Thursday, August 14, 2014

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
By Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 2, 2009
Source: Own Copy
Summary: Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it's the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Review: I can't even tell you how long I've had this book sitting on my shelf. I've heard for awhile now how great of a read it is, but I just haven't had the time to read it among all of the other books I have on my shelves. With the movie release quickly approaching, though, I knew I had to read this one before seeing it come alive on the big screen. 

17-year-old Mia is at a point in her life where her future is completely unknown. Does she try to achieve her dreams of playing music? Even if it means losing her boyfriend Adam and leaving her family behind? She just doesn't know. But when she's in a car crash with her family, none of those choices matter except whether or not she can bring herself back into a life that will have drastically changed forever.

Wow. From page one, I absolutely fell in love with Mia's family and how quirky they were. They truly loved each other and her parents created an environment that truly cherished Mia as a person. That being said, when they were involved in that crash shortly after being introduced, my heart instantly went out to them. How could that happen to such genuinely good, fun loving people? I think that the way Gayle Forman tugged on our emotions and formed that bond between the reader and the characters involved in Mia's life truly put us into Mia's mind and allowed us to understand what she was going through as she was in a coma. 

I think that the state Mia was in, not quite a ghost but still outside of her body, was perfect for telling her story the way it was told. (As a side note, I absolutely loved the Ghost reference. So appropriate because that's what I immediately thought of with Mia's situations). Most of the story was told as flashbacks of Mia's past life while she was presently witnessing her loved ones waiting for her to wake up from her coma after the accident. When you think about it, nothing really happens all that much in the present except for Mia reliving her past and what she loves most about her life. That being said, though, there was so much that contributed to the emotional dilemma Mia was facing now. We got to see her love for her family, how her relationship with Adam developed, her passion for her music, and her connection to her best friend. If I Stay reminds you of the most important components of life and cherishes those moments with those you love the most. 

The one thing I didn't like? It was so short. Seriously, I was reading, reading, reading, and it just ended. I thought I had a good 20 pages left, but that was all discussion guides and a preview of the next book. I was so sad that it was over so soon! I could have read a good 200 more pages of that book, which I guess I'll have to wait for the next book to get. I definitely can't wait to see this movie and read Where She Went to see what happens next in Mia's story.


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    1. I'm so glad you liked it. If I Stay is easily one of my all time favorites!
      The trailer for the movie looks good too! I can't wait to see it.

      Ifrah @ Brain On Pause


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