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If I Stay by Gayle Forman
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If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
6,618507944 (3.91)225
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.
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» See also 225 mentions

English (505)  German (1)  Spanish (1)  Danish (1)  All languages (508)
Showing 1-5 of 505 (next | show all)
Interesting way to 'spool' out-via flashbacks, interior monologues, etc- Mia,17 yr old cello player, even as she hovers between life & death in an intensive care unit of hospital. Family was taking a quick trip to visit relatives & friends,and while driving there, horrible head on collision; takes some time for reader (and protagonist) to understand: parents dead, and little brother- where? Eventually Mia (who's somehow "present", watching, as medical staff care for her, friends & relatives gather & visit her in her coma state) begins to grasp she may have some 'choice" about her staying-or "letting go" & leaving earth (dying). Interesting descriptions of her developing love of cello, music in general, her peer relationships: best friend Kim and her boyfriend Adam, and her grandparents, among others. Students who love stories w/music tie-ins, or a love story with a bit more complexity (Adam's pop rock band is a different world from Mia's classical pursuits) would appreciate this story. ( )
  BDartnall | Jan 27, 2020 |
4 stars

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

I did something I rarely do and watched the movie before reading the book. After loving the movie with all of my heart, I knew that I had to buy the book and sink my teeth into the beautiful story.

The novel was a quick read and was worth every minute. Both devastating and moving, I found myself begging Mia to stay if not for Adam, but for her inevitable success in music and in life. Mia had my heart throughout the entire book. Her family was perfect. Adam was so very talented and loved so deeply. This book wasn't so much about death as it was about life. This book was inspiring and I can't wait to read the sequel. ( )
  kaliwrites | Dec 4, 2019 |
(This review can be found on my blog The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl).


This book has been on my shelf for awhile. I've also been wanting to read it since I first got it, but due to other commitments, I had never got around to it until now. This turned out to be a really touching book.

I think the title suits the book really well. Mia is trying to decide if she should live or just give in to death. She thinks about what her life was like before and what would happen if she decided to stay and live.

The cover is a little bit boring, I think. There's just not really anything going on. I don't know what I'd like to see on the cover, but this cover is too plain.

I did enjoy the world building very much. It made me wonder what happens when we're barely hanging on to life. Forman did a great job of making this sort of limbo, so to speak, feel like that's exactly what happens when someone's life is hanging by a thread. I, personally, felt as if Mia didn't really do too much grieving for her family. However, maybe this was just due to shock or because she was a sort of a ghostly like presence during the majority of the book.

The pacing was a bit hit and miss. I found some of the memories Mia had to be a bit boring thus slowing down the pacing a bit. I realize the memories were crucial to the book though, but I just felt that maybe they could've been written in a more interesting way if possible. The pacing doesn't stay slow all the time though, and a lot of the time, it does stay at a decent pace.

The plot of someone stuck outside their body while they are in a coma has been done many times before. Saying that, Gayle Forman did an excellent job of making it interesting for her book. Her lyrical writing helps the plot a lot and makes for an interesting read.

I thought the characters were very well written and well developed. I felt like Mia was a very down to Earth girl. Her emotions felt very real, and I sympathized with her. I did like Kim although I felt that she was a bit too disrespectful towards her mother. Kim was a great friend to Mia. This is made very obvious in the book. I felt bad for Kim when she finally saw Mia laid up in the hospital bed. Adam seemed like a really sweet boyfriend, and it was obvious how deeply he cared for Mia. He was willing to do whatever it took to visit Mia in the hospital, even if it meant going to jail.

The dialogue flows freely and smoothly, never disjointed. For the most part, the dialogue fits in with a young adult novel. This book is a tiny bit gory at the beginning of the book so be warned about that. There are a few swear words within the book.

Overall, If I Stay is an emotionally charged and intriguing read. The plot is interesting, the world building is fantastic, and the characters are lively!

I'd recommend this book to those aged 15 who are after an emotionally captivating read.

I'd give If I Stay by Gayle Forman a 3.75 out of 5.

(I won a copy of this book from a giveaway. I was not required to write a review). ( )
  khal_khaleesi | Nov 16, 2019 |
Seventeen year-old Mia and her family go for a drive on a snowy day and end up in a car accident that leaves Mia in a coma. She’s not sure what happened to the rest of her family but it’s clear that it’s up to her whether or not she stays alive and wakes up or dies. She can hear the people around her and slowly pieces together what happened. There’s not much more to say without spoilers. Be careful of other reviews – spoilers abound!

If I Stay is a book that had me thinking for days after I read it about what I would do if I were in Mia’s situation. While Mia is in the coma, she flashes back on her life up to the time of the accident so we get to know her really well. Even so, I had no idea what choice she would make right up to the end of the book. I found out after I read the book that a movie based on the book was released in 2014. There is also a sequel to the book called Where She Went that I’d like to read.

Even though If I Stay is a young adult novel, it has plenty that will appeal to adults. I actually think it would make a pretty good book club selection. I imagine there could be a lot to discuss around Mia’s ultimate decision. Recommended. ( )
  mcelhra | Nov 7, 2019 |
Once I began reading this book, putting it down was so hard. Mia the main character has lived a pretty good life; she has an amazing family, a really sweet boyfriend, and is a very talented cello player. This all comes crashing down though when she an her family get into a very awful car accident. Mia can see everything going on, she sees then trying to revive her, she sees her boyfriend visiting her in the hospital, and she witnesses so much more while she is in a coma. She has a big choice ahead of her does she decide to wake up and live her life with as an orphan cello player or does she join her family in heave? ( )
  a.negron | Oct 28, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 505 (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
 
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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.
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