discussion of her own insecurities and doubts. Both brutal and beautiful, this thought-provoking story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information


Library Journal
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The Lovely Bones meets It's a Wonderful Life. Mia has a big decision to make. One snowy day, her family is killed in a catastrophic accident, while she is thrown from the car and left in a coma. Now it's up to her. Should she stay here or move on, leaving the pain and struggle of life as an orphan? Mia's spirit hovers in the critical care unit as she sorts through her feelings about her family, her music, her boyfriend, and her best friend, Kim. Death would mean the end of hard decisions but also the end of love. Why It Is for Us: Mia's decision is not an easy one. If she moves on, she will join her loving family in whatever comes after but will miss out on life. If she stays, there's so much to enjoy, but she'll face grief and an uncertain future. This honest yet affirming story confronts the truth that all life is a struggle. Every reader who's ever wanted to avoid a painful decision will be compelled by the choice Mia must make.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Forman (Sisters in Sanity, 2007) provides a compelling and highly textured account of the brutal 24 hours that may be 17-year-old Mia's last. Her day starts with a drive, with her loving and moderately punk parents and her effervescent little brother, to a bookstore. A collision with another vehicle leaves Mia's parents dead. The narrative is told in a robust first-person voice, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, and out-of-body reports on her immediate surroundings as Mia is transported, in grave condition, to the hospital. The story then follows the medical efforts to save her life, extended family and friends' efforts to provide emotional care, and Mia's coming to terms with what has happened and what might still await her. Mia, a gifted cellist, finds support from her alt-rock boyfriend and a best friend whose own mother is a hysteric. Mia's recounting of this critical day is laced with insight, good humor, and wonder, allowing the reader to enter the scene as fully as Mia herself seems to have, at least for now, left her broken body. More developed and satisfying than a Lurlene McDaniel drama, Mia's story will engage readers willing to suspend their disbelief that the future can be seen in the present.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2008 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state ("Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this"), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: "Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school," prays Mia's friend Kim. "I know you'd hate that kind of thing." Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) Copyright 2009 Reed Business Information.


School Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Starred Review. Gr 9 Up-Forman creates a cast of captivating characters and pulls readers into a compelling story that will cause them to laugh, cry, and question the boundaries of family and love. While out on a drive with her family, 17-year-old Mia is suddenly separated from her body and forced to watch the aftermath of the accident that kills her parents and gravely injures her and her younger brother. Far from supernatural, this shift in perspective will be readily accepted by readers as Mia reminisces about significant events and people in her life while her body lies in a coma. Alternating between the past and the present, she reveals the details and complexities of her relationships with family and friends, including the unlikely romance with her punk-rock boyfriend, Adam. An accomplished musician herself, Mia is torn between pursuing her love for music at Julliard and a future with Adam in Oregon. However, she must first choose between fighting to survive and giving in to the resulting sadness and despair over all she has lost. Readers will find themselves engrossed in Mia's struggles and will race to the satisfying yet realistic conclusion. Teens will identify with Mia's honest discussion of her own insecurities and doubts. Both brutal and beautiful, this thought-provoking story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Library Journal
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

The Lovely Bones meets It's a Wonderful Life. Mia has a big decision to make. One snowy day, her family is killed in a catastrophic accident, while she is thrown from the car and left in a coma. Now it's up to her. Should she stay here or move on, leaving the pain and struggle of life as an orphan? Mia's spirit hovers in the critical care unit as she sorts through her feelings about her family, her music, her boyfriend, and her best friend, Kim. Death would mean the end of hard decisions but also the end of love. Why It Is for Us: Mia's decision is not an easy one. If she moves on, she will join her loving family in whatever comes after but will miss out on life. If she stays, there's so much to enjoy, but she'll face grief and an uncertain future. This honest yet affirming story confronts the truth that all life is a struggle. Every reader who's ever wanted to avoid a painful decision will be compelled by the choice Mia must make.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

*Starred Review* Forman (Sisters in Sanity, 2007) provides a compelling and highly textured account of the brutal 24 hours that may be 17-year-old Mia's last. Her day starts with a drive, with her loving and moderately punk parents and her effervescent little brother, to a bookstore. A collision with another vehicle leaves Mia's parents dead. The narrative is told in a robust first-person voice, with flashbacks, flash-forwards, and out-of-body reports on her immediate surroundings as Mia is transported, in grave condition, to the hospital. The story then follows the medical efforts to save her life, extended family and friends' efforts to provide emotional care, and Mia's coming to terms with what has happened and what might still await her. Mia, a gifted cellist, finds support from her alt-rock boyfriend and a best friend whose own mother is a hysteric. Mia's recounting of this critical day is laced with insight, good humor, and wonder, allowing the reader to enter the scene as fully as Mia herself seems to have, at least for now, left her broken body. More developed and satisfying than a Lurlene McDaniel drama, Mia's story will engage readers willing to suspend their disbelief that the future can be seen in the present.--Goldsmith, Francisca Copyright 2008 Booklist


Publishers Weekly
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state ("Am I dead? I actually have to ask myself this"), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: "Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school," prays Mia's friend Kim. "I know you'd hate that kind of thing." Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living. Ages 14-up. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved