Book Review–If I Stay by Gayle Forman


This is the 88th book from my 200 Book Reading Challenge.

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If I Stay by Gayle Forman
Published April 2nd, 2009


On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.



Mia’s morning seems to start out well–a cancellation of school due to a few snowflakes being on the ground (haha, this reminds me of my hometown!) and a trip to see her parent’s friends and her grandparents. Soon Mia’s life goes out of control when her parent’s car ends up crashing.

Mia wakes to discover that her parents are dead, her little brother is missing, and that she’s somehow seeing her own bloodied body in a ditch. How can this be possible? When the ambulance arrives, Mia soon learns that she’s in a coma.

Following her body all the way to the hospital, she’s able to see how her other family members, friends, and even her boyfriend, react to her condition. She then learns that it’s up to her concerning whether she stays . . . or she goes. Will she stay or will she go join her parents in the afterlife?

I felt this was a very emotional read, from the warmth I felt when she was with her family, friends, or boyfriend, or when she was debating on whether to stay or not. The writing style was easy to get swept up into, and Mia was a character I was about to like from the start.

I liked everyone else in the book as well, from her very hip, modern parents to her adorable little brother, her interesting rocker boyfriend, and passionate best friend. Even her grandparents caught my hearts, especially her grandfather. The scene with her and the grandfather is one of the most touching I can remember.

I really enjoyed this story and the emotional roller coaster it took me on. It also makes you wonder what you would do in Mia’s condition if you’d lost the most important people to you–would you stay and live with an empty hole inside yourself, or would you go be with them? I was honestly fine with either choice Mia made in the end because I could see how both options both had their pros and cons to them.






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