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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Gayle Forman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5193681,505 (3.99)176
Title:If I Stay
Authors:Gayle Forman
Info:Speak (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Read but unowned

Work details

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (2009)

  1. 71
    Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin (foggidawn)
  2. 72
    Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (sduff222)
  3. 61
    Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (kaledrina)
  4. 40
    Where She Went by Gayle Forman (kaledrina)
  5. 51
    Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson (meggers12)
  6. 52
    The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold (tina1969)
  7. 20
    Every Day by David Levithan (melissarochelle)
  8. 11
    The Afterlife by Gary Soto (weener)
    weener: Another book from the point of view a young person who is having an out-of-body experience.
  9. 11
    Life As We Knew It by Susan Beth Pfeffer (Aerrin99)
    Aerrin99: A really great book that explores tragedy through a strong female teen voice in first person.
  10. 12
    How To Say Goodbye In Robot by Natalie Standiford (weener)
  11. 01
    Midnight Hour Encores by Bruce Brooks (weener)
    weener: About young women who are interested in music and family.
  12. 01
    Hopeless Savages Volume 2: Ground Zero by Jen Van Meter (weener)
    weener: I was reading If I Stay, and I thought, "I recognize those grown-up punker parents. It's just like the Hopeless-Savages!"
  13. 02
    The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom (tina1969)
  14. 02
    How It Ends by Laura Wiess (weener)
    weener: Riveting and heartbreaking teen fiction.

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» See also 176 mentions

English (367)  German (1)  All languages (368)
Showing 1-5 of 367 (next | show all)
I'm so glad that I didn't let the cover scare me off this book. The words "fans of Meyer's Twilight will enjoy this book" or something to that effect made me want to run screaming from the library but this was so much better than I expected. I loved the characters, loved the theme of what people experience when they are in comas, and loved the ending. It transported me out of the hellish day I was in. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
I'm so glad that I didn't let the cover scare me off this book. The words "fans of Meyer's Twilight will enjoy this book" or something to that effect made me want to run screaming from the library but this was so much better than I expected. I loved the characters, loved the theme of what people experience when they are in comas, and loved the ending. It transported me out of the hellish day I was in. ( )
  olegalCA | Dec 9, 2014 |
Originally posted at Read. Run. Study.

I picked up If I Stay after hearing a lot of praise for Gayle Forman and seeing the previews for the movie. The story follows 17-year-old Mia in the aftermath of a devastating car accident. It looked like an interesting premise and it was touted as an emotional rollercoaster.

I liked the way the story was laid out. The accident happens very early in the book and then we learn about Mia’s relationships with her friends/family through a series of flashbacks. Unfortunately, the book as a whole didn’t do anything for me. For as much as the writing is praised, it felt generic and the story was too predictable. I expected (and wanted) the whole book to be extremely emotional, but it wasn’t. For example, the description of the crash scene felt about as dramatic as a stroll through the park. That kind of made sense given the out of body type experience being portrayed, but I expected something more intense. It just really didn’t grip me and there wasn’t anything terribly memorable about it.

I will say there were a couple of semi-sweet moments that I liked, but nothing that tugged at the heartstrings like I expected. Also, I liked that the parents were actually present in the story and clearly played an integral role in Mia’s life. However, I was kind of annoyed by the constant reestablishment of her parents’ “coolness” and Mia’s nerdiness. Overall, I had difficulty connecting to the characters, though I sort of liked a few (Mia’s grandparents, Willow, and Kim). Basically, I was disappointed by the book and I really only finished the book because it was short.

Additionally, there were several WTF moments that pulled me out of the story. (SPOILER SECTION: Highlight to see text. What the heck was happening when Mia & Adam “play” each other like their respective instruments? Was that supposed to be cute/sexy? Because no, it was not. It was kind of cringe inducing to be honest. I just rolled my eyes and pushed on. Oh, and bad science ruined some stuff for me. Mia says something about getting O- blood so that must be her blood type. O- is a universal donor type, so it is common for trauma victims to get it before anyone has had time to test for their real blood type. I’m not sure why this was included when it wasn’t even really correct. Also, Mia makes a huge deal about her and her parents’ eye colors before completely dropping it with no further explanation. While it is possible for blue eyed parents to have a brown eyed child, it is very rare and is not how it gets taught to the book’s target-age audience. I was just confused by its inclusion when it gets dropped with no further explanation. So for all we know, Mia really was switched at the hospital as a baby. That seemed weird to me.)

In the end, I thought this was an okay read with a few parts that I liked. I may or may not read the sequel, Where She Went (let me know if you think I should). Having said all that, I do think this has the bones to make a decent movie, so I may still see that. Maybe the movie will have more emotional impact for me.

Rating: 2.5 Stars ( )
  readrunstudy | Dec 4, 2014 |
This story was so intense and the book was so hard to put down. This story really made me think and thankful for my family.
  Madison_DeWeerdt | Dec 4, 2014 |
After a car accident puts 16 year old Mia Hall in a coma, she has an out of body experience and has to decide whether to keep fighting for her life, or just let go.
  EmKel753 | Dec 2, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 367 (next | show all)
If you want a story that really grabs at your heart this is perfect. Mia is a teenager who plays cello which comes almost natural to her. She even auditioned for Julliard . I really should have read this one at a better time than on a road trip. Considering the first chapter puts you right into a horrific car crash after a great morning with her family trying to decide what to do on their snow day. When I grabed this book I kind of just scimmed through it not really knowing what I was really in store for. During the car crash scene I had to stop several times because of the gore and pain I felt reading this. Of course I don't think it help stoping either for a while because every time my husband had to change lanes i was cringing inside, I'm just glad it wasn't snowing. I had to get back into the story because I just had to know what was going to happen to Mia.
The parnormal effect in this book was perfect, She was an apparition standing in the whole time looking over her life from the outside looking in. She was in a coma and heard everything but was unable to do anything. She had to decide whether to go with her family she lost or stay with the ones left be hide. Every character in this story I loved from the quite grandfather to the punk rocker boyfriend. I loved the flash backs of her family they made the book even more enjoyable. This story had me on the verge of tears several times. I was begging Mia to just stay the whole time. If this happen to me I think I would have a really hard time choosing. I will be reading this one over and over again!
Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school, prays Mia's friend Kim. I know you'd hate that kind of thing. Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living.
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For Nick, Finally ..... Always
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Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
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 one 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.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 014241543X, Paperback)

An Interview with Gayle Forman

Q: You started your career as a journalist and your first book is a travelogue about going around the world. Is YA literature a departure for you?

Gayle Forman: Actually, it’s more of a homecoming. My first writing job was at Seventeen, where I spent five years on staff and as a contributor reporting the magazine’s social-issues stories. I loved writing for teens then because—contrary to popular opinion—they really care about serious issues (from child soldiers in Africa to kids embroiled in the drug war here) and the engage in their reading with such passion. So, now that I’m writing young-adult literature, it feels like I’ve come full circle.

Q: This book explores some serious themes. Why is this a book for kids and not adults?

GF: It’s a book for kids precisely because it explores serious themes. Teenagers are grappling with choices about life and love as much as adults, so why shouldn’t their reading reflect that? I don’t set out to write YA. It just seems like I’m drawn to stories about young people. That said, I think If I Stay is for adults, too. I love the idea of teens reading this book and then handing it off to their parents.

Q: Many key characters are serious musicians, and songs are referenced throughout the book. Are you a musician?

GF: No. Except for piano lessons when I was a kid and a brief spate of guitar playing in my teens, I’ve never played an instrument. I am, however, a huge music fan. And my husband is a musician; he was playing in a punk band when we met, so I’ve spent a lot of my life ensconced in that scene. I seem drawn to writing about musicians, though I’ve never been all that interested in the cello until Mia popped into my head.

Q: What inspired you to write this book?

GF: Music. Oregon. People I have loved. And unfortunately, the book is inspired by a real-life tragedy that happened several years ago.

Q: This is a book about death, but it’s not depressing. Why is that?

GF: Maybe because it’s really about the power of love—of family, friends, music—and therefore it ultimately affirms life.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:57 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

While in a coma following an automobile accident that killed her parents and younger brother, seventeen-year-old Mia, a gifted cellist, weighs whether to live with her grief or join her family in death.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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