Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Monday November 5, 2012 at 3:00 am |

Publisher: Penguin Group
Published: April 6, 2010
Copyright: 2009
Pages: 262
Form: Paperback
Series: If I Stay  (1)
Author: Site | Facebook | Twitter
Buy The BookB&N |  Book Depository

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 only 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

Simply put I was blown away by this book.  The sweetness, the simplicity, and it’s subtle beauty made for an honest and incredible read.  Mia Hall’s life is seemingly perfect.  She has a devoted boyfriend who shares her love of music and whose rock band is on the rise, an adorable and loving little brother named Teddy, and some very cool, supportive and understanding parents.  Not to mention she is practically a shoe in as a cellist for the illustrious Julliard.  Unexpectedly tragedy strikes in the form of a horrific car accident that claims the lives of her family, and leaves Mia hovering between the mysterious abyss of life and death.  Witnessing, in limbo, all that is going on, Mia is suddenly faced with a decision much more difficult than choosing between going to Julliard and sticking around for her boyfriend.  Mia must decide whether she should join her family in the afterlife, or if she should stay.

I can’t even explain how heart wrenching this story was.  It definitely took me through a gamut of emotions.  As Mia looks on through her various surgeries and medical procedures, she begins to recount significant events in her life involving her family and friends.  She gives us very detailed glimpses of the people who mean the most to her, and how they all helped to shape and mold the person that Mia is today.

Mia shows the reader the hilarious way in which she became thick as thieves with her best friend Kim, her dedication to practicing her cello, what she experienced on her awkward first date with Adam, and the way she marveled at her unconventional parents and they’re unique brand of wisdom.  There was no part of her life left untouched and I felt like I really got to know her and all of the people in her life.  She reminisces on her past with such love and fondness for those who’ve helped to create and shape her world, and now she must summon the courage to decide whether or not her life will go on.  With one final plea and promise from her boyfriend Adam, Mia contemplates death while considering her life, what it was, and what it will be.  Either decision will render her leaving behind people she loves.

Overall, WONDERFUL book!  I loved it so much I immediately read the follow up book Where She Went.  If you love YA and don’t mind the heavy topics, this is a fantastic book to pick up and read!

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Jade is a book blogger from NC. In her spare time she loves to read and build and maintain websites. She has been reading since she was four and building websites since she was 16. was born on March 8, 2011 and is a fantastic merging of her two favorite hobbies. Enjoy your stay!

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4 Responses to “Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman”

  1. I read this one last year, but I haven’t gotten around to Where She Went yet! *adds to library list*

  2. Jade Jade says:

    Loved them both! I think if you enjoyed this one you’ll have no problems getting into the next book!

  3. I don’t like heavy topics with few exceptions. I think this one falls into the exception. It’s different and I’m intrigued. I’m going to add this one to my list for sure. Thanks for the review!

  4. Gamut of emotions is right. This is my favorite YA book of all time. I’m so happy you enjoyed it as much as I did.