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If I Stay by Gayle Forman
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If I Stay (original 2009; edition 2010)

by Gayle Forman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,9313951,310 (3.98)189
Member:rosylibrarian
Title:If I Stay
Authors:Gayle Forman
Info:Speak (2010), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 272 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Rating:*****
Tags:Fiction

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 189 mentions

English (395)  German (1)  All languages (396)
Showing 1-5 of 395 (next | show all)
While battling a fever and coughing my lungs up in bed, I decided to pick this up. I had it on my to-read list for a while and decided to give it a try. This book is a cry fest. I looked like a sick mess crying while coughing my lungs out. This is wht this book did to me. It's a beautifully written, good paced story,about a seventeen year old struggling with a difficult question: "Should I stay or should I go?". Mia's been the last few months struggling with the decision to go to Julliard to achieve her dreams and her love for music. But then, her dreams are put on hold, when all of a sudden, Mia suffers a car crash that changes everything. In this story, we are showed that we all ultimately have a choice, the difficulty is taking it. Every choice will have it's pros and cons. "You always end up losing something, you just have to decide which hurts less" Incredible, 5 stars. ( )
  | Jul 1, 2015 | edit |
Great book!!! I cried of course. Loved how it told from her point of view and the struggles she needed to deal with. It was nice to read from a different point of view. ( )
  desmondmarie32 | Jun 28, 2015 |
As always, I've waited until the hype of this book (and movie) have died down a little. I personally find it difficult to fully experience a book with everyone else's opinions being thrown at me.

I know most people LOVE this book, but I just don't. The story is well written and beautifully sad, the fact that it is (very loosely) based upon a true story hurts my heart all that much more, but I just thought that Mia was too much of a generic teenager. Sure, [a:Gayle Forman|295178|Gayle Forman|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1383395848p2/295178.jpg] depicts her as a semi-outcast-classical-music-loving-geek, but she seams very bland to me, and often (even during the 'real time' narrative) I kept picturing a younger girl, maybe twelve or thirteen.

I would have probably given this book four stars if it wasn't for how let down I feel.
I guess I was expecting a little more from this book after all the amazing reviews I have heard. ( )
  momma182 | Jun 23, 2015 |
This book reminded me of the 2007 movie "The Invisible" where a teenager is beaten up, left for dead and his soul searches for his body.

In this book, the teen girl is in a car accident with her family, leaves her body while at the scene and discovers her parents' lifeless bodies. She then spends the remainder of the book trying to decide whether to stay on Earth or to just let go.

Beautifully written.

My main problem was with the tense change -- the story is in present tense, but when the protaganist speaks of her past, she talks in past tense -- of course, but sometimes the change was jarring to me.

All in all a good read for teens (and adults) who like to weep and like a complex story.
( )
  Stembie3 | Jun 14, 2015 |
Knowing the overall premise of the book before I read it, I expected it to be darker and a bit depressing, but it was far from that. While this is a story of loss, it is also a celebration of life, love and family. Beautifully written. I listened to the audio version, which was very well done. ( )
  sroot | Jun 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 395 (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 Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:26 -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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