Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Speak, an imprint of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 2009

Description (from amazon)

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.

My Review (5 Stars: Loved it!)

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is an sensitive, emotional love story.  I read it the day I purchased it.  It was a short read (approximately 5 hours).  I cried almost from beginning to end.  Seventeen year old, Mia and her family are in a deathly car crash.  Mia has an out-of-body experience where she watches herself at the accident scene, being transported to the hospital, being at the hospital and in ICU.  The author, Gayle Forman, tells this story through flash backs of Mia’s life.  Mia spends time with her parents, baby brother, her best friend – Kim, her boyfriend -Adam, her grandparents and other family and friends.

Mia’s heart wrenching question is whether she will stay alive or not.

This story is also about music.  Mia plays the cello, her boyfriend is in a rock band, and her father was a song writer who left his band to raise his family.

The way in which author Gayle Forman evokes so much emotion, so quickly, is incredible.

If I Stay has been adapted as a motion picture.  I’ve included the trailer here as well as links to the author’s playlist and the movie soundtrack playlist.

If I Stay author, Gayle Forman’s: Play List.

Movie: iTunes movie soundtrack.

There is now a sequel to this book, Where She Went by Gale Forman.

First Line

“Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.”

What Others Are Saying (from the author’s website)

Forman excels at inserting tiny but powerful details throughout, including the realistic sounds, smells and vocabulary of a hospital, which will draw readers into this masterful text and undoubtedly tug at even the toughest of heartstrings.
Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Original and exciting, it is a novel about relationships, life and the people involved in both. The characters are tangibly real, the plot is fascinating and will cause the pages to turn rapidly. Teens and adults will find themselves falling in love with Forman’s stunning novel.



  1. I also loved this book (and the movie); in some ways, the movie expanded beautifully on my reading experience, since I could hear the music instead of imagining it.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts!


  2. Pat, thanks for sharing. My first thought was that I am not sure I want to read something that will make me cry and wondered if the music would be lost in the book and not appreciated, but now I am hooked and will put it on my reading list. I think reading the book and then seeing the movie is a good plan and will put the movie on my list too. I guess I will have to read it to see if the music is lost in book format. Or, maybe they have an audio book. I thought maybe it would be a great audiobook for our ride home from Florida, but crying from beginning to end might not be such a good idea for driving. Would love to check out this book and will pass it on to Grace and will also check out the movie — thanks for your blog and sharing all your great books with us.


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