If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Genre: Young Adult (I've been on such a YA kick lately!)
Source: Library
Synopsis: Mia and her family has just been in a terrible and fatal car accident. In an instant, she finds herself -- her physical self, at least -- at the hospital, as doctors and nurses struggle to keep her alive. While in a coma, she reminisces about the key events and stories in her life, as she tries to figure out what to do with herself. Soon, she realizes that what she ultimately has to do, is to choose and make the biggest decision in her life: Should she stay or should she go?

Review: If I Stay tells an original story through such a unique point-of-view. I don't think I've ever read a book like this before; plot-wise. And I have to say, this is one novel that deserves a 5-star rating. It is raw and honest, inspiring and sobering, heartbreaking and uplifting all at the same time.
First of all, I loved the main characters, and truly felt for them. I found that none of them fell into any of the character cliches that we all dislike so much. They were all believable and likable -- especially Mia herself, her best friend, Kim, and her boyfriend, Adam.
Aside from the characters, I also loved the overall flow of the story. I liked how it showed Mia's memories and her present life. I liked that the story took place in the course of just one night. It really gave emphasis on how heavy the events were as the hours went on.
I also kind of liked the fact that it was a very fast read, with just 196 pages. Like I already mentioned though, I think the flow helped a lot with the pace. I was never bored, and in fact, I literally could not put the book down. I know that's such a cliche thing to say, but it's definitely true for me.
Overall, I liked this book a lot. It is quite bittersweet, but I think that it just wouldn't have the same impact and feel to it, if it was done differently. That being said, this is one novel I'm glad I picked up, and one that I highly recommend.


  1. I've seen this book around a few times, but never really read what it was about. It sounds really deep and emotional. I'm definitely interested in reading it now. Thanks for the review.

  2. I've been keeping an eye on this book for a while, I must get my hands on it soon as your review sounds great!

  3. Definitely a great book. Gayle is an amazing author. You really do feel for the characters.


  4. I wonder if I have seen this but with a different cover. This one sounds emotional which I enjoy. Great review.

  5. Great review! I just got this last week, I'm excited to start reading it soon!

  6. @Adriana: Thank you! I'd love to hear what you think about it if you ever get the chance to read it as well.

    @Kelly: Aw, thank you so much. It's a good book, I recommend it!

    @Lauren: Yes, I will definitely read more from her if she ever writes another one.
    @Marce: Thank you, and yes, there are different covers. I just picked the one I posted because it's my favorite. There's this and then there's this :)
    @Marie: Oh I'd love to hear what you think about it when you're done with it!

  7. This one of my favourite books from last year. Really beautiful.

  8. Because of this review, I picked this book up at the library. Here is my review.

    Thanks for sharing!