Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Contemporary
Release date: April 6th, 2010
Pages: 234 (Paperback)
Rating: 4 out of 5
Source: Bought
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... 

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

When Mia woke up on a cold winter morning, she and her family couldn't have been more full of life.  The snow is falling, light and cheerful, and school has been cancelled.  To most, this would be a perfect day to spend with your loved ones, making the best out of the unexpected free time.  When Mia wakes up on the side of the road, she's in a daze.  She can't recall what happened only moments ago, but what she does see is horrifying--the lifeless bodies of her parents thrown from the car.  If I Stay tells the heartbreaking story of a young girl who has to choose between fighting for her life or joining her family and the journey that she recalls to help her decide.

I wasn't sure what to expect when I began the story other than that it would be an emotional roller coaster.  This girl is in critical condition and she's looking at her life from outside her own body, which is a fascinating concept.  She doesn't have much will to live, but over the span of the first 24 hours since the accident, she recalls important events from the past and realizes that the family she lost isn't her only family.  The pacing on this book was perfect and the way the author wrote the story hooked me from the moment I began.

The characters all feel very real, and that's what made me feel the most sympathy for them.  While Mia's family seems a little different than most, you grow to love them the more you dig into Mia's memories.  Her parents were probably my favorites, as well as her best friend Kim and her loving boyfriend, Adam.  We also see the importance of her relationship with her grandparents.  Although they weren't always the closest people to her, they express how much it would wreck them if she were to join her family in death.  The most important relationship, though, is the one that Mia has with herself.

If I Stay will tug on its readers heartstrings.  It's not as heavy as it sounds, but it's definitely touching.  The author's writing style is beautiful, and it's really what made the story worthwhile.  Overall, Mia's story is inspiring, raw and full of emotion.  Anyone who enjoys brilliant and breathtaking prose must get their hands on this.


  1. tnx 4 the review . i so need this book

  2. I also loved this book, for the same reason you did. And I can't wait to read the sequel. Great review :)

  3. I'm so glad that you enjoyed this book, I loved it for all the same reasons as you. I can't wait to hear your thoughts on the sequel!