Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Read (November 3 - 4, 2010)

Book: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publication Date: April 6, 2010
Publisher: Speak
Number of Pages: 234 
Genre/s: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction
Source: Bought

A critically acclaimed novel that will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

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. - (source)
“Then the musical instruments appeared. Dad’s snare drum from the house, Henry’s guitar from his car, Adam’s spare guitar from my room. Everyone was jamming together, singing songs: Dad’s songs, Adam’s songs, old Clash songs, old Wipers songs. Teddy was dancing around, the blond of his hair reflecting the golden flames. I remember watching it all and getting that tickling in my chest and thinking to myself: This is what happiness feels like.” - taken from If I Stay 
As Mia contemplates about her decision, readers were taken into a series of flashbacks that show how her life has been. These flashbacks and memories seem to flow from inside Mia to me, the reader. Mia, the girl who felt like she did not belong, is in fact has the love that binds those very important to her. She belongs. She’s meant to be with them, right in the middle. I was so captivated by Mia’s reminiscing that I slowly became part of her family and when she did finally decides what’s best for her, I felt like I would burst with emotion and there’s no way out but to cry.

She also asked: What if every person dying gets to decide whether they stay or go? Physically, you are there lying in bed, broken and bruised but the echo of you is watching everything unfold. How hard it must be to see the people you love wait with worry across the hospital hall? Hearing them talk about you like you’re not there. Seeing them cry and despair. I can’t help but feel Mia’s pain and sadness because I know how she loved her family and how scary it must be to be alone and wake up never to see them again.

Mia and Adam love story is just the way I wish mine would be. Quiet because they communicate in ways no other couples could: in music. It was honest and real. It was not forced, not a given but something that was develop over time. The kind that could last forever. I honestly think that Adam is one of the most unforgettable and sweetest male characters I’ve ever come across in books. Also, Mia and Kim’s friendship was incredibly portrayed. It will really make you realize that family can also be found in friends.

If I Stay is a gripping story of family, friendship and love. Forman has this amazing talent in translating emotions into words that will leave you open and personal with whatever the character is feeling. It was one of my best reads in 2010 and I was rubbed raw by the whole experience, I had tears on my eyes, my heart broke a million times but I will surely go back to this book like what I did today and remember Mia. Touching, poignant and packed-full of emotions, If I Stay will surely stir something in the deepest of your hearts. Just please make sure you have a couple of tissues at the ready.

Cupid's Verdict:

5 Cupids


  1. I'm so glad you loved this book! I thought it was incredibly touching, too. Will you be reading the sequel?

  2. Hi Wendy! I decided to reread If I Stay and make another review because I felt that my original review didn't give the book justice. And I have already read Where She Went back when it was release and I really loved it. But like If I Stay, I still have to pull myself together before I even attempt to review it.

  3. If I Stay is such a unique, emotional book I've read so far. It was amazing! The characters were so real and very likeable. I like the story a lot, and the ending has left me wanting more. Great review!! Thank you for sharing it!

    Books For All Seasons

  4. Thank you Sam :) This is truly a wonderful book!

  5. +JMJ+

    The communication through music is interesting! It sounds as if this book should have come with a CD. =)

    Someone once said that "writing about music is like dancing about architecture," and yet I always look forward to how music is "translated" into the silent medium of print.

    1. Wow! That's the first time I heard that saying. I do agree that it's really interesting to see how an author could portray music in words. And how I wish there is really a CD for this book! Thanks for dropping by!

  6. greet review and If I stay, one of my fave book, really sad but I like this book :)

    1. Thank you Imel! If I Stay was one of my favorites, too. :)

  7. I remember reading this ages ago and it's still one of my favourite contemporaries. Mia's and Adam's characterization are just spot on.

    Great review & thank you for sharing! =)

    1. Mia & Adam is just one of the many reasons why I love this book so much. Their relationship and their connection is beyond amazing even amidst all the tragedy and heartaches. :) Thanks for stopping by Natasa!

  8. Aww I think the romance is very cute in here. :)

  9. this book is translated in indonesian language...i don't really like the story...kind of sadness there...not my cup of tea :)
    but i like ur review ...

  10. I've been meaning to read this. Thanks for a great review!:)


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