BOOK REVIEW: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Published: April 6th, 2010 (first published 2006)
Source: borrowed from MHS Library
Series: Book #1 of 2

From Goodreads:
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. Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

Mrs. Beamer's Review:
I expected to like this book, and I did...I really, really liked it.  Phew!  We all know build-up and anticipation have the potential to lessen the positive impact of a book.  That certainly was not the case here :)

I understand why this book won so many awards.  It's an easy read, with deep meaning.  In my opinion, that's a hard balance to strike.  Even though I knew I was reading something complex and profound, I was able to enjoy the book and not over-anayze it.  Typically I shy away from books that unfold over a short period of time.  Knowing this novel covered ONE DAY in Mia's life...I was a tad bit apprehensive (though the stellar reviews and awards eased my mind for the most part.)  Character-driven books are my passion...and I was hoping this would fit that category...and it did :)

Gayle Forman does a fantastic job delivering main characters who jump off the page.  Through the use of flashbacks, we discover who Mia is...what makes her tick.  We come to empathize with her, and this is huge for speaks to the author's brilliance.  My favorite character was Adam.  Wow.  Where were boys like him when I was in high school?!?!  :)  

On the cover of this book is the following... "What would you do if you had to choose?"  The choice faced by Mia is one I can't think's too hard for me.  At the end of the book, the author comments on "the story behind the story."  In this reflection, she mentions she didn't know what Mia would choose when she started writing this book.  I think that's incredible.  Writers amaze me.  This book amazes me.  I can't wait to read Where She Went ( soon as I post this review I'm starting it) :)

Mrs. Beamer’s Wrap-Up Rating: 0-5 (0=none, 5=lots) click here for more info
Language: 0
Violence: 0
Sexual Content: 1
Drugs/Alcohol: 1
Potential Controversial Topics: none
Recommend for High School Libraries: YES
Comfortable With My Child Reading: high school

My favorite quote/s from this book:
OK...not a quote, but a passage...the entire scene where Mia and Adam play their respective musical instruments on each other.  Incredibly romantic and seductive...loved it...

another passage...the ending...leading up to Mia's decision...beautiful and moving...

Meet the Author:My name is Gayle Forman and I love to write young-adult novels. Because I do. So thank you for reading them. Because without you, it’d just be me. And the voices in my head.
Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications asJane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter. 

1 comment:

  1. I have yet to read this. I am afraid that my expectations have already been marred by some negative reviews lol. Then again, I love when writers create powerful characters that intensify your emotions. Glad you enjoyed it!