Wednesday, September 8, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I StayTitle: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: Stand alone but has a planned sequel
Published: April 2009 by Dutton Juvenille
Pages: 199
ISBN: 9780525421030
Source: Purchased Copy

Description:  What if you had everything: A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?
Quirky hip parents who totally got you? A musical talent that could take you anywhere?
What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take? Follow your first love--music-- to New York City? Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family? What if one day, you went out for a drive... 
and in a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...What if suddenly all the other choices were gone? Except for one--the only one that truly mattered? What would you do?
A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands. 

I Give This

The intitial blurb I read about this book gave no real indication what it was about, not like the one above.  But, even with this new information, I don't think you can be fully prepared for what this book entails.  I wasn't sure I was going to like it at first.  I'm not sure if it was the time that I read it (not far from were I live, an entire family was killed in a head-on collision a couple days before I read this) or if I was having a hard time with the story format.  It skips back and forth between the present and the past and the writing is different than what I normally read. 

In the present, Mia watches her body struggle to stay alive.  She has to deal with learning the outcome of the rest of her immediate family.  Plus, she has to watch her grandparents, aunts and uncles, her best friend, and her boyfriend come into to her hospital room.  They're each willing her to live or in some cases telling her it's ok to let go.  It's very heartbreaking, but wonderful at the same time.

The flashbacks to the past all detail the connections she has with these people.  It shows how wonderful her family is.  Which makes it understandable why it would be hard for her to live without them.   But, it also shows how much those who are still alive care for her.  So she must make the ultimate decision, should she stay or should she go.  It's one she discovers, only she can make.  

In the end, I was completely moved by this story.  I cried, I laughed, and I fell in love with the characters and there story.  I was excited to learn days after reading it that the author has written a sequel.  From the sound of it, it's going to be just as heartbreakingly beautiful as this one



  1. Enjoyed this one as well and am looking forward to the sequel.

  2. Cute blog :)
    Kind of stumbled upon it today.

    Good review, and the book sounds good to me now if it brings that much emotion

  3. I read this one recently too, and I just loved it. I think I cried during most, if not all, of the present day scenes! I wish April would come sooner. I'm anxious to read the sequel!

  4. I feel like I'm the only person in the world who did not like this. The parents were just too perfect! Her life was just too perfect, so the her decision-making process just felt too forced for me. We read this in book club at work months and months ago when it first came out. It just wasn't for me.


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