Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. 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. It is 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.

Series: If I Stay #1
Rating: 3.5(4) ☆s
Genre: YA, Contemporary Romance

It is scary how fast you can lose somebody close to you by a simple accident, whether it be a car crash, fire, or a heart attack. The saddest part is that there are no warnings. No goodbyes, no last minutes to say how much you love them. It can happen anytime, anywhere, and with anyone. Death is a difficult subject for me to read, that's why I tend to avoid books dealing with death  But I am glad to have read this book because if there's one lesson I've learned, it is to appreciate life because simply existing and breathing is a beautiful gift worth fighting for. 

For Mia,  what started out as an ordinary day ended up as a tragedy. In the midst of a 10 second car accident, she lost her parents right away while she and her brother, Teddy, remains in dire condition. Mia tells her side of the story as an apparition conscious of everything occurring outside of her body. While dying in bed, Mia wonders whether she should fight and stay for her loved ones or join her family in the afterlife. If I Stay is told in the perspectives of the present tense and of Mia's loving memories she has formed with the people around her. 

Music had a huge component in this book, however I felt that this aspect of the novel was lost on me. I felt like an outsider to all the references to punk bands, cello playing, and classical music. Though it was endearing to see Mia's close connection to her cello, I did not reciprocate her value of music. 

I really admire Mia's strength in her final decision.  After all it is easier to admit defeat than to fight after nearly losing everything. A beautiful, resonating book about death , memories, love ,and fighting for your loved ones. Though not necessarily a tearjerker, I found that Foreman's novel is very moving. 

UPDATE: There's a movie for this book! Chloe Grace Moretz has been chosen to play Mia. 
Isn't she perfection?

FTC: This book was given to me as a gift from my best friend. :) NO this does not change my opinion of the book. This is not a real disclaimer, but a shout-out. Thank you for sharing this book and thank you even more for seven years of friendship. 


  1. I loved this book so much! I find it interesting that the music aspect didn't have much of an affect for you, but that the books still touched you anyways! This was a really cool review!

    1. I think it's just me since I am practically tune-deaf, haha. Thanks for stopping by. :)


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