A review of If I Stay (by Gayle Forman)

I was curious about this book when I heard that the movie If I Stay was based on this novel. This year, I found it at the library, and I decided to read it. I wasn’t anticipating liking this book, because I don’t read books about accidents, or death (one exception: I did read The Lovely Bones). This novel was powerful, and I could relate to Mia in a lot of ways. She deals with her traumatic predicament, and is left with a difficult decision. I liked how there were two stories going on: She explains what’s going on with her, and she provides flashbacks of her life. This novel is raw, and at times very sad, but all in all, this book isn’t too depressing. I liked it, it’s a powerful read.


In the blink of an eye, everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. She watches as her family visits her in the hospital, and as she receives medical care. The terrible reality of what she has lost makes her torn between two choices. She is reminded of her friends and family. She also thinks of her hopes and dreams, such as becoming a great musician. Mia doesn’t have enough time, and she is slowly slipping away. She is left with the hardest decision, and one that will change her and everyone who she cares about.

This is a beautifully written novel, and it’s very gripping, and real. It’s heart-wrenching, but at times humorous. The role that music plays in this novel adds a nice touch to the story, and being a musician myself, it made the story even more relatable. Gayle Forman has written a very powerful novel, and one that is unforgettable.


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