Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Review: If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Published: April 9th 2009, Dutton Juvenile

Pages: 210 pages, paperback

Acquired: Received at the awesome Random House Book Blogger Brunch!

Publisher’s summary: 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.

My Review: If I Stay is a novel you will not forget, that I promise you. I also promise that you probably will cry. I did. A lot. Within the opening pages.

The description of the crash at the beginning of the story is truly horrific and I was shocked by how graphic Forman’s description was. I’m glad she went there though and didn’t gloss over the gore – I think it needed to be said and didn’t feel forced at all.

We see everything through Mia’s eyes in the novel. Her past, her most treasured memories and her own broken body lying in a bleak hospital bed. She sees her family waiting for news on her condition, she sees them trying to be strong, she sees them break. But there’s nothing she can do except watch everything unfold and wait until she knows which choice to make.

Mia is a really loveable character – I felt like she was an old friend going through a heartbreaking tragedy. I just wanted to reach into the pages and hug her. However, I just had to sit back and keep reading to find out what Mia would choose.

The flashback scenes are just as well written as the hospital scenes and, for once, I didn’t find myself skimming over them, which I tend to do with flashbacks in other novels as I find they often slow down the pace of the novel. However, in If I Stay Mia’s memories just add to the development of the story and added a little something extra that I loved.

Because I don’t want to give anything away I’ll leave things here but please do try and check out this gorgeous book if you can – it really isn’t to be missed and it’s a fantastic addition to any YA fan’s book shelf.

Final thoughts: A beautiful story written in haunting prose, If I Stay lingers in your mind long after you’ve finished turning the pages.

Read if you liked...: Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Plot: 4/5
Writing: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Cover: 3/5
Total: 16/20 (B+)


  1. i really loved this book. it was amazing. i loved mia, she's probably one of my favorite female protagonists ever, and everything about the story was wonderful. definitely worth reading. thanks for the awesome review!

  2. I'm really touched by this book, loving it Ü

  3. I loved this book too. I loved what you said about it feeling like an old friend going through a tragedy. It really did feel that way, didn't it?

  4. I was sure I had this book on my TBR list, but I can't find it! It's there now! Great review

  5. I loved this book. It made me cry and wonder about a lot of things. Great review

  6. Such a wonderful book! I'm so glad you read it.

  7. I agree times a million. This book is fantastic and one of my favourites.

  8. Haven't read this book yet, but am definitely putting this on my books to read pile for sure. And I love the cover too.

  9. I have heard a lot of good things about this book. I should put it on my list too!!

  10. I absolutely adored this book! I'm so glad you enjoyed too! It's definitely one of my favorites :).

  11. I bought this book at a book festival and it's signed. I have to read this, but I have no time. I'm glad you liked it though, it has a good premise


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