Sunday, 26 April 2009

Review: If I Stay

I started this book today and finished it today. "If I Stay" by Gayle Forman was a quick read but by no means a light read. It was a novel that was deep and made you question yourself. It's the type of book that can make you see life in a different perspective. But, above all, it's enjoyable.

'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. Everybody has to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope. But life can change in an instant. A cold February morning ...a snowy road ...and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one. As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all. Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, "If I Stay" will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.

If you look up the definition of heart-wrenching you will find the words "Gayle Forman - see If I Stay." Maybe not, but that's where it belongs. This book almost reduced to me tears. And I have no heart. But I can see people crying their eyes out over this, and with good reason. This book can evoke deep and powerful emotions in you.

This book centres around Mia. And one choice. I don't want to give the story away so I might not be as detailed as usual. Whilst Mia is faced with what is one of the hardest choices anyone can make, we are shown flashbacks of Mia's life. We are able to see how music has shaped her life and brought her and her boyfriend, Adam, together. This book would have been so different if music were not mentioned in it.

I remember one quote from page 155 of "If I Stay." It is the last two sentences on the page.

"I realise now that dying is easy. Living is hard."

And I love how simply it fitted in to the book. When I read this book, there are things that Mia says and realises that make you stop and think for a moment. And this is why it is a truly memorable book.

Characters? I really loved Mia's family. I think this is because of Mia's love of her family. Mia also has a fierce love for her brother, Teddy. And he was one of my favourite characters.

This book kept me reading and reading. I needed to know what Mia would choose. The conflict Mia found herself in was the purpose of the book. Would she stay?

I recommend this book to practically anyone. My mum is a picky reader and when this came in the post she had a look at it and asked to borrow it after me. This is a book that can be enjoyed by all. There's no age boundaries. It's just a book that you simply need to read.

Plot: 10/10
Characters: 9/10 (I wanted to know more about Kim, Mia's friend)
Hookability (ability to keep you reading): 9/10 (I was able to put it down for a while)

Total: 28/30


  1. Great review, and I totally agree! It's definitely a book for all ages. I loved it too.

  2. I love, love, love this book. I agree about it being for all ages too, I'm going to get my little sister to read it.

  3. It's amazing. And I'm glad everyone loves it!

  4. Great review! I've been meaning to read this. It just seems to have a compassionate feel. Not sure how to explain it...

  5. Great review! I loved this book a lot too! Total cry-fest!

  6. I loved this too. One of my all time faves.

  7. Yay! Glad you liked it :D I really liked it too :)

  8. This is the third review of this book, it saws really intriguing.
    Have you read One Liters Of Tears by Aya Kito? It's a real life person's diary that was published after her death. It's translated in English (originally in Japanese) and can be found on Amazon Japan.
    It's about a fifteen year old girl who is diagnosed with a incurable disease,which takes all her abilities away from her, and she writes about her thoughts and what it feels like and how she pushes to survive. It's a amazing story that will change anybodies heart. Their a Japanese T.V show of it and a movie of it you can find online at

    Some of the quotes I remember from her:

    "I won't be greedy, I won't be selfish, I won't give up on life."

    "Whats wrong with falling down? You can always stand up again and when you do you can look up at the blue sky and you'll realize something: your alive."

    "Reality is too cruel,to brutal. I don't even have the right to dream. As I think about the future, tears will come out again."

    I won't get away anymore quotes, but if you have time or want to you should check it out.

  9. That sounds really interesting, Book Monster, I've never heard of this book before. Those quotes are amazing.