20 September 2012

Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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

Published: 2 April 2009 by Penguin

Pages: 201 (paperback)

Genre/s: YA, Contemporary, Romance

Source: Own library

Check it Out: Goodreads ~ Amazon ~ Amazon UK ~ The Book Depository

Synopsis (Goodreads)
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... 


My Thoughts

The last time I read a book at the end of a 24 hour read-a-thon it was a fun read but nothing mind blowing. And when I'm getting to the stage of needing to prop my eyes open with toothpicks, I choose books that I think will be a quick, easy read. Although If I Stay was a quick read, it wasn't necessarily an easy one....

If I Stay is a book that seemed simple when I read the synopsis - but within the first few pages I realised that this would be a book that I loved - Mia's family are simply fantastic, and I loved that she wanted to be with them as much as possible. Their banter, their personalities and their bond as a family really had them under my skin. And throughout her tragedy, and her inner fight, flashbacks to her life before the accident, both with her family, and with the boy she loves, really cemented all the characters into my heart. The scene with her grandfather in the hospital particularly got to me.

As a character I really liked that Mia was different from the stereotypical YA heroine - with a passion for music, for her family and a not-always-perfect relationship, it was easy to like her and to sympathise with her story.

This book also made me stop and think about the situation that Mia found herself in - how difficult her choice was, and that no matter which choice she made, someone was going to be hurt whether it was herself or her friends and her family. If I Stay also made me think about how much family really means, but also that good friends, really good friends can become just like family to us.

The pacing is spot on, and not at any time did I find myself wandering off into mind space - every time I put this book down, I was itching to pick it up again just to find out what happened next.

Emotional, compelling, touching, I enjoyed If I Stay so much that I immediately bought the sequel, Where She Went, on Kindle and read it all in the same sitting.


20 comments:

  1. I'm glad you liked it! If I Stay and Where She Went are two of my favorite contemporary reads ever. Great review! :)

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  2. Such good books, both this one and Where She Went. I did cry several times during this book but didn't feel as though I was being manipulated into those feelings but rather that I was so immersed in the story I couldn't help but be emotionally involved.

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  3. Yay! I'm glad you loved this. I read it a year or two ago and thought it was fabulous! The companion novel is very different, but also really good, so you should go read that thing!

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    1. I didn't have huge expectations so I was completely blown away by how much I did like it!

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  4. This is a set of two books? Sounds like a book that I might need to accompany with a box of tissues...but probably well worth it!

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    1. Definitely worth it - if I was a crier, I would have shed buckets :)

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  5. Wow, it was so good that you read both books in one sitting? That must be quite a story! I like that the premise is a little outside the box in the YA genre. Don't get me wrong, I love a strong heroine but I really can appreciate one that's easily relatable. It sounds like Mia is that kinda gal. If I'm ever looking for a cry-worthy book, I think this will be it!

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    1. All the characters were great - not perfect, but flawed in ways that I could still like them.

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  6. Great review! I loved If I Stay and need to get my hands on Where She Went ASAP!

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    1. Yes you must read Where She Went - it ties up the first one perfectly!

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  7. Love the sound of this, I hope our Library has this too.

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  8. Great review! I loved If I Stay. I cried so hard. I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

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  9. THESE BOOKS! They are just...so incredible. It's been some time since I've read them and still remember my emotions vividly. I liked Where She Went better, but only because If I Stay set up the book so perfectly. They were both so difficult yet so passionate and emotional. ♥

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    1. I can't believe I waited so long to read them! I liked that they were both a little different, and that the second one was a different POV.

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  10. It does seem that family gets forgotten about a bit in YA. I really like the sound of this one.

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    1. This one definitely has a family focus, and a reason I liked it so much!

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  11. I just re-read this book (4th time over) a few days ago. It never fails to blow my mind and get me all teary. It's kind of weird that I keep coming back to this book whenever I'm in a reading rut. Sure it's a short read, but it's also extremely depressing... but even so, it picks me right up and I'm ready to get reading some more. You MUST read Where She Went!

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