Age Group: Young Adult
Release Date: January 1, 2009
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 heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
Wow. I was blown away by If I Stay. I've heard people talking about how amazing this book was, but I didn't expect to love it as much as I did --- "love" being an understatement.
By the first page, I was hooked. Forman showed us Mia's family life before the accident --- they were all so happy, and got along so well. It was obvious to readers that they loved each other very much.
That's why, when the accident happened, readers were able to feel the pain of what Mia had lost, which really developed the plot, and helped us have more empathy and compassion for what Mia was going through. In other words: it wasn't like Mia was telling us how she felt, it was like we were feeling it with her.
If you know me, you know I rarely ever cry during books (sure, I'll get sad and all, but it's rare that I come across a story that makes tears spring to my eyes). If I Stay was one of those books. While reading it, and went and climbed into bed with my parents because I didn't want to be alone while reading it.
Mia is perhaps one of my all time favorite protagonists. She was really easy to relate to, and I didn't feel like she was making stupid decisions that no one would realistically make. She is one of those characters that wedges their way into readers hearts, and doesn't leave.
The way Gayle Forman writes is beautiful. She captures your attention with exquisite descriptions of characters, settings, and feelings, and when I read If I Stay it was like watching a movie in my head.
I also loved how we were able to get a lot of background story of Mia, her friends, and her family, from the flashbacks and memories she has after the accident.
By the end of the book, I was in shock from the amazing story I had just devoured. I'm really anxious to see where Mia's story goes in the sequel because I thought the story ended perfectly at the end of If I Stay.
I absolutely adore the cover to this book. I obviously wasn't the only one, because when I was reading it at school, a couple of my friends commented on how much they liked the cover. I think it's really edgy, and fits in perfectly with the story.
Sleep would be so welcome. A warm blanket of black to erase everything else. Sleep without dreams. I've heard people talk about the sleep of the dead. Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that's what it's like, I wouldn't mind. If that's what dying is like, I wouldn't mind that at all.
The Final Verdict:
If I Stay was heart-wrenching, emotional, and extremely memorable --- a book that should be on the mandatory reads list for everyone of all ages.