Sunday, March 22, 2015

If I Stay: A Book Review

I have heard so many wonderful things about Gayle Forman, so I thought I would add this book to my Project 10 list and finally check out one of her novels!  Plus If I Stay was just recently made into a movie so I thought I would start with that one!  I thought that this book was incredibly beautiful and like nothing that I have read before … I would definitely recommend it!

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If IStay #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publication Date: April 2, 2009
Pages: 201
Out in Paperback?: Yes; April 6, 2010
My Rating: 4.5/5

Goodreads 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.


I thought that the main character, Mia, was such any interesting character to read about throughout the novel, and I love how she develops.  In the beginning of the novel, we get to see her with her family – her parents and her younger brother.  I think we really get to see who she is while talking with her parents; I love the relationship they have.  It is very laid back and casual with a great sense of humor between them.  I also love how caring Mia is to her younger brother, acting almost like a mother figure.  I think these characters are very realistic and loved their dialogue.  I also really liked Mia’s boyfriend, Adam; he was another very realistic character, who has a great heart as he tries to do all he can to help Mia.


The plot of this novel sucked me in right away!  After Mia and her entire family get into a car accident, she ends up in the hospital fighting for her life.  On the back of the book, the summary states that Mia is “stuck between life and death.”  I think that this book is so unique in that aspect, and it was very interesting to read about Mia’s thoughts and feelings as they changed and developed throughout the story.  The only thing that I didn’t care for is one moment when Adam is fighting to see Mia, and he creates a whole fiasco in the hospital wing … felt it was a tad unrealistic as the situation continued for quite a while.  Other than that minor annoyance, I really enjoyed the novel and watching Mia’s character grow.

Writing Style:

I really enjoyed Gayle Forman’s writing style!  I loved how this novel wasn’t broken up into chapters but more like a constant stream throughout the night of the accident.  I also loved how she wrote in almost-constant flashbacks.  With these flashbacks frequently sprinkled in with the timeline of the accident, we were able to really get to know the characters, including the family and Adam, as well as continue with the action at a great pace.

Movie Review:

I really enjoyed this movie!  I didn’t know too many of the actors from other movies, but I thought that they all did a wonderful job!  As far as comparing the movie to the book, I really thought that the two were very similar (there was maybe a few scenes that were a bit different, but nothing too drastic).  I’ll be honest, I actually had a few tears in my eyes toward the end of the movie (the scene where her Grandpa is talking to her in the hospital), and that’s how I knew that it was a wonderful movie and a great adaptation!

I definitely loved this book and cannot wait to check out the sequel, Where She Went!  Have you read either of these books?  Any others that you would recommend by Gayle Forman?

FTC Disclaimer:
All items mentioned were purchased by me.  This is not a sponsored post.  All opinions are my own.  No affiliate links were used.

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