Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Posted 11 January, 2012 by Amanda / 22 Comments

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
(If I Stay, #1)

Genre: YA, Contemporary
Format: ebook from Missie
Read: 12/2/2011 — 12/4/2011
In Six Words: I want to hug everyone now.

Gayle Forman — Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Amazon — Paperback | Kindle
Add it to Goodreads

Book Order

1. If I Stay
2. Where She Went


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. Heart-wrenchingly beautiful, Mia’s story will stay with you for a long, long time.
-from Goodreads

Why I Started Reading This Book and Final Verdict

Believe it or not, my journey to read If I Stay began by being bullied to read the Hunger Games.  During a conversation between me, Missie, and Jess, Missie bullied both of us to read If I Stay, which then turned into an informal mini-readathon on Goodreads (which never really happened but was okay anyway).  If I Stay is not a book that you want to miss.

My Thoughts

Remember when I said I don’t really cry easily when I read books?  If I Stay made me cry.  I wanted to bawl.  It made me set down the book and go bake cookies with my mom.  It made me text my brother just to say, “Hey, how are you?” and it made me hug the boyfriend just a little more tightly.  This book will destroy you.  At first I didn’t think I would be able to write a review because If I Stay is the kind of book that rubs your emotions raw and leaves them open and bleeding.  But it would be doing a disservice not to talk about If I Stay.  So here I am.

If I Stay alternates between present day of Mia in a coma watching life unfold around her and memories that Mia relives.  The memories reveal, while not a perfect childhood, a childhood that is certainly filled with a loving family and happy times.  When contrasted with the present Mia, locked a coma, these memories become even more painful to bear, a poignant reminder of everything that can be lost.

As difficult and heart-wrenching as If I Stay is, it is a book that you should consider reading.  Though there is so much more that I could say, this is one you should experience for yourself.

Filed under: Contemporary, ESR: 9, Review: Amanda, YA, ,


22 Responses to “Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman”

  1. I need a good cry every once in a while and I really only get it when reading books. I have it on my shelf and it’s eyeing me, like I am a big loser for not having read it yet.

  2. I’ve been afraid of this one because everyone says how moving it is. Frankly, I’m never sure I’m in the mood for that kind of book, so I keep putting it off. I did just buy it, though, so my goal is to get it read this year.

    • I am the same way. I’ve heard that Where She Went is even more emotional and I’ve been avoiding it. BUT, this book is worth it.

  3. “This book will destroy you.”

    Yikes. I’m going to have to don my extra-strong emotional armor before I tackle this one! Missie has been insisting I read this one for a long time now, and I’m just so scared to pick it up because i know I’m going to be an emotional mess over it! But if you say it’s worth it then I believe you:)

  4. Wow, I’m kinda nervous to read this book…but you have it a 9/10 rating…you seemed to really enjoy it overall, so you know what…I’m putting it on my TBR list. Thanks for the honest review and I’ll have to remember to let you know what I think when I get it read. :-D

  5. Yay for TEAM BOOK BULLY!!!

    “This book will destroy you.”

    Right? I mean I felt emotionally and phycially exhasted after finishing IIS. It drained me in the best way. Thank you for reading it and thank you even more for enjoying it. This review makes me so happy, but not because it made you cry… I’m not that kind of a bully. O.o

  6. I did this one, and while I admit it didn’t induce waterworks (I feel like I read something very similar just before and found it more touching) I loved the read. My students eat this one up. Such a cool premise…If only I could get on track and read number 2…

  7. Felicia the Geeky Blogger

    I don’t think this is my kind of book but everyone loves it! I will keep in mind to grab the hankies if I do read it……as I tend to do the cry thing—-A LOT. Seriously I think I am like Jude Law’s character in The Holiday. I cry at the littlest things in movies, books, and otherwise.