Thursday, May 5, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman Review

By Gayle Forman
April 6, 2010
Speak, 272 pages

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time. 

— description

Last Christmas, my friend Jamie sent me a Christmas gift that included Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. It took me awhile to get around to reading it, and I’m full of regret right now that I didn’t pick it up instantly. Jamie, I’ll never doubt you again.

If I Stay is the story of Mia, who is involved in a gory car crash with her family. They die, and she’s left in a state of limbo, watching life go on without her, trying to decide whether she should stay or let go.

The hard part is this: How can she live if everyone she lived for is gone? Or does she owe it to them to keep on living? These are big questions, and they are handled beautifully in this book.

It’s terribly sad, but also heartwarming. The concept is familiar – who hasn’t thought of attending your own funeral, watching as the world around you mourns? – but the follow-through is brilliant. Trust me, you want to read this one. I’m someone who hates books about death, but I’m ever so grateful that I gave this one a chance.

PS: Did I cry? No. I worry this makes me heartless. Leave a comment if this one turned you into a blubbery mess.

Come back tomorrow for my review of the sequel, Where She Went!

Anna Reads young adult book blog


  1. I really enjoyed this book as well. I found it sad but heartwarming as well. I haven't read Where She Went yet but I am looking forward to it.

  2. I only cried at the very end, at what Adam told her. His selflessness really moved me. Other than that, I loved the book and the characters and I felt for them, but I didn't *cry*. So on worries, I don't think you're heartless!


  3. I was not busting out in tears like so many people said they were as they read this book. I think it's because death is a much more personal thing to me (you know why). I did however lose a few tears when her Grandfather was by her side, telling her she could let go if she needed to.. that it was ok with him. Ahhhhhh that scene hit a little too close to home.

  4. I cried quite a bit through the last third. Loved this book, and loved the sequel.

  5. I just started this book a few days ago. I'm not a big weeper, so we'll see what happens!

  6. I actually cried a lot more the second time reading which is funny because I knew what would happen. but rereading even the first couple of sentences reminded me of how one second everything was perfect and the next disaster (I recently lost a high school friend in a car accident) So it hit me really hard the first scene.

  7. I just saw the sequel at the airport! I think it just came out!

    Please check out/follow my blog, which is about YA Lit Book Reviews in 100 Words or Less :

  8. I've heard so many good things about this one that I'm scared to try it, actually. I'm worried I'll feel heartless, too haha good honest review, Anna :)

  9. I definitely cried. A lot.

    I'm waiting to read Where She Went bc I already own two copies of If I Stay, but they are in CA. I want to reread it before I read the sequel. Really, really looking forward to it, though.

  10. I turned into a blubbery mess. The worst part was about 10 pages from the end I couldn't take it and sat on the kitchen floor sobbing and called the BF. He tried to soothe with the whole Friends reference of putting scary books in the freezer.

    I still read and loved the sequel. Just several weeks apart just in case.

  11. I loved this book and no, I don't think you're heartless. I didn't turn into a blubbery mess, but I never sob during books. I just get misty eyes, and that happened to me a lot during this one.

  12. I cried. A lot. I didn't sob, which I do more often than I'm going to admit, but I did have a steady stream of tears the entire time I read this book. I loved it. Absolutely loved.

  13. I just tore threw this and I loved it! But I didn't cry, and I'm generally a crier. Now onto the sequel!

  14. Haha I didn't cry either! We're not heartless just umm tough:p


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