indefinite hiatus; i may not come back to the blog, but I'll leave it up anyway if anyone wants to take a look at any old posts etc. :)

Monday, April 18, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton
Pub. Date: January 1, 2009
Length: 196 Pages
Series: If I Stay #1
Summary (from author's website):
On a day that started like any other…
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the one decision she has left—the most important decision she’ll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

My Thoughts: Books as breathtaking as If I Stay are few and far between. There are books you put on your favorite shelf and there are books that you want to carry with you all the time, just because they were that beautiful. Again, If I Stay is one of those books. This is a reread, to refresh my mind on the book for  when I read Where She Went and to finally get a review up, yet I am still amazing by If I Stay.  It's one of those books you just want to recommend to everyone and rave about until your throat hurts.

One of the great things about emotional books is that while they may be sad, they touch your heart and stay with you for a long, long time.  These books make you think quite a lot, cry, and sometimes even laugh, making them (in my opinion) one of the best types of books you can read. 

It's a rare thing that I either like or love every character in a book, but in If I Stay, I did.  Her parents, Teddy, her grandparents, Kim, Adam.... everyone was wonderful. I felt as if I knew them all very well, despite having never actually met them in the present tense during the story. I  love how Mia took the time to revisit moments of her life, the important ones and simple ones, as if she is trying to hold onto those memories and keep her family together the way it was before the accident, undamaged. 

Despite the small length of this book, a mere 196 pages, it felt unrushed and full. Gayle Forman's writing is beautiful, enhancing the novel in ways others' writings could simply not do. Her story gripped me tightly right from the start and didn't let go until the last word. My suggestion? Read If I Stay. Then, once you have been captivated by it, go read Adam's story,  Where She Went. I have no doubt that it will be as amazing, if not better, than If I Stay.


  1. I loved this book. I saw an excerpt somewhere and that alone made my breath hitch so I can only imagine the tears that'll be coming once I reread it. Really need to get my hands on Where She Went!

  2. It's on my TBR list. I need to get it soon.

  3. Okay, i'm sold. It sounds pretty tragic, but I'll take tragic ending in uplifting.

  4. Such a lovely review. I have yet to pick up this book but I hear it is worth reading. I think you make it sound like I've been missing out.

    Stop by to see my teaser or recent review at For the Love of Reading @ http://ikissbooks.blogspot.com/

    Mad Scientist

  5. I completely agree in that emotional books touch you to the core- and this is what I expect from a book anyway.

  6. Emotional books carries you on the scene itself. Can boost your emotion to the character itself. Feels love and affection of the story.

  7. IF I STAY is a short read, but it packs so much in and I wanted to savor every moment. At times I found myself reading slower and drinking in the words because I didn't want the story to end.
    The story centers around music: Mia with her cello, Adam with his band, and Mia's dad being a drummer, and Gayle Forman's writing felt lyrical. She was able to capture music and put it into a book. I don't know how to describe it, but it was like I was reading a song - hopefully that makes sense! Music is such an important part of the book, Gayle Forman has included a playlist for the book on her website. I loved checking out the songs that went along with the story and listening to them when Mia did.


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