Monday, November 8, 2010

If I Stay Review

AUTHOR: Gayle Forman
PUBLISHER: Penguin Young Readers
PAGES: 288
STANDALONE/SERIES: Series (Book 2 is titled Where she went)

OUTLINE: What if you had everything:

A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?
Quirky hip parents who totally got you?
A musical talent that could take you anywhere?
What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take?
Follow your first love--music-- to New York City?
Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family?

STARTED:  End of October
FINISHED: 11-7-10

The story is about Mia who seems to have an awesome family a younger brother and both parents. Yes it's a story with both parents in it, and they're both equally involved.  Although they die early on Mia has flashbacks to when they were alive. Making them a big part of the book I think. Also in the story are Mia's boyfriend, Adam and her best friend, Kim. Among others are her grandparents/family and friends of her parents.

If I Stay starts off with Mia's family waking up to find it snowing and schools canceled. They decide that it would be nice to go and visit Mia's grandparents. That is when the wreck happens. That is when this family's lives change forever. Mia wakes up in a ditch thinking everything is fine, but as she comes up from the bankment and sees her parents lying on the ground she realizes it's not all ok. She goes to find her brother Teddy and finds much more in the way of the car like herself. How could that be, she was standing there and she seemed fine. Her first thoughts are am I dead. Which she already knows the answer too. From then on she's in the hospital wondering the halls watching and listening to everyone: the nurses, doctors, her family, her friends. All while having flashbacks of happier times.

This is kind of a hard review for me to write. I'm not sure why exactly I think it's just that this book really does bring out alot of emotions in people. It makes you stop and think, what if something like this happened to me, or to someone I cared deeply about. How would I react in that situation? Honestly I don't think I'd know. Just the first couple of pages that described what happened and everything is surreal. The whole book takes course in a 24 hour period so it's not really a chapter book. It's kind like a diaryof that day. It had time frames that broke it down, and then if didn't have a time over it. It was Mia's flashbacks.

I loved this book it had so many "make me wanna cry parts in it."There's one part where Mia's grandpa goes into her hospital room and talks to her, telling her it's ok to let go. *He looks like he's about to leave, but then he doubles back to my bedside, bends so that his face is level with my ear, and whisper in to it. It's okay, he tells me. If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It's okay if you have to leave us.  It's okay if you want to stop fighting. (Grandpa) This was the first time today that anyone has acknowledged what I have lost. (Mia)*  I'm telling you just typing that little bit made my eyes tear up.I mean how hard would that be to tell someone you loved that it's ok to move on to somewhere better. That you understand it's their choice. I also loved the realtionship between Mia and Adam when she flashbacks to it. Even though their different except for their love of music. Adam genuiely cares about her, and that shows up numerous times.

There were a few things at first I thought I wouldn't like. The whole flipping from the hospital back to older memories would usually annoy me. I'm not really a fan of that kind of thing, but it worked well for me in this book because it showed us Mia's feelings towards her family that's no longer alive. It showed us the kind of interaction that they normally would of had. It let's us see her realtionship with Adam. Mia's fondness of her little brother, and a little bit of her friendship with Kim.

Also it kind of reminded me of the movie Awake. The whole out of body experience and being able to see yourself lying there and then walking around the hospital ghostly like. Not the surgery and backstabbing parts. That's just me though.

The ending could have used more I think I wasn't thrilled with it. I would have like to known a little bit more of what happened afterwards. There is another book coming which is set 3 years after the accident so will see. :0)


-But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I'll be in love with tomorrow. I love that your fragile , tough, quiet, and kick-ass. (Adam to Mia)

-If you turn into one of those girls, I'll shoot you (Kim)
If I turn into one of those girls, I'll hand you the gun (Mia) (Talking about the kind of girls that talk boyfriends nonstop)

-Adam eyed me with furrowed brows, like I was a math problem on a black board that he was trying to figure out (Mia)

-Whoever decides these matters, when the decider is too confused to choose between the elevator and the stairs. (Mia)

-I'm not sure this is a world I want to live in anymore. I'm not sure that I want to wake up. (Mia)

-I just think that funerals are alot like death itself. You can have you wishes, your plans, but at the end of the day it's out of your control (Mia's dad)



Sorry this review was a little longer than anticipated, but that's what a good book does to me. Tell me what you think about the review, or the book if you've read it. Leave some comments.


  1. I have this book and can't wait to read it but it seems that other books keep coming before it! I just finished Nightshade (so good!) and I have been wondering if I should pick up I Heart You, You Haunt Me or not, so I will be looking forward to reading your review of it!

    I'm following ya back too!

    Ashlie@Page Turners Gone Wild

  2. Hey, I read this one and really liked it, too. I liked her parents and thought they sounded really cool! So you do plan on reading the next book? I know I do. Hopefully they'll do a good job of reminding me of things that I likely won't remember from the first book. I hate when sequels don't recap :P And you are so right about the emotions! It definitely made me emotional!

    My book had the other cover. I think I liked the other one better, but I think both worked for the book. Maybe this one more than the other.

    @Ashlie - is that by the same author that wrote Chasing Brooklyn? I read that one and liked it, too!

  3. Yeah I liked this cover the other one to me was kinda dull. I loved how both her parents were in the story and they seemed like parents I would want.

    I'm definitely gonna read the other one I have to know what happens since it just kinda ended. What's funny to me is that I actually just bought this book without knowing anything about it. I was at target and read the back cover and was like this is something different then what I normally read I think I'm gonna try it. (I was actually there to get Beautiful Darkness)

  4. I have this book on the way for Not-So-Bebe-Girl Autumn's Christmas book box! It seems like a story that both YA and riper (more mature sounds so OLD!) readers would like equally well. I can't wait for her to have it so I can read it! Thanks for a review that reinforces my choice!

    Julie @ Knitting and Sundries

  5. hmmm, wonder if that's a spoiler when you say there's another book set for 3 years after the accident.

  6. I came from Cym Lowell's Book Review Party Wednesday (BRPW).

    Sounds like I'd need my emotional armour to read this book...

    Cherry Mischievous

  7. Stopping by from Cym Lowell's Book Party Review.

    Stop by my blog if you like.


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Happy Reading and Blogging, Ashley

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