Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Monday, June 9, 2014
Why I chose this book: Okay so before I wrote this I decided to watch the movie trailer for If I Stay, and now I’m crying like a big huge baby. Why did I choose this book? So many reasons! For one, this book is one that everyone and their dog is talking about. Yes, even dogs have been found to cry whilst reading this book. When I read this book I was craving a heart wrenching read, and I knew that this would be the book for me. I was totally right. Warning, the feelings train is right around the corner.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Publish Date: April 2, 2009
Format: Kindle
Genre: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
B&N || Amazon || Indiebound

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.

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

Then 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.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make. (Goodreads)

3 Things You Need to Know: 

1. Metaphors that make you swoon. 
I could tell within the first few pages that Forman was going to be my metaphor writing homegirl. I am a sucker for a good metaphor, and goodness does she deliver. While I appreciate flowery writing, I love it even more when it adds to the plot and telling of the story. As Mia progresses throughout the story, the writing blooms as well. Together they tell a story of a girl trying to find strength when all hope is lost. MY HEARRRRTTT. 

2. You will cry. YOU WILL. 
Forman does not mess around when getting to the heart of the book. Your heart will be torn right from the very beginning. While this isn’t a fast paced book, Forman does a splendid job of balancing the idea of tragedy and loss with flashbacks of Mia’s life. You see what brought Mia to this point and you can feel exactly what she is going through. Dying is easy. Living is much harder. On top of that, Forman reminds the reader that grief is never an easy pill to swallow. While it is complex and occasionally overwhelming, it is a core part of life that is necessary for every human to experience. 

3. Beauty from ashes.
One of the many things I loved about this book was the idea that beautiful things can still come from pain and suffering. While Mia’s life may seem in ruins, the reader also sees a beautiful profusion of moments that have made her life so beautiful. Moments that allow her to see that life is still worth living. Everything happens for a reason, and what you do with what has been given to you is vital. 

Final Thoughts:
I loved this book. It was heart breaking, beautiful, and thought provoking. If you are looking for a quick read that will definitely make you feel (unless you are a heartless monster, but that may be your thing), then check out If I Stay.

I gave this book 5 stars on Goodreads.


  1. This is such an amazing book. I've been planning on rereading it before the movie comes out, and I'm even more motivated now. And I will more than cry. I will sob audibly. I know this. Great review ;)

    Jessica @ Rabid Reads

    1. I know! I was talking with Amanda and we both decided to each bring tissues. I am sure I will have the same emotions for TFIoS!

  2. I really enjoyed this one and am looking forward to the movie. The trailer I have seen is pretty amazing and hope it is as well executed as TFiOS

    1. The trailer is beautiful! It made me really excited to see the film. I am hoping that it stays true to the book.

  3. I guess I'm a heartless monster! LOL... This book really didn't do anything for me. I know I'm in the minority, though.

    1. Haha! You are soooo heartless! Just kidding! I know several people that did not care for/show emotion for the book. It doesn't have to hit everyone. :)

  4. THIS MAKES ME HAPPY! I love it when people read some of my favorites. I absolutely can't wait for the movie because the book was so heartbreaking. However, the sequel has me even more excited!

  5. The movie trailer has me wanting to read If I Stay again. I forgot how moving it was! Forman really packs a punch straight to the heart with If I Stay. I don't know if I'll be able to handle it yet. I'm gearing up to watch The Fault in Our Stars and I already can't handle it. Lovely review (:


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