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If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Gayle Forman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,8283891,348 (3.99)187
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 187 mentions

English (389)  German (1)  All languages (390)
Showing 1-5 of 389 (next | show all)
I added If I Stay to my wish list a few years ago, but I just never got around to buying it until the trailer for the movie came out. I had to read it so I could go see the movie. I am super glad I finally got around to reading it.

I’m going to start off by saying I didn’t cry and I didn’t love it as much as I thought I was going to. Everyone says it’s amazing and will make you cry. I didn’t feel that way. However, I did enjoy it. I think if I went into it without hearing all the hype I would have given it four stars.

If I Stay is a fast read and I can see how it could make people cry. It’s a good book and I can’t wait to read more by this author.

Note: This is an older review. So I don’t feel like I can get more into what I liked and disliked about it. Maybe someday I will re-read If I Stay and do another review. Better reviews (hopefully) in the future. ( )
  TheBookHoarder | May 18, 2015 |
There are certain books that just emotionally drain you, and this was one of them. There are moments of sadness, moments of happiness, moments of pain, and moments of sweetness. It is a book whose story just stays with you.

I love the way the story of If I Stay is constructed. It is told from Mia's point of view, but it isn't just her version of the present. Instead, it travels back and forth through her history and those of the people she loves. This gives the entire book a bit of a bittersweet quality, as you experience loss with Mia. You are a part of her world after the fact and it makes the present all the sadder. It is a story of. a girl with an incredibly quirky and fun family, a snarky best friend, and rocker boyfriend who represents everything she herself is not.

Mia's family is built on music and love. Her dad was a former punk rocker and her mom his biggest fan. Mia's boyfriend Adam was a rocker whose career is growing even before he finishes high school. And then there is Mia, the classical music loving cellist who is on her way to great things. But, in a single moment, everything changes for her and for her family.

The author doesn't shy away from the tough situations or questions that arise from Mia's personal tragedy. Instead, she makes Mia and the reader question themselves about fanily and choices. What is a family? How do you choose when faced with such diverse choices?

This is a book about family and tragedy and unthinkable choices, but it is also a story of beauty. It speaks of the bonds between those we love. And with these themes, there is also the love between Adam and Mia. Their romance was beautiful, sweet and passionate. It was music that brought them together, no matter how different the two expressed it. And it was their differing musical genres that often threatened their relationship as their music took them in very different directions. I liked that their relationship was portrayed realistically. Instead of painting everything as perfect, it touched on problems and dischord.

The interesting thing, however, was in how I related to Adam and Mia. If I Stay was Mia's story, but it was Adam that I identified with the most. There were moments during flashbacks where I felt like Mia was unfair or too demanding and it was Adam who was the sympathetic quality. And Adam's pain and anguish and selfless love was beautiful to watch. I watched the movie shortly after finishing the novel and I felt the same way for most of it, as well.

My Recommendation: If you like a good, emotional read that isn't all perfect happy endings, then this is an excellent read. The story is beautiful and sweet, even as it is tragic and sad at times. ( )
  Kiki870 | May 6, 2015 |
This book may make you cry. It may make you want to listen to some really good music. But it will definitely make you think. It will make you fall in love with the characters and fall in love with reading the book.

If I Stay is a well written book with a very interesting style that I do enjoy. I tend to like writers like John Green, and this book had similar aspects, but was different. I think I am drawn to books that focus on serious topics because it gives me an interesting perspective on things I don't usually think about (like death). ( )
1 vote rodonnell03 | Apr 29, 2015 |
I started reading this super early one morning before work when I got up an hour earlier than usual and couldn't fall back to sleep, I ended up finishing it when I got home from work. Such an emotional book, you really feel for the characters. A great YA read, quick and easy, wonderful story of how your whole life can change in a second. I love how the story flipped back and forth between the present and the past as it builds the characters and their relationships. ( )
  TheKnittedSheep | Apr 6, 2015 |
Such a gem of a book, so much emotion packed in just over 200 pages...

I fell in love with the story and the characters straight from the first page and just flew through this book,sad that I didn't have the next book ready and waiting.

If I stay follows Mia who has become detached from her body following a fatal car accident involving her family. We switch between present to past tense as we discover more about each character of the book and the memories Mia shares with them all that is keeping her holding on to the little remaining hope left. We fall in love with her family and their awesome, care-free lifestyle and feel like a part of it. There isn't a character in the book that you can't connect with on some level; some a lot deeper than others and when I say deep, I mean it.

Every relationship between the covers is believable and enticing, lovely and raw. Emotions grip you in a way that's suffocating - the book is almost 4D.
I couldn't pick a favourite character because I truly grew attached to them all and the women in this book are so strong, it's a welcome relief. In moments and situations found in this book, it's the characters strength that keeps you going, keeps you wanting to find that last spark of hope, praying for a happy ending or at least the light at the end of the tunnel.

This book is dark, chilling, taxing on the feels, gripping. It's despair, grief, laughter, tears, hysteria, awkwardness, strength, belief, hope, wonder, choices, difficult decisions, chaos, longing, hope and freedom. It is a journey.

Masterful writing and the intertwining of music is creatively thought out and everything has a meaning. Genuinely loved this book and will read the next book "Where she went" as soon as it arrives. Now off to watch the screen adaptation.

5 Stars, no question. ( )
  Amberlouichu | Apr 2, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 389 (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.
added by sduff222 | editPublishers Weekly

References to this work on external resources.

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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