Monday, February 22, 2010

Review of If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Pages: 199
Pub. Date: April 9, 2009
Genre: YA Realistic Fiction
My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "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 heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands."

Mia is a talented cellist with a promising life ahead of her. She has supportive parents,  a fun-loving brother and a dreamy boyfriend who loves her for who she is.  Her biggest decision that she currently faces is whether she should go to New York City and study at Julliard, or stay in Oregon to be close to her family and boyfriend.  Her future looks so hopeful until one February morning her family gets into a car accident and her life is changed forever.  If I Stay is definitely not a carefree beach read.  It touches on topics that we like to hide in the back of our minds and decisions that none of us will hopefully ever have to make.

Even though this book is extremely sad, Forman writes beautifully.  I can see why many people are a fan of this novel and Forman's writing style.  I found myself desperately clutching my soggy tissue as I was reading this book in the middle of the night.  I couldn't put it down and tears kept forming in my eyes as Mia's story unfolded.  Mia's despair, anguish, and grief was very real to me.  At parts, I felt this book was similar to Lovely Bones; however, as I continued to read, it became apparent that Mia's story is very different as is Forman's compelling writing style.  Another characteristic of Forman's writing style that I enjoyed was her expert use of flashback.  Although the flashbacks were painful, they were also very necessary. They definitely made the story that much more heartbreaking and real.  

One of my favorite aspects of this book was Mia relationship with Adam.  He is the perfect boyfriend.  I must admit, I was waiting for the bottom to fall out in this relationship. I constantly was holding my breath waiting for Adam to do something stupid or let her down, but he never did. I was shocked. I chalked it up to reading too many paranormal romances where the brooding male sends a myriad of mixed signals that girlfriend needs to decipher like it's the Da Vinci Code. There were no mixed signals or games in Mia and Adam's relationship, which I found to be so refreshing.   I daresay I had a bit of a fictional crush on Adam.  

This book got me thinking about life and the important decisions that sometimes we are faced with.  I'm sure you know what I am talking about....those big decisions that have you up in the middle of the night staring at the cracks on the ceiling. In the end, family, friends and love are what's most important and that is what Gayle Forman poignantly reminds us.

Buy It Here:

Book Trailer:


  1. This looks so good!! It looks really sad too though. Great review!!

  2. I love your review and I loved the book! Th story is sad but Forman manages to write the story with such warmth and humor.

  3. I love book that make me think like this! Great review!

  4. This novel sounds so interesting! It's so refreshing to see a review of a non-fantasy story in this Twilight-ruled world. (Don't get me wrong, I love Twilight - but there are so many spinoffs nowadays, I've been looking for something different.) I love that you included a "book trailer"! I don't think I've ever actually seen one of those before - it's so neat! Thanks so much for writing this review - this book is definitely going on my book list!

  5. Thanks for reading my review, everyone! I appreciate it.


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