Title Page Copyright Page Dedication IF I STAY Acknowledgements
DUTTON BOOKS A member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Published by the Penguin Group | Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014, U.S.A. | Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto, Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.) | PenguinBooks Ltd, 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England | Penguin Ireland, 25 St Stephen’s Green, Dublin 2, Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd) | Penguin Group (Australia), 250 Camberwell Road, Camberwell,Victoria 3124, Australia (a division of Pearson Australia Group Pty Ltd) | Penguin Books India Pvt Ltd, 11 Community Centre, Panchsheel Park, New Delhi - 110 017, India | Penguin Group (NZ), 67Apollo Drive, Rosedale, North Shore 0632, New Zealand (a division of Pearson New Zealand Ltd.) | Penguin Books (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, 24 Sturdee Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg 2196, South Africa | Penguin Books Ltd, Registered Offices: 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination orare used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental. Copyright © 2009 by Gayle Forman “Waiting for Vengeance” © by Oswald Five-0, Serenade , Grinning Idiot Records. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical,including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher, except by a reviewer who wishes to quote brief passages in connection with a review written for inclusion in a magazine, newspaper, or broadcast. The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for authoror third-party websites or their content. eISBN : 978-1-101-04634-0 [1. Coma—Fiction. 2. Death—Fiction. 3. Medical care—Fiction. 4.Violoncellists—Fiction. 5. Family life—Oregon—Fiction. 6. Oregon—Fiction.] I. Title. PZ7.F75876If 2009 [Fic]—dc22 2008023938 Published in the United States by Dutton Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. 345 Hudson Street, New York, New York 10014www.penguin.com/youngreaders http://us.penguingroup.com
FOR NICK Finally . . . Always
IF I STAY 7:09 A.M.
Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true. I wake up this morning to a thin blanket of white covering our front lawn. It isn’t even an inch, but in this part of Oregon a slight dusting brings everything to a standstill as the one snowplow in the county gets busyclearing the roads. It is wet water that drops from the sky—and drops and drops and drops—not the frozen kind. It is enough snow to cancel school. My little brother, Teddy, lets out a war whoop when Mom’s AM radio announces the closures. “Snow day!” he bellows. “Dad, let’s go make a snowman.” My dad smiles and taps on his pipe. He started smoking one recently as part of this whole 1950s, FatherKnows Best retro kick he is on. He also wears bow ties. I am never quite clear on whether all this is sartorial or sardonic—Dad’s way of announcing that he used to be a punker but is now a middle-school English teacher, or if becoming a teacher has actually turned my dad into this genuine throwback. But I like the smell of the pipe tobacco. It is sweet and smoky, and reminds me of winters andwoodstoves. “You can make a valiant try,” Dad tells Teddy. “But it’s hardly sticking to the roads. Maybe you should consider a snow amoeba.” I can tell Dad is happy. Barely an inch of snow means that all the schools in the county are closed, including my high school and the middle school where Dad works, so it’s an unexpected day off for him, too. My mother, who works for a travel agent in town,...