Genre: Teen Fiction
The cover is very cute and attention-grasping, and it matches the story very nicely. It convey's the same mood that is maintained throughout the story--sad yet hopeful. The title also fits perfectly with the theme of the story. When Lila attempts to commit suicide, she is left in a coma where she views the reactions of her friends and family through an out-of-body experience. Because of this glimpse, she begins to realize that she is missed and that she has worth, as the title expresses.
The descriptions and explanations are extremely thorough and clear. The beginning of the story is quite poetic, and it is written in a way that gives the audience insight purely on how Lila was feeling. There weren't any other characters or places mentioned, which greatly contributed to the emphasis on Lila's thoughts. In the second chapter, everything becomes clear and the audience is introduced to many new characters and the setting of the story.
The buildup was very nicely thought-out and written, and the cliffhanger at the end of the first chapter smoothly drew the audience into the rest of the story. The variety of characters allows the reader to find somebody who he/she can relate to, and the writing style forces the audience to think deeply about the events that are occurring within the story.
The pace of the story is very quick but consistent and entertaining. The audience can clearly picture the setting at all times and the characters are constantly clearly portrayed. The story never becomes boring, and each of the events link nicely to the rest of the story.
Chapter 2: "He waited for her reply but she just shaked her head at him." Here, the word "shaked" should be changed to "shook."
Chapter 2: "I know it shattered you're heart." In this case, the word "you're" should be changed to "your." The word "your" is possessive whereas "you're" means "you are."
Chapter 2: "You're smile could make the saddest soul happy and the coldest hearts thaw." Same problem here as I mentioned above.
Chapter 4: "He'd been cheating on me and I have way to much respect for myself to ignore it, you know?" Here, the word "to" should be changed into "too."
One thing that you could keep an eye out for are scene transitions. For example, in Chapter 3, I would sometimes get confused between what was happening in the present versus Lila's flashbacks. Although the scenes from the past were written in italics, it was a bit jumpy from the present to the past. Perhaps you could include some subtle transition words to make it more clear to the reader that you are switching to a scene from the past or to the present. In Chapter 4, however, you made it very clear that you were switching to a past scene by writing "*Four months earlier*." If you did this with all transitioning scenes, I feel that the audience would be able to follow along much more easily.
The characters are each very unique and individual, yet they all have links to one another. All readers can find a relatable character, and their personalities and actions are never extremely over-exaggerated. They are each quite realistic in different ways and they have their own thoughts and feelings that bring them all together.
I really enjoy how each of the chapters are written around different characters. This allows the audience to understand each of them very closely and see how they all feel about each other. The variety of different characters is very interesting to read. However, the way that the chapters are labelled made them a bit difficult to understand at first. For example, in Chapter 3, the word "Zach" is underlined at the top. Because of this, I expected the chapter to be written from Zach's point-of-view, not from Lila's viewpoint about Zach. I caught onto this quickly enough, but the beginning of the chapter was a bit confusing because of this. Perhaps you could remove the label about who the story is following at that point, and maybe just use Lila to smoothly follow the characters through without any abrupt beginnings.
I particularly love the little poems/stories that are included between chapters. They very clearly summarize the mood and purpose of the chapter, and the audience knows what to expect as they continue reading.
Overall, the story was very beautifully written and extremely enticing. It was very interesting to read the story from the "view" of so many different people and see how Lila's story unravelled, as well as the other characters.
Any fans of "If I Stay" will love this story!
*Analysis is based on the first 5 chapters