Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


If I Stay is a novel that is thematically hard to read, but is also impossible to put down. Forman tells the story of Mia, an amazing cellist, with an amazing boyfriend in a band to boot. Mia’s on her way to Juilliard, though the decision to leave those she loves behind is a tough one. Then, everything goes really bad when Mia and her family are in a car accident, and she’s the only one left alive. From a coma, it’s up to her to decide if she’s going to stay or if she’s going to let go.

I read this book awhile back, but I’m using some backlist books to fill out my reviews for the week. Thus, the review may not be as detailed as I would like, but such is life. I do remember crying a lot while I read this book. Mia faces a horrible choice: choose to live in a world without her family  or choose to leave her love and musical talent behind to die. The story weaves in and out of the past and present, showing her family and their relationships, as well as her relationship with Adam, her boyfriend. We also see the painful and heartbreaking reactions of Adam and Mia’s other loved ones as they deal with the horrific situation and desperately hope for Mia to return to them. It’s a painful story to read, and it feels like an impossible choice for anyone to have to make.

Forman’s novel is engaging and heartbreaking, but powerful and beautiful at the same time. Love in many forms is woven throughout, and music plays an integral role in the novel. The situation that Mia faces is handled gracefully. At times, the impossibility of her choice just hits you like a wall, but at others, you find yourself hoping for one choice over the other. I highly recommend this book, just make sure you’re in the mood for a tearjerking emotional roller coaster.

Rating: 4 out of 5

More Information: Goodreads, Amazon, Official Website

Have you read If I Stay? What did you think of it? Let me know in the comments!

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