Saturday, October 16, 2010


If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)Book: IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Format: Soft Cover (238 pages)
Series: #1 in a series
Genre: Young Adult

Language: Strong curse words used sparingly
Sex: One sex scene, mildly descriptive, not explicit
Violence: none
Themes: family, loss, death, making difficult decisions

Point of View: 1st Person, Mia
Summary: Mia and her family are driving when they're in an accident. Everyone except Mia is killed, who must make a choice between living and dying.

Told from the perspective of a disembodied Mia, I enjoyed how new characters were introduced and relationships developed through flash backs interwoven into her current timeline the hospital. The themese opens up a lot of questions, allowing for good discussion...Is there a heaven? (where did her family go?)...What would I decide if I had to chose between dying or living in these circumstances?...Would the possibility that I might have to cope with physical or mental handicaps because of the accident affect my decision?...Would I have guilt that I survived?...Could I recover from the emotional turmoil of losing those who are the most dear to me all at once?  There's also the non-existential question of would I chose to give up a dream for a boy I loved?

The author did a good job of making the characters real even though they were stereotypical. There's also a sex scene that's really cheesy.  These flaws aside, I fell in love with this family, and I could feel Mia's loss because I grew attached to them and could picture them in my mind. I didn't feel emotionally manipulated or hit over the head with "FEEL SAD HERE" experiences. It wasn't written with a heavy hand. It was very easy to read, a compliment to Ms. Foreman given the many directions this type of book could taken.

I recommend this book. It's worth reading at least once, and I will probably read it again 1-2 more times in the next few years. If I choose to buy it, it will be in paperback, but I'll most likely just check it out from the library when I want to read it again. I'd happily lend this book for others to read.

Originally Published: April 2009
Read: October 2010

You can find this and other reviews for If I Stay at

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