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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
Pub. Date: April 2009
Age Range: 12 and up

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.

*Spoiler* While I normally don’t include spoilers in my reviews – There is a scene mentioned from the book – You have been warned!

If I Stay is an intense and powerful story centered on music, family, love, hopes and dreams and choices about life and death. Gayle did a fantastic job, the writing is beautiful. I love how Mia reflects on her life, which builds up to the decision that she has to make should she stay or go. This was a quick and engrossing read I had to know Mia’s decision. I was completely engaged in Mia’s story that I was moved to tears. Gayle’s writing is that powerful you can’t help but be consumed by the story.

There are so many heartfelt moments in this novel that I absolutely have to mention one in particular. As I said before I don’t like including spoilers in my reviews but I’m going to make an exception for this book. I totally lost it during this scene with Mia and her Grandfather.

Gramps: “It’s Okay,” he tells me. “If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.”
Gramps: “But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”

As I was losing it with this scene, my daughter is sitting in my lap and turns around and sees me crying, she rubs my face and says “ Mommy it’s okay,” she has no clue what’s going on, she’s only 2 and that only made it worse. I had to take a breather and recollect myself before I could continue reading this book. I’ll let you ponder that.

I asked Gayle this question in an interview and this was her response:

What question are you never asked in interviews but wish you were?
I get asked a lot of questions and you asked some unusual ones here. I get asked all the time if there is going to be a sequel but nobody asks me what how I think the characters in "If I Stay" fare in the future. Which is funny because I've thought about that a lot. See what I mean about letting go? It's hard.

I would love to see more of the characters and I can understand how it’s hard to let go of the characters after reading this novel as I did not want the story to end.

Rating: 5 out 5 Stars


  1. I really want to read this now! Great Review! :) (The interview was interesting as well!)

  2. Haha, as soon as I read this book I wrote to her wanting to know if there is a sequel! I would for there to be! I just can't leave the characters behind.

  3. Just wanted to give you the heads-up that your blog was mentioned as A Book Blogger’s New Discovery by Debbie’s World of Books.

  4. This book is amazing. I adored it. I truly hugged it when I was finished as I wiped the tears from my eyes.

    Loved your review and your excerpt was one of my favs.

  5. I loved this book. That scene made me cry too and I really hope there is a sequel.

  6. I won the arc from you blog and I just finished reading it last night and your review says it all! The part with her grandpa completely did it in for me. This book was wonderful, thanks!


  7. If I Stay is moving, touching and beautifully written. It's so gripping that you have to read all two hundred and seven pages in one go, and is sure to be one of the year's most talked about releases. With brilliant characters that easily come to life, as well as a story so memorable and meaningful, I'd say that Gayle Forman is well on her way to Alice Sebold-like superstardom.


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