If I Stay By Gayle Forman
If I Stay #1
Published Apr 2nd 2009 By Dutton Juvenille
Summary: 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.
I’ll admit it — the premise of If I Stay didn’t sound entirely interesting when I first heard about it. But then it kept getting rave reviews and then Chloe Grace Möretz signed on to play Mia in the movie. And so I craved and read it.
And I loved it.
If I Stay is a bit of a tear jerker. Not The Fault In Our Stars kind of tear jerker, but enough to tug on your heartstrings. If I Stay is about Mia who got into a car crash with her family and is in limbo between being dead and being alive. While in limbo, she observes her surrounding before deciding if she wants to stay alive or die. If I Stay is a pretty short book; it takes place within a 24-48 hour span, in which Mia recalls her memories with her family and her boyfriend along with her observations of what’s happening around her as she goes into limbo. The story has a lot of flashbacks/dual perspective but I felt that it added to the story and we learn a lot more about Mia and the relationships she built with these people that are by her side.
The story is very character-centric, where it focuses a lot on relationships that Mia fostered with her parents, family friends, best friend and boyfriend. Mia is a great narrator and a fantastic character as a whole. She’s smart, relatable and has an amazing family that she can always depend on. As a whole, all of the characters in If I Stay are fantastic. In their own ways, they’re wonderful and quirky but their love for Mia is the same. Throughout the book I really felt their love for her and her love for them — and I think that’s what makes this book really sad but also makes you attached to them. This book definitely brings out all of your emotions and makes you really appreciate the people around you a lot more.
On a personal level, I could definitely relate with Mia a lot, especially with her struggles to adapt to her musician boyfriend. My boyfriend is a musician as well and though I do not play music, I certainly have felt awkward and like I didn’t belong. I think there were a lot of aspects of Mia’s life, where she feels she’s so different from everyone in her family and her boyfriend, really hits home for me which is why I fell in love with this book.
Its a little difficult to try and sum up my feelings for If I Stay in a written review, but I would definitely recommend everyone to give this book a chance if you haven’t already. It goes beyond just struggling with loss, but its a great book filled with wonderful human relationships that will stay with you.
I’m looking forward to reading Where She Went next; the ending of If I Stay was such a cliffhanger, I just needed more. If I Stay is another one of those books that made it into my favourite books of all time list and I’m definitely going to check out more of Gayle Forman’s works.
After I’d played for about ten minutes, it came to me: My aversion to Adam’s shows has nothing to do with music or groupies or envy. It had to with the doubts. The same niggling doubts I always had about not belonging. I didn’t feel like I belonged with my family, and now I didn’t feel like I belonged with Adam, except unlike my family, who was stuck with me, Adam had chosen me, and this I didn’t understand. Why had he fallen for me? It didn’t make sense.