Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)” as Want to Read:
If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

3.96  ·  Rating Details ·  506,228 Ratings  ·  33,008 Reviews
Librarian note: an alternate cover for this edition can be found here.

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 frie
Hardcover, 201 pages
Published April 2nd 2009 by Dutton Books for Young Readers
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about If I Stay, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Kate Shock makes people act in really odd ways. I'm a lifeguard in real life and I've seen people be utterly consumed with their situation, something…moreShock makes people act in really odd ways. I'm a lifeguard in real life and I've seen people be utterly consumed with their situation, something completely unrelated, or act like nothing whatever has happened. It depends on the person and the situation and maybe that was the intent here. (less)
Kimi Rose Honestly I agree, and I am easily impressed when it comes to books. I felt like the book lacked passion. It wasn't captivating and I couldn't even get…moreHonestly I agree, and I am easily impressed when it comes to books. I felt like the book lacked passion. It wasn't captivating and I couldn't even get through it all. I was so disappointed because I waited so long to read it! It was very bland! Bland is the word! Plain! Books should make the reader feel something other then complete and utter disappointment and exhaustion. I am an insomniac and that made me sleep. (less)
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsLooking for Alaska by John GreenThirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher
Best Young Adult Realistic Novels
6th out of 1,818 books — 10,797 voters
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenThe Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen ChboskyTote Mädchen lügen nicht by Jay AsherLooking for Alaska by John GreenSpeak by Laurie Halse Anderson
Best Teen Books About Real Problems
6th out of 2,305 books — 11,789 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Dec 30, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those in search of a good cry
There are two kinds of books, those that you finish reading and leave you with fleeting memories of the attractive hero, the silly heroine, and the overall storyline, or perhaps all you noted was the glaring plot holes, inconsistencies, ridiculousness or flat characters. At any rate, it’s a book that you read, either like or dislike, but no sooner than you have turned the last page, it is out of sight and out of mind. Then there is the other kind of book that will touch your heart, or awaken a l ...more
Emory Russo
Jun 27, 2014 Emory Russo rated it it was ok
Shelves: reviewed
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 29, 2012 Jess rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Young teens
Recommended to Jess by: Heather
Shelves: fantasy
This book could have been great, but it was almost embarrassing to read at times. I know that sounds pretty mean, but c'mon.

I can appreciate any novel that mentions Kathleen Hannah and Courtney Love in positive context (it also earns points for being set near Portland!), but I can't respect a novel that is full of cliches, unrealistic characters, and CHEESE. I almost had to stop reading when one character "played the other character's body like a guitar", and I actually did stop reading for awhi
Lola  Reviewer
Apr 16, 2016 Lola Reviewer rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Every person detaining a soul. ❤
*4.5 stars*

There is something comforting in that. To go down as a family. No one left behind.


I'm not.

I'm not crying.

Why would I be? If I stay is only one of the most endearing stories I've ever read...

No reason to sob quitely while writing a review... ღ

You probably all know what happens. A car accident. A car accident that took Mia, her brother and her parents' lives away. Only... Mia stayed as a ghost, a lifeless body. She's hurt. She's weak. She doesn't want to leave everyone she cares ab
Kat Kennedy
I played the violin for five years and the viola for three. It is the piano that only lasted for one year. My older brother and I began our lessons together when I was nine.

My brother was a smart kid, but he didn't know it then. It didn't help that his little sister was extremely competitive, precocious and bratty. I think he always believed he didn't have much going for him - but boy he has it where it counts.

Back then I thought I was so much smarter than him, and taking up the piano was anoth
Watermelon Daisy
Mar 04, 2012 Watermelon Daisy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition

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...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make -and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

- - -

I didn't like the book. I just thought it was compl
Apr 19, 2016 Summer rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: meh
I was actually quite shocked to find that this book did not even make me shed one tear. Weird, huh?

Unless you count tears of boredom.


Me: Wait where was the part where I was supposed to cry?

Despite what you’re probably thinking, I did not base this review on whether or not I would cry. I gave it two stars because it did not affect me in any way. Rather, it bored me. Other than the fact that I was bored to tears, I had several major
Jul 08, 2012 Rainbow rated it it was amazing

This book is wrenching!

But lovely. With an interesting and unusual narrative. There's a lot of teen romance here, but it was the family dynamic that really did me in. (In a good way.)
Books about death and dying are particularly hard to review. The way we react to them is so deeply personal that I'm skeptical about the actual value of my (or anyone's) review of the work to other readers. When we read, we don't come to the book with a clean slate--we come to it with years of experiences, friendships, and memories that provide us with a vantage point from which to view the story. And if you have an awful tendency toward existentialism, like I do, these books only become more em ...more
Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Emily May by: Tatiana

Despite the general hype about this book, I had my reservations because I had gone into The Lovely Bones with similar optimism and been highly disappointed by a story that never really took off and was simply drab and boring. After reading the goodreads description for this, I imagined something of the same and could only hope I wouldn't have a repeat performance.

To be honest, if you're looking for fast-paced adventure and a really gripping plot then I'm not sure this book is for you. Gayle For
Pavlina Read more sleep less blog❤❤

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

I decided to read this book because I noticed that the movie is coming out the next month!So I thought that finally I must read it!!!And now that I finally finished the second too I'm thinking..Why I didn't start this series sooner???Why???? The story,the characters and general all the concept was perfection!!It's a heartbreaking story about love,family and life!


This book deals with life and death.Mia is a sevent
Mar 02, 2011 Tatiana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tatiana by: Heather
Shelves: 2009, ya, ala-ya-2010, 2011
Update 3/23/2011. The sequel is a fabulous cryfest. Better than "If I Stay."

Update 3/2/2011. While I didn't love this book as much as many of my friends did, I still think that it has a lot of heart. Looking forward to the sequel.

Original review
It is always difficult for me to write reviews for books that do not have any flaws. "If I Stay" is one of those books. This story of love and family, of choices and happiness, is just so superbly written, I am a little lost for words.

I think the genius
Jan 16, 2013 V rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
I keep hearing that If I Stay by Gayle Forman is this wonderfully heartbreaking novel. Some reviewers have cried, some have felt empty after reading this, and... unfortunately, your Auntie Nessa is just not one of them. (Also, haven't read this book since July 2012, finally decided to finish my review... in January 2013. Go me.)

If I Stay follows the story of a girl named Mia, with a perfect family who decide to go out into the city on a snow day, and their car crashes, killing everyone in it. Ex
Wendy Darling
If I Stay is beautifully written, with characters that feel solidly real. I pick up any novel like this with a great deal of trepidation, because the potential for treacly, overly dramatic, cliche scenarios abound--but this one exceeded just about every expectation I had and avoids pretty much all the usual YA pitfalls. Mia's relationships with her parents, with her brother Teddy, and with her grandparents were all wonderfully vibrant, in a way that reminded me of Madeleine L'Engle's complicated ...more
May 07, 2012 Lyndz rated it really liked it
The Lovely Bones? I am sure I am not the first person to make the comparison. And yes, in some ways they are similar.

In my opinion, If I Stay accomplished what Lovely Bones set out to do but didn’t. So let’s put that comparison to bed right now.

Mia plays the cello and listens to classical music and she doesn’t care that most people think she is a little odd.

I actually quite liked Mia. I can’t seem to put my finger on what it was about her exactly that I found so endearing, but I liked her none
Apr 15, 2014 Anna rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone with a beating heart

MOVIE TRAILER I'm so excited. I loved this book hard !!!!
Major goosebumps while watching and of course I bawled my eyeballs out !!!

Here's the link to the trailer :

This book was beautiful. Packed with so much living, dying, loving, crying....Not necessarily in that order.

This is a book about Mia told from Mia's point of view, which by the way was heart-breaking and gorgeous. On a normal day in the normal life of 17 year old Mia and her mom, her dad and her little b
More reviews @ The Beautiful World of Books

Initial reaction upon finishing-

When I heard Seventeen call If I Stay "new TFIOS" I should have turned tail and run in the opposite direction as fast as I could.

But like always my curiosity won.

If I Stay is a boring story that can be told in few sentences but has been dragged into a 200 page book. If this book were any longer, I would have marked it DNF right after reading the first few chapters. This book is about a girl named Mia who experiences a ca
Kristin (KC)

*4 Stars*

If I Stay takes us on the extremely touching journey of a young girl teetering on the edge of death.

When a disastrous car wreck lands Mia in a coma, she is faced with the ultimate decision: To live or to die.

As difficult as that choice is on its own, there are certain elements swaying Mia in each direction that stand to complicate matters even further.

She is confused. She is broken. She feels lonely…

But she is not alone.

This story is told through Mia’s emotional perspective, so we n
Aug 30, 2009 Adele rated it it was amazing
I have had a continuous stream of tears running down my cheeks for the last few hours. Between Jenny Downham (Before I Die) and Gayle Foreman, I have cried a lifetime of tears in the past week. My house mate asked 'why do you put yourself through it?' I had to think about it, for a fraction of a second, before I answered 'because every word is worth it'.

Simply, this book wouldn't be the emotional cruncher it is without some superb writing from Forman. Without giving to much away, she makes all c
Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

This is the first time I've reread If I Stay. . . and I'm happy to report that after five years, it's still a fantastic book.

It's amazing to me how, in just a few short pages, Forman is able to make you care about the Hall family. REALLY care. REALLY feel it when Mia begins to watch from outside herself, as her life, her world, is completely destroyed.
My dad smiles and taps on his pipe. He started smoking one recently as part of this whole 1950s Father Knows Best retro k
Jul 30, 2015 Chloe rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This book is an emotional roller coaster but I loved it!
Mar 28, 2009 Kristi rated it it was amazing
Although I’d read the synopsis multiple times, I never really “got” what the story was until I read the first chapter when it all happens. When you find out Mia is making the choice as her body lays waiting in the ICU. She becomes an invisible observer, watching and narrating her tragic ordeal from the time the accident happens. And it is here that we join her on her quest. To ultimately decide to stay or to let go.

The choice is resonated through flashbacks, that feature Mia’s parents, brother
Natalie Monroe
3.5 stars

Welcome to another exciting fight-to-the-death conversation between Nice Natalie and Cynical Natalie.

Nice Natalie: Here we are again, about to rag on another beloved book.

Cynical Natalie: It's called having an opinion. If you wanna play nice-nice, go stand in the corner with the Stop the GR Bullies people.

Nice Natalie: But you did like If I Stay. The writing sent shivers down your spine, remember?

"And there was so much noise. A symphony of grinding, a chorus of popping, an aria of exp
Dec 03, 2014 Mo rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

"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."

This one has been on my Kindle for ages. I read some NA/YA but not a lot as the characters sometimes annoy me with their immaturity.
Apr 07, 2015 Giselle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A powerfully emotional novel, If I Stay is a journey through life and death, in the eyes of a young girl who has lost just about everything.

After a disastrous car accident, Mia finds herself looking down at her own battered body, barely alive. This is one case where, immediately, you get a feel of who these people are, their realness, the love they have for each other. With only a few minutes of getting to know them before the accident, I already felt a connection with Mia and her whole family,
Jan 24, 2012 Lisa rated it liked it
If I Stay by Gayle Foreman was a mixed bag for me. It was certainly a quick read and I enjoyed myself, but I wasn't blown away by it as many of my friends were. This novel tells the story of seventeen year old Mia Hall who is severely injured in a car accident that kills her parents and younger brother. While her body is comatose, Mia's spirit watches her friends and family rally in support of her while recalling poignant moments in her life as she decides whether or not to live or die.

The stron
Raeleen Lemay
May 12, 2015 Raeleen Lemay rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
I absolutely loved this book.

Multiple times whilst reading this baby, tears welled up in my eyes at the beauty of Gayle's writing, and just imagining being in Mia's situation got me really emotional. I literally started this book earlier today, and I managed to read the entire thing within a few hours because I did not want to put it down.

This is the third book by Gayle Forman that I've read in the past few weeks, and I think it's safe to say that she has quickly become one of my favorite YA con
Juliana Zapata
Jan 26, 2015 Juliana Zapata rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Nada de lo que leí o escuché sobre éste libro me preparó para leerlo.

En las primeras 25 páginas ya estaba hecha un mar de lágrimas, es sin duda una historia desgarradora y hermosa, muy bien escrita y con un mensaje maravilloso.

Reseña Completa:
Anna *no longer in use*
“Please Mia," he implores. "Don't make me write a song.”

Objectively If I Stay is a book with few flaws. Unlike with most "emotional" YA books I never felt like someone was pushing me to cry. The writing isn't the kind of writing that makes me worship the author, but I still think the book is well written. The characters are actually likeable and the backstory relatable.
I should have felt something. I should have been moved.
Subjectively, well- I wasn't moved and I didn't feel all that much. Th
Apr 30, 2015 Diane rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
Hey, this wasn't as terrible as I thought it would be!

I have such a complicated relationship with the Young Adult genre that I have been debating for months whether or not to actually read this. "If I Stay" has been on the bestseller list for ages, even though it was first published in 2009. After I saw the movie trailer, I understood why teenage girls would LOOOOOOVE it.

The heroine is Mia, a high school girl who is smart, funny, and a gifted cellist, but she often feels like an outsider. Mia h
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
BEP090P32016: Life or death 1 1 Oct 21, 2016 10:33AM  
HMSA Reads: Book Review: If I Stay 4 21 Oct 18, 2016 05:07PM  
Future Teachers, ...: Review Three-Kala Ulep 1 2 Oct 07, 2016 10:01PM  
Future Teachers, ...: Sara Kraatz's Review #3 1 4 Oct 06, 2016 09:17AM  
Future Teachers, ...: Sarah Domanski Review 2 6 17 Sep 30, 2016 12:37PM  
  • Front and Center (Dairy Queen, #3)
  • Carter Finally Gets It (Carter Finally Gets It, #1)
  • Virtuosity
  • Impossible (Impossible, #1)
  • Second Chance (First Comes Love, #2)
  • The Treasure Map of Boys: Noel, Jackson, Finn, Hutch, Gideon—and me, Ruby Oliver  (Ruby Oliver, #3)
  • Hold Still
  • Brutal
  • Bitter End
  • The Sky Is Everywhere
  • The Things a Brother Knows
  • Fixing Delilah
  • On the Jellicoe Road
  • Saving June
  • Me Since You
  • Return to Paradise (Leaving Paradise, #2)
  • After
  • Love You Hate You Miss You
Gayle Forman is an award-winning internationally bestselling author. Her books include Just One Day, Just One Year, I Was Here, Where She Went and If I Stay, which was made into a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz.

Her newest novel, Leave Me, is her first one starring adults. (She refuses to say it's an adult novel because she knows plenty of adults read YA and vice-versa).

Gayle liv
More about Gayle Forman...

Other Books in the Series

If I Stay (2 books)
  • Where She Went (If I Stay, #2)

Share This Book

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” 5210 likes
“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.” 3730 likes
More quotes…