Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman (4.5 out of 5)

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.

And I listen.

Stay, he says.
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make- 

  This is my review of the kindle ebook: 

I wanted to read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, as I heard a lot of talk about it. Mia and her brother Teddy live happily with their parents, until one day when they are driving to a family outing. They are involved in an horrific car accident which kills her parents outright, and she is not particularly sure what has happened to Teddy. The book is told through her eyes, and flits back and forth between her stay in the ICU and all the happy, and sometimes difficult, memories in her life. It’s very well very written, and kept me interested from beginning to end. The book, despite not being that long, centres on some very interesting themes, music, family relationships and love. Mia is a very keen cello player and her boyfriend Adam is in a band. Even soon-to-be eight year old Teddy has a drum kit in his room. I very much enjoyed the background to the story at the end, and the references to the songs used in the book.  Music plays a part in Mia’s and Teddy’s parents’ lives, too, as their dad was in a band. 

For me, the book touched me personally, as I have a lot of experience of being hospitalised, and any book with any kind of personal tragedy really gets me reading. The only criticism I have is that the theme of an out-of- body experience is now quite overdone, with other books, TV shows and films focusing on this. What sets this book apart, though, is the way Gayle Forman really gets inside the characters to make a very moving story. 

If I could sum this book up in just a few words, they would be that the book is sad funny and memorable. I’m really looking forward to the sequel, Where She Went.  

I also want to see the film of If I Stay, and when I do, I’ll blog about it and compare it to the book, so watch my blog for that post 🙂 

Alternative cover for If I Stay 



If I Stay is also available in a two-book collection, with the second book, Where She Went, included.



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