Monday, April 11, 2011

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Book: If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Genre: YA
Rating: A
For: the readathon
From: library book sale

When I was shuffling through books to figure out which ones would work for the readathon, I came across this one and thought to myself, "Wait... what? I have this book? I've been dying to read this book and I had no idea I had it!! Cool beans!" Don't you love it when that happens!

And it was a perfect book for the readathon... short and quick.... and very engaging.

It's a simple story really, about a girl who, on a snow day and home from school, goes on an adventure with her family. They get in a terrible accident, and before she knows it, she is in the hospital fighting for her life. She is there, out of her body, watching the whole thing unfold. Her grandparents coming, the nurses and doctors working, her best friend freaking out, etc. Meanwhile, seeing everyone makes her think about stories from the past, so there's lots of flashbacks to let us in on everything that's been going on in her life. At some point, she realizes that the decision is hers.... does she stay? Or does she go?

I loved it.  I loved it because there's tons of music references that I can relate to. At our house, we have a drummer who has his own rock band, and a violin player who has classical concerts and recitals. I loved it because there were a lot of bookish references too. I loved it because she's a family girl, and even said she felt embarrassed sometimes if her friends would learn that she would rather hang out with her family then them. And I'm pretty sure that my kids feel this way sometimes too. So I thought that was cool.

And then the end... oh boy. I knew it would be rough, but the circumstances were so similar to what we just went through in our family last November with my brother in law, that it was hard to read. I'm quite sure his spirit lingered for a few days and was present during all the trauma and that he could hear all the stuff we were saying to and about him. My sister in law felt it when he finally made his decision, and his presence was no longer there.... that is if he even had that choice. I have a hard time believing he would choose not to stay, and to leave behind his four young boys, but something else must have been going on that we weren't aware of, because leave is exactly what he did.

Reading the thought process Mia was going through was heart wrenching. I can't even imagine. To see what  she chooses, you'll just have to read the book!

Bottom line: I loved it, even if it did make me quite weepy.

Other Reviews:

Book Journey
Reading Through Life
Reviewsbylola's Blog
One Librarian's Book Reviews


  1. I loved this one too. It's amazing how personal some books can seem. I just read The Long Goodbye and it had me weeping (and I'm not a cryer) but it was so good. It was like it was written about my own experience.

    Now you have to read Where She Went too. It's the sequel to If I Stay and it's even better!

  2. I LOVED this book. I made my husband read it, and he loved it just as much. The sequel is even better, if you can believe that. (Jim read that one too and agrees.) So glad that you enjoyed it.

  3. Too funny that you were dying to read this book and it turns out you already had it! I'm always looking for books to try to convince my reluctant reader to pick up a book. This one sounds like something she might like.

  4. Ha ha, I'm glad it's not just me who doesn't even know what books I own anymore! ;-) I can't wait to read this one, it sounds great!

  5. The books that bring out these types of emotion in me are always my favorites. You're going to love Where She Went even more!

  6. Oh god, I love this book so much. How fun that you were dying to read it and then found out you'd HAD it! Ha. Also, Where She Went, the sequel is just emotional and wonderful as this one is.

  7. I recently read this one - and it made me weepy too!



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