Monday, June 13, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Speak (imprint of Penguin)
Publish Date: January 1, 2009
Genre: YA, contemporary, paranormal
Pages: 259
Series: If I Stay
1. If I Stay
2. Where She Went (April 5, 2011)

*Read for book club.

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

I read this book last summer and gave it 1 out or 5 stars on Goodreads. I realize that this book got TONS of positive feedback and I feel kinda weird being one of the ones who wasn’t crazy about it. That’s never me. So this year, I read it for book club. I was thinking that maybe my feelings would change after rereading it. I suppose it did. I moved the rating up from 1 star (didn’t like it) to 2 (it was ok).

To be honest, I just didn’t think this book was anything special. The story itself was heartbreaking, yes, but other than that, it didn’t do anything for me. If you’ve read it, you’re probably thinking I’m crazy. The first time I read this book, I was so irritated reading to the end because I just wanted to finish it to know what Mia’s choice was. This time, I was able to pay more attention to the incorporation of music in the story, and Mia’s life overall.

I liked Teddy, Mia’s little brother, and Adam, her boyfriend. The parts of the story with Teddy made me feel emotional, whether it was Mia’s memory or her present. I also really loved Adam. His raw emotion in the story was impossible to miss or feel. Yes, Mia was in a difficult position, one I never in my entire life hope to be in, but something about Adam and his love for Mia just took hold of my heart. He is the one reason I want to read the sequel, Where She Went, because it’s told from Adam’s point of view, years after the accident. I won’t tell you more about it than that, for fear of spoilers.

The vast majority of people who read this book loved it rather than hated it. I guess for once, I’m in the minority.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery


  1. While I did not hate this book, I too was not overwhelmed by it. It was okay. If you asked me right now what it about? I couldn't really tell you! ;0) But not every book is for every person and that is what I love about books and reading. There truly is something for everyone! :0)

  2. I liked this book, but I could see it not working for everyone. For one thing, there was a lot of music-related content, and I don't think I "got" that the way someone who plays an instrument would get it. Too, the writing style in general is a lot of telling, not showing- which actually worked for me in this case, but it might not be someone else's cup of tea. Cool that you gave this book another chance, though!

  3. I really want to love this book like what most of book blogger did. But I can;t. I found no emotion from Mia. It might because I read the translation. I wish I could read the English copy.

  4. I haven't read my copy yet. But it does feel weird to go against the grain when it comes to popular books. I find myself wondering if I missed something when I dislike a book other people really liked.

  5. I read this book in a very short time..some at work...on the train and at home. It is so well written that I forgot that I was reading a work of fiction and found myself almost in tears (at work, on the train)and finally at home. The last few chapters, I had the tissue out and had to stop reading a few times as I was actually crying! Shocker...even as I write that sentence. I'm going to put myself out there and say it is probably one of the best books I've read in a while.