Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Publication Date: 2009

Genre: Young Adult

Source: Bought at Target

Synopsis:  “In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.” (from Goodreads)


Ohhhh…  I absolutely adored this book! I actually read If I Stay before I started this blog, but its presence has been taking up residence in the back of my head ever since, so I figured I should talk my heart out on ze bloog.

The Breakdown:

Mrs. Forman does not hesitate to start off with a BANG, or in this case a CRASH!  This novel tore me apart, filled me with all kinds of “FEEEEELINGS”, then put me back together again.

The way the story is laid out is perfect, like a beautifully played song, it has a gripping melody and flow to it.  Forman is able to weave us back and forth from Mia’s present and past flawlessly, which only made me love it even more.  I am used to stories being told in chronological order and slowly learning about characters and having time to understand and get to know them, that initially I was worried that I wouldn’t care about them at all because of the funky backwards storytelling, but it is truly pulled off perfectly here (this is the best way I can explain it without spoiling its awesomeness!).  Even though the story is sad(I teared-up a few times), it is balanced with memories of great love and hope.

The characters are all so vibrant, their stories had me wishing I knew them in the real world, especially Mia’s witty parents. Though I may be biased here, I loved how she even included quirks of the different nurses, and how things ran in the hospital, it was realistic to me (this is coming from someone that graduated nursing school last year) and I think my nursing friends would agree.

Of my readings so far this year, If I Stay is definitely at the top of my favorites list, and I don’t think it’s going to be bumped down anytime soon.  Although I was disappointed in it’s sequel, Where She Went (review soon to come), this story is still a wonderful piece of art!

Muse with me: Hopefully you get the chance to check it out and let me know what you think =).  If you have read it already, who would make YOU stay?