Book Review: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman
Published: USA; Dutton Children’s Books. UK; Definitions. 2009.

Pages: 210
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary.
Series: If I Stay #1
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3.5 out of 5 stars if i stay If I Stay has left me quite emotional. I’m honestly not sure what I think about this book. At the beginning I thought: I actually think this book might be a three-star rating – that’s rare for me  – as there was something that wasn’t quite connecting for me. I’m not sure if it was the style: the main characters’ voice. However, it did improve as the book progressed. From the very beginning – even though something wasn’t working for me – I loved that the main character had a good relationship with her family. Finally! This was a refreshing change. It’s truly a devastating story and I was in tears not even fifteen pages in. In an instant a families’ life changes irrevocably; one of the worst things imaginable happens. The book consists of Mia, who is laying in hospital on a ventilator having an out-of-body experience. She is seeing everything happening around her and is left with the decision of whether or not she should stay. How does someone live with such pain? How do they go on? And, this is what Mia is dealing with.

“There is a blinding flash, a pain that rips through me for one searing instant, a silent scream from my broken body. For the first time, I can sense how fully agonizing staying will be.”

The reason this is so tear-inducing I think, is because you feel for the characters and it makes you think: What would I do? Faced with such tragedy, having lost so much, would I be able to go on? It makes you think about the unthinkable and that is what tears your heart in two. I love the flashbacks of Mia’s life. This was probably my favourite part of the book: getting to see the relationship between Mia and her family and her relationship with her best friend and boyfriend. This is such a difficult book for me to review; my initial rating and opinion has improved but there’s just something that won’t let me give it four stars. The pure emotion of the story is why the rating has gone up half-a-mark. I by no means disliked this book; I just didn’t love it. If you want a book that will most likely make you cry and contains some good relationships then this is a book for you.

Do you love this book? Or, are you like me and didn’t quite love it? Did it make you sad – like me – that you didn’t love it?


2 thoughts on “Book Review: If I Stay

  1. It’s a shame that this one was missing a little something in there for you to be able to love it. I have heard so many things about this book, and I want to see the movie as well because it has Chloe Grave Moretz in it and she is one of my favourite actresses as well. I have read some excerpts and liked what I have seen so far, so we’ll see!


    1. It always feels so weird when I don’t love a book – it makes me a little sad, but there are bound to be books that I’ll read which I won’t love. I’ve seen the movie; it was good but it won’t make my favourites list. Maybe you’ll like the book more than I did – I’m guessing it probably has mixed reviews.


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