Tuesday, May 19, 2009

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay If I Stay by Gayle Forman

April 9th 2009 by Dutton Juvenile
Hardcover, 199 pages
0525421033 (isbn13: 9780525421030)

rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Everyone thinks it was because of the snow."

Because I try to maintain a no-spoiler policy in my reviews, I am using for a synopsis the wording provided by the publisher.

Choices.  Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love – music – even if it means losing her boy friend and leaving her family and friends behind?

The one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes.  Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one.  And it’s the only one that matters.

The words I’d use to describe this book have all been taken: “graceful,” “lovely,” “gentle.”  Also “page-turner,” “imaginative,” “haunting” and “stay-up-very-very-late-to-finish.”  Okay, maybe I’m the first to use that last phrase.

The plot is gripping, but it’s the characters in If I Stay that make it so unforgettable.  For example, when her little brother was born, Mia’s dad gave up his long hair and leather jacket, donned a bow tie and became a teacher.  And yet the transition was natural, and typical of the bonds that Forman so deftly creates in this close-knit and authentic family.  Adults are adults, teenagers are teenagers, and without preaching, Forman demonstrates how that dynamic grounds Mia.  Mia herself is the sort of protagonist you fall in love with, you root for, a narrator who easily steps into the ranks of Bella and Hermione.

I’ve thought and thought, but I don’t think this book will appeal to teen guys.  Otherwise, I’d recommend the book for anyone high school or older.  I would also highly recommend it as a library check-out for parents and grandparents of teens.


  1. I love books with great character! I've heard of this one from other blogs and I'm a big Hermione fan so I will add this one to my library list. Thanks for the review!

  2. I just bought this book- it is in my TBR pile. I have very high expectations, but I don't think I'll be let down. Hopefully!

  3. Nice review. I've had this on my wishlist for awhile and really need to get around to grabbing a copy!

  4. I have picked up this book about 10 times in my local book store, wanting to purchase it. Seriously. But I keep telling myself I have to wait because it's still a hardcover and I've spent all my book money for the month.

    But, yanno, I don't know if I CAN wait.... ;)

  5. Great review. I loved "If I Stay". I thought Kim was a great character ^_^

  6. I swear you're reading everything that I want to read. I was thinking of buying this the other day but didn't pick it up. Now I will.



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