If I Stay

If I Stay

Book rating: 04 Paperback Black Swan

By (author) Gayle Forman

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 128mm x 196mm x 20mm | 141g
  • Publication date: 13 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552775452
  • ISBN 13: 9780552775458
  • Sales rank: 1,431

Product description

Life can change in an instant. A cold February morning ...a snowy road ...and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, "If I Stay" will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

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Author information

GAYLE FORMAN is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in numerous publications, including Seventeen, Cosmopolitan and Elle in the US. She lives in Brooklyn with her family.

Customer reviews

By Nikki-ann 18 Jul 2010 4

One moment Mia has her eyes closed, head leaning against the car window and is listening to classical music on the radio. The next, she is being rushed to hospital having been taken from the wreck of her parents' car. Mia watches as the doctors frantically try to save her life, and as friends and family gather at the hospital.

If I Stay is narrated by Mia as the reader follows her out-of-body experience in the unfolding 24 hours. Mia has to come to terms with what just happened, with how life was before the crash and what might come afterwards. She has no choice, but to make the most difficult decision of all.

The story takes us through not only what Mia is going through, but to flashbacks of her life before the accident. We get to know her Mom, Dad and little brother Teddy, as well as her best friend Kim, boyfriend Adam and family friends Henry and Willow. Before the accident her toughest choice was whether she could leave Adam to go to Julliard to play the cello, but now she has the most difficult choice of all to make.

Music envelopes this story. Beethoven's Cello Sonata no. 3 is playing at the time of the accident. Mia plays the cello, in fact she plays it very well (well enough to audition for Julliard, at least!). Her boyfriend Adam is in a band and her Dad used to be. The whole book seems to have a soundtrack running through it.

This is an emotional read. I had tears in my eyes or streaming down my face at least 3 times during this story. You can only begin to imagine the heartache Mia must be going through and pray that this never happens to you or your friends & family.

It isn't just about the accident and the choice Mia has to make. If I Stay also has a love story running through it. After all, what is life without love? The book isn't all sadness... There's laughter, hope and joy too.

At the end of the book, we get "The Story Behind The Story", "Behind The Music", as well as an interesting interview with Gayle Forman, the author.

This isn't necessarily a book I'd see in the shops and pick up and read. However, I'm so glad that this was one of the choices for Transworld's Summer Reading Challenge, otherwise I might never have read it. This is a well-written, good read and a real page turner. I was compelled to keep reading - I started If I Stay on a Friday evening and I had finished it the following evening.

I'd definitely recommend giving this book a go, even if you think it's not the kind of book you'd usually read.

----------------------------

I received this book free from Transworld Publishers as part of the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge. However, this in no way influenced my opinion of the book.

Review quote

"Reminiscent of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - this is a beautiful book that will move you and make you question your own life" News of the World "This sensitively written story of the power of love and loss presses all the right buttons ... the intensity of feelings and tragic suddenness with which life changes will strike a chord with teenagers and the young at heart. Read it, as they say, and weep" Daily Mail "This is a wonderful, beautiful book; so gripping, so wise and oh, so heart-breakingly painful" -- Carmen Reid "It reminded me very much of The Lovely Bones. I found it uplifting and satisfying" -- Anne Cassidy "This is a haunting and heartbreaking novel reminiscent of The Lovely Bones ... Impossible to put down" The Bookseller