Review Monday: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Goodreads Blurb:
Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.”

It pains me to give such a hyped up book 3 stars.  I think I was giving into the hype a bit and really, really wanted to give this book more than 3 stars.  But the sad truth is that I can’t.  Let me tell you why.

1.  The length.  Because it was so short and starts the day of the accident, I felt like I didn’t know Mia at all.  Sure there were flashbacks and such but I was just getting into her head when suddenly you’re yanked back out and it’s onto the next plot point.

2.  It didn’t grip me.  I was able to put it down without a second thought as to what decision she would make.  Mostly because the entire time she was with her body in the hospital and such, she was just listlessly wandering around and saying over and over how do I do anything and ‘oh what they’re saying will let me go’ except she never acted on anything except for the involuntary actions at the end.

There are plenty of good things about this book though.  It was very heartfelt and made me cry at some points.  The ending was particularly good and it leaves you satisfied.

I read some reviews of this book and I have to agree that it is a very hard topic to cover but the author did a pretty bang-up job of tackling it.  I have a feeling I’ll like the movie better than the book because there’s a bit more development in this instance.

And that’s it I suppose.  I really don’t have much to say for this book.  I enjoyed it while it lasted but I wouldn’t reread it or buy it.

The Final Verdict:
This book didn’t really meet my expectations although I suspect I’ll like the movie better.  The length was an issue with the development of the characters and it didn’t really grip me.  It was very heartfelt and the author did a decent job tackling a rather hard topic.  I think I will be reading the sequel just because in my edition form the library included the first pages of the next book and it’s very interesting indeed!
3 stars

“Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal” 

“If you stay, I’ll do whatever you want. I’ll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I’ll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would be too painful, that maybe it’d be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I’d do it. I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.” 

“I’m not sure this is a world I belong in anymore. I’m not sure that I want to wake up.” 

“I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.” 

“It’s quiet now. So quiet that can almost hear other people’s dreams.” 

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” 

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

0 thoughts on “Review Monday: If I Stay by Gayle Forman”

  1. It seems like this book was too short and swift for it to have a sinking in impact on you 😦 Which is a shame, because I like it when books dig deeper as well! I still need to read this one, but I don't mind letting it wait for a while…


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