Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
On the Shelves: Young Adult> Contemporary
“Life can change in an instant.
A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia’s choices are gone. Except one.
As alone as she’ll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all
Gripping, heart-rending and ultimately life-affirming,”If I Stay”will make you
appreciate all that you have, all that you’ve lost – and all that might be.” (Goodreads 2014)
If I Stay picks up after the accident. Basically, Mia wakes up outside of her body, which is asleep in the hospital, and spends the majority of the novel watching her family worry for her, waiting for her to wake up, whilst remembering the events before and during the accident. Be warned: this is not a “happy” book. But it isn’t entirely sad, either. Throughout the book, quite early on, you learn that she is the only survivor from the car accident, and her only family left are her grandparents who are visiting her in the hospital, and her boyfriend. She has to make a choice- does she stay with them? Or does she follow her family?
This will be a short review because it is only a short book and I can’t talk much about it without spoilers- which I try to avoid in my reviews as best I can!
Forman’s writing was really well balanced for such a tricky topic in this book. It wasn’t preachy or overbearing, it was actually quite subtle in some places. I don’t tend to cry in books, but I cried at one part of this book: her Granddad. Those who have read the book will probably automatically know which part of the book I mean- don’t worry, again it isn’t sad, it’s actually incredibly sweet. But it just tugged at my heart.
Mia was likeable as a character- but to be honest, I didn’t really care about her boyfriend and their relationship- it didn’t work for me personally, and because of this, I’ve never really felt the need to read the sequel “Where She Went”, because I think “If I Stay” works well as a standalone novel by itself.
I really enjoyed this book. I became attached to Mia and her family quickly and zoomed through this book just wanting to know what choice she made. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Young Adult and Contemporary reads- although I do advise you to have a box of tissues handy.
“I’m not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I’m not sure that I want to wake up .”