If I Stay (Paperback)
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DescriptionThe critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year. Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz! 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, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
- Published: 06 April 2010
- Format: Paperback 320 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780142415436 ISBN 10: 014241543X
- Sales rank: 488
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Reviews for If I Stay
Beautiful Book That Makes You Think
Oh my heart still hurts from this one! I don't usually start reviews with talking about the ending but OH MY GOODNESS. I was a mess reading that last line, sobbing uncontrollably at 11PM on a Saturday night. Yep.
So, let's now move back to the beginning.
This story gripped me from that very first line: "Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true."
Now, the blurb for If I Stay doesn't reveal too much, it just mentions choices and love so when I read the first line I instantly wanted to know what Mia was talking about. What did the snow do? I had my suspicions from reading reviews on Goodreads and I knew the plot was based on Mia losing something. Nevertheless, in no way was I prepared for the emotional onslaught reading this short book gave me.
The chapters were not marked in the usual way and instead, time stamps were used and everytime I got to a new part I'd stop and think about what Mia was narrating. I did this because it gave me a lot to think about and I remember half way through this book something that Mia said hit me so hard that I cried for a long while.
“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”
I could fill an entire page with the quotes taken from this book because every single line was indescribably beautiful and so powerful. I have come to love Gayle Forman's writing. She was easily able to transition from Mia's out-of-body experience to the flashbacks and it wasn't choppy at all. It flowed well and gave me a helluva lot to think about. This is one of those books that will stick with me for a very long time!
I know this is highly irregular but I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book. The cover was simplistic yet lovely, the writing was incrediblely amazing, the feelings I got were overwhelming in the best way possible and the characters were incredibly endearing and I found it easy to feel what Mia felt and my heart broke for her, for everyone actually. All of her family, Adam, Kim and when the flashbacks came and Mia was remembering precious memories, I became a blubbering mess.
She had a choice, which was the main point of this storyline. I wont tell you what the choice is because it's not hinted at in the blurb and I want you to go through the experience the way I did: knowing next to nothing. I could not even begin to imagine having that kind of choice to make, with everything that happened I don't know if I'd have been as brave as Mia was or as clear-headed. I understand she's a fictional character but still, the writing was so perfect it felt real and all those raw emotions were real too.
So, I am 100% advising every single one of you who has not read this book to GO NOW to your local bookstore, library, amazon, bookoutlet etcetc and buy this. I know you wont regret it. I thought I wouldn't like it due to the hype surrounding this book even after almost 4 years but I adored it and it made it's way to my favourites.
OH and good news for all the fans of If I Stay: There will be a movie!!! August 22nd I believe, the trailer (which I have obsessively watched a billion and one times) is on my 'Books To Movies' tab so go ahead and take a look. Then tweet me and fangirl with me! It looks amazing, so close to the book and the song (Say Something) was just made for this story. Chloe Mortez looks the part, as do Adam and Mia's parents and I just can't wait. It doesn't look like it'll be a disappointment but I'll be sure to do a review when I've seen it.
Okay, please follow me on google+ (as a way of being able to see all my new updates on here), Twitter and Goodreads which are all linked to the side of this page and on the Home page too! I would love to have you guys give me some reccommendations and I'd also love to just chat with you all! This is a great community but I barely get to speak to many of you, so please don't hesitate to message me on any of my social networks:).
PS. Please oh please ignore this: "Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyers' TWILIGHT." which appears on the cover of If I Stay. In no way does this book remind me of Twilight, absolutely no way. I don't know what those people were on but consider that suggestion absolute rubbish.
PPS. Before reading this book, be prepared. You will need: boxes(and boxes and boxes) of tissues, a big tub of ice cream, some more tissues, 1 person to vent to and then maybe a couple more tubs of ice cream.
You are welcome. by Amber Smith
Couldn't Put It Down
Source: Borrowed from the library
I belong to the Penguin Loves YA group over at Goodreads and for July the book pick was the dualogy
If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. There is a movie coming out (August 22) and so I wanted to read the series before the movie came out. I borrowed it and began reading without delving into the synopsis.
From the first sentence, I was in the grips of this book. I did not want to put it down. I'm sure that I did for brief moments to switch the laundry or make dinner but it was a page turner. Not in the traditional, who-dun-it mystery sense. No...Forman created a quirky, wonderful family that in just a matter of pages you fell in love with.
Then Forman destroys it.
And as a reader, I felt like I was there. The shock and the horror and the sorrow were genuine emotions that consumed me. I read quite a bit and enjoy most of what I read. This is a book that I enjoyed not because it was full of feel-good, happy-ever-after bliss. No, it was because Forman expertly captured human emotion. At the beginning, I thought the book would be whether Mia would choose to go to New York and pursue her education at Julliard or stay closer to her boyfriend Adam. It wasn't as simple as that.
And of course, Mia chooses to stay -- but it is not clear at the end if she chose to stay with Adam or not. So I began the second book thinking it was going to pick up very shortly after the first. I was wrong - but happy to be. Where She Went is told from Adam's perspective and takes place three years later. It shows how Adam has suffered because while Mia chose to stay, she didn't stay with him. Just like the first book, this book was emotionally gripping. It also focuses on a very brief span of time; the latter portion of the book explores one night where Mia and Adam reunite. Forman again shows her skill as an author by showing the healing that Mia has been experienced during the past three years as well as Adam's acceptance of what he hasn't been able to deal with in the same time frame.
I am so glad that these books crossed my radar. They are incredibly well done and are on my best of list for the year. I am not sure if I am looking forward to the movie or not. I haven't watched the trailer or anything because I just don't want to spoil the effect of reading the book. For readers, movies rarely are as good as the book and I admit that I am not sure how the movie could even come close. by Cassie Larson
A Beautiful Story about Life and Love
After a car accident leaves Mia in a coma, she starts to think about what life holds for her. Her parents are gone and some of the choices she has to make seem to be just too hard to even think about considering. But as the machines keep her body alive, her spirit walks the halls of the hospital seeing the people she loves and reminiscing about days gone past. With college looming and having decide between the love she has for music and the boy that holds her heart, Mia needs to decide. If she goes she can be with her family... but if she stays? Well that remains a mystery.
This is one of those devastating stories about loss and love. And I adored the way love was portrayed in this novel. Not necessarily the love between main character Mia and her boyfriend Adam but the love between families. Mia's parents were shown though flashbacks to be supportive and generous in the way they felt about each other and their children. Their passion for music and life was infectious. Despite these characters not being present in the present tense, reading their interactions through Mia's memories were one of my favourite parts of the book. Like wise the love shown between friends - like Kim and Willow.
I found it hard to engage with Mia - but considering she was disconnected from the world I'm not surprised that I was disconnected from her. Even though her flashbacks I found her to be a little standoffish and lacking the vibrant energy in which she describes her family and friends as having. That said, her narration does deliver a well rounded and full picture into her life and her music. Her relationship with music and love was beautifully written and I thought it was a very interesting way to look at the world.
This is a beautifully written novel about love and life. It kind of snuck up on me. I didn't think I was into this story but I started to tear up during one of the scenes (it was the one when Gramps came in to talk to Mia) and I had to reach for the tissues. I've heard such great things about Gayle Forman's books and I'm so glad that I decided to read one. I will definitely be on the look out to read more from this fantastic YA author. by Kate @ Fictional Thoughts
IF I Stay
I must say that I was quite excited to read this book. I wanted to read something that would possibly be emotional and I was hoping this would be one of them. The book started off ok and then I must say I was quite bored. I couldn't quite get into it. The story felt like it was all over the place not in a bad or hard to keep up way, but I felt like the book was just felted with background information of the past. I wanted to her more about Mia's feeling and decision. Although I didn't like those things about the book. It was good writing and it had some great moments. I will continue to the second book, but I must say isn't anyway at the top of my list. by Chapman
- Top review
A philosophical discourse about the safety of life and the security a family offers
In IF I STAY Gayle Forman confronts us with a precarious and more than difficult decision that has to be made. Leave this world forever or stay and try to rebuild the ruins of your life?
After the horrible car accident that led to the death of her family, Mia is in a coma. She is the girl in between. Told from her perspective, Mia's constantly reflecting on the sequences that have defined her life so far and compares them to her current situation. There are moments with her family, simply eating breakfast, or her falling in love with her boyfriend Adam.
I had high hopes in the relationship between Mia and Adam. I imagined it to be romantic and epic, but I felt just slightly entertained by Mia's retelling of some of their relationship highlights. Tough Adam was the person I liked most in IF I STAY. He is sweet, has inner strength and is willing to fight for Mia no matter what.
But unfortunately I just didn't click with the other characters. Mia's parents felt too alternative for my taste. Nonetheless I find it helpful and necessary that Gayle Forman includes moments of their lives and retells the most important stations to offer the reader a glimpse of what could be forever lost to our torn protagonist Mia.
And torn is exactly how I felt about Mia, too. On the one hand I totally got how she felt about this whole messed up situation. On the other hand I couldn't really identify with her character. Her life- as her parents' lives- is highly dominated by music. She's so passionate about her violin and I admire her for that. People who are interested in music the same way Mia is should like this read a lot.
I might not have cared about the characters as much as I'd wanted to, but the overall discourse definitely affected me and made me think a lot about what I would have done if I had been in Mia's situation.
3,5/5 ***/* IF I STAY- A philosophical discourse about the safety of life and the security a family offers. Gayle Forman tells the story of Mia with the right amount of sensibility and beautiful piano notes contributing a soundtrack to the sad story. by MissPageTurnerunder review
Deep, engrossing, emotional
Previously published on my blog: http://fictionfervor.wordpress.com/2012/07/24/review-if-i-stay-by-gayle-forman/
I've been letting this book sit in my head for the past few days because I really can't put my feelings about this book into words. So I'll settle for a very vague word: indescribable. If I Stay is purely indescribable.
The characters in this novel could be my best friend, your best friend, someone's best friend's best friend ... They are so realistic that I think that if I tried to touch them, I'd feel living flesh. The complexity of these characters just astounds me. Mia is quiet, shy-but she's incredibly dedicated to playing cello. I don't often read music geeks in novels anymore, but I always love when I do. I'm a violin player myself, though I'm not very devoted to music; however, my best friend has been in love with her piano since she was 4. And since I don't have that kind of connection with my own music, I'm curious: I want to know what that special kind of happiness is. So far, I've only been able to compare it to my love of reading and writing. I'd say that it's this wonderful feeling that trembles in your body; it's something you can cherish and makes your heart burst. Utter joy.
Mia's relationships with others are also incredibly unique, and you know that I'm a big fan of unique. She and her best friend, Kim (who is the queen of sarcasm), were originally mega-enemies; they didn't like each other just because everyone thought they should be best friends. But after one fight, they became instant buddies. Mia and her little brother, Teddy-who is absolutely adorable, let me tell you-are thick as thieves. And Mia and her parents are practically polar opposites; her dad was once a rock band drummer, and her mom is a total rocker chick. Obviously, with Mia's interest in classical music, their tastes clash. But the four of them make a hilarious family.
Here is a description of the typical young adult book boyfriend: dark, steamy, handsome, hawt ... you get the point. They're supposed to knock you off your feet. So guess what the guy-Adam-does in this book?
No, he doesn't knock you off your feet. But he is so incredibly sweet. Little things here and there just make you fall for him-like Mia did-before you even realize that you fell for him-like Mia realized. Their relationship is so un-clichéd that I want to leap for joy. Because they get in fights too. They have their differences too (Adam plays in a rock band). They are just a regular teenage couple-but the two of them are just so deeply in love I want to cry.
But the part I loved the most about this book: the lesson. 'Cause the cover pretty much sums it up with that one question: what would you do if you had to choose? If you were in a car accident, if your parents were dead, if your little brother might be on the verge of death, if you were stuck in a coma, if you knew that there was nothing for you if you came back except for a boyfriend and a best friend and a few relatives ... would you choose to live or die if you had the choice?
It's a deep question. Right now you might say, "I'd choose to stay, of course," but think about it. Take a deep breath and sit back and just think. You would be a seventeen-year-old orphan. Your life would definitely not be the same as it was before the accident. Would you really want to stay? Because, remember, you can't take back your choice. You're stuck with it.
And before you say, "Of course Mia chooses to stay; I mean, after all, there is a sequel," I'd like to point out that the sequel takes place from Adam's point of view three years later. But you might not want to read the synopsis for that, because it'll definitely spoil If I Stay.
Deep and engrossing, If I Stay is a must for any reader. Such an emotional novel is guaranteed to kindle a response to the biggest choice one could possibly have: to live or to die.
Source: Paperback received from giveaway by Linda
A deeply moving, heartbreakingly beautiful and wonderfully realistic look at family, loss, tragedy, grief and love. Both If I Stay and Where She Went, the follow-up are must reads. Come and check out my full reviews of them both at www.ourbookclub.net.au by Natalie Ward
Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
Mia has a lot to love in life. She is a cellist who could be on her way to Julliard. She has a wonderful, loving, and supportive family. And she has a boyfriend who is perfect. But as wonderful as Mia's life is, she has choices to make. Should she go to Julliard and leave everyone behind?
When a terrible accident occurs, Mia suddenly finds herself with only one choice left - should she stay?
This book is just WOW! Do not read this in public because this one will bring tears to your eyes - I'm warning you! That doesn't mean it doesn't have humor though, because there were many times I found myself laughing out loud. This is an intense story that will not only appeal to teens, but have a lot of crossover adult appeal, as well.
Gayle Forman does an excellent job going from Mia's present to Mia's past and drawing the reader in so they truly understand her love for the cello, her family, and Adam, her boyfriend. As I was reading, I felt like I really got to know Mia and her family and found myself grieving along with Mia - the writing is just that powerful.
IF I STAY is a short read, but it packs so much in and I wanted to savor every moment. At times I found myself reading slower and drinking in the words because I didn't want the story to end.
The story centers around music: Mia with her cello, Adam with his band, and Mia's dad being a drummer, and Gayle Forman's writing felt lyrical. She was able to capture music and put it into a book. I don't know how to describe it, but it was like I was reading a song - hopefully that makes sense! Music is such an important part of the book, Gayle Forman has included a playlist for the book on her website. I loved checking out the songs that went along with the story and listening to them when Mia did.
IF I STAY is a must-read. The themes of love, loss, grief, and hope are so powerful and beautifully written that this story will stay with you long after you finish the last page.
*Gold Star Award Winner! by TeensReadToo
An incredible story
If I Stay is a beautiful story full of questions, hard decisions, emotions and basically soaked with sadness. Prepare the tissues because you are going to need them.
In the first chapter we meet Mia and her family. Due to a snowfall the classes are suspended and they decide to pick the car.
The result is obvious: they have an accident and her live is about to change forever. Mia is aware of all that happens around her and since she can still listen to the radio she thinks it wasnt very serious, she's wrong. She discovers her father, her mother and herself lying on the ground and they look really bad.
When the medical team arrive they move Mia to a hospital. But Mia is not really inside her body, she is a mere observer of everything that will happen around her.
Little by little we will see fragments of her past, touching little stories that will encourage or discourage her to stay alive. After all, she must decide whether to stay or not in this world. It's a tough decision to leave behind her friends and her boyfriend, but if she stays she will have to put up with the loss of her family. Will choose the easy way or the most complicated one?
It's a beautiful story despite being quite sad. The author has managed to blend perfectly the past and the present and even its a sad story i've smiled once or twice.
In general, it is a very delicate issue and I like the way the author has dealt with it in so few pages. She has managed to create a story that hooks you from the beginning.
If you want to read a shocking story, realistic and very touching, this book is made for you. by ambika
If I Stay is a novel about choices, about decisions, about love
My thoughts: Even though tragedy strikes, If I Stay is not a novel about death but about life.
The story unfolds in two parallel levels: the present where Mia is in the hospital after the accident and the past, where through little snippets of flashbacks we get glimpses of Mia's life and memories. All the small, seemingly ordinary moments of her life, but which are truly the ones that one remembers when looking back on their life: the family barbeques, goofing around with her little brother, her first date and kiss and how she became best friends with Kim.
Gayle Forman's writing flows naturally and Mia's reminiscing has you turning the pages while losing all notion of the outside world and time.
One of the highlights of the novel are the strong characterizations: even the supporting characters leap off the page and the reader will remember even those minor characters who only made one chapter appearances (like Kerry and his unforgettable funeral memory).
The novel is narrated by Mia, who is a very serious young girl, more mature than her 17 years would let one presume. She is quiet but intense, focused and dedicated, loyal and genuine. She feels a bit out of place in her family as she has dark hair and eyes while her mom, dad and brother are all fair in colouring, they like rock and punk music while she is a classical music lover; but despite this sense of sticking out she deeply loves her family and feels best while with them. All the family scenes are fun and moving: the quiet affection and love shines through and it is clear this family has a great time even when doing mundane things.
Mia's parents are "cool parents": her dad was a musician and songwriter in a band until Mia's little brother was born and her mom was a rebel music fan/hippy, but even since they became "grown up parents", they kept this young, rebel, cool side of them and are still young at heart. All the light, funny banters in the car, at dinner, in the garden give a sense of this family better than any lengthy description could.
What I loved was how in spite of the shortness of the novel, If I Stay managed to show all the different facets of Mia's life: her life with her family, her grandparents, her best friend Kim, her boyfriend Adam and then of course with her great love: music. Mia's relationship to all these sides of her life was presented and laid out and the reader got a picture of what made Mia Mia. And I loved how these different facets of her life got equal importance and "screen time", that her friendship with Kim was not downplayed to leave more room for the love story with Adam, but rather how these different sides of her life were all interwoven.
I cannot highlight one part of the novel I liked better than the other, because Mia's love story with Adam was beautiful and touching, her friendship with Kim was funny and cute and her relationship with her parents and her little brother was heartwarming.
If I Stay is a wonderfully written and structured novel. All the flashbacks are meaningful and important, they have a role to support the present and show the reason behind Mia's indecision, feelings and doubts.
Verdict: If I Stay is a novel about choices, about decisions, about love. Because it is love that will ultimately sway the balance and make Mia decide either way. If I Stay is a moving and deep novel, and through the sad and heartbreaking loss of Mia it will still manage to make you feel alive and happy.
I absolutely loved If I Stay. It was a wonderful, emotional read, one I would definitely recommend for everyone. (It was also exciting to read that Gayle had no idea how If I Stay would end when writing the novel, that adds more to the thrill of the story.)
So imagine how happy I was when I saw that Gayle Forman is planning the sequel! Here is what she had to say about it: "It's called WHERE SHE WENT. It takes place a little more than three years later and it's told from Adam's point of view. And that's all I'm saying. It will come out in the spring of 2011 from Dutton."
Cover: 10/10 by Stella (Ex Libris)