If I Stay
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If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

3.97 of 5 stars 3.97  ·  rating details  ·  111,148 ratings  ·  11,520 reviews
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.

Everybody has to make choices. Some might break you. For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published April 9th 2009 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published April 2nd 2009)
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Dec 20, 2010 Heather rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  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
Zoe Russo
My impression? It was good. Not fantastic, but okay. Decent. Tolerable. But I'm a bit irritated with this book right now, because it is one of those books that has been ridiculously overrated. Yeah, it was sad. But not 'devastating'. Not 'heart-wrenching'.This book was fine, but I honestly think that if I had read the first chapter and then read the last chapter I wouldn't have missed much. Yes, her parents were both beautiful people who will be missed. And I have to admit the whole story of he...more
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...more
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
Mar 02, 2011 Tatiana rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  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...more
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...more
Apr 15, 2014 Anna rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition 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.

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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...more
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...more
Kristi (The Story Siren)
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...more
Watermelon Daisy

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...more
Mar 29, 2012 Jess rated it 2 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition 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...more
Jillian -always aspiring-
May 17, 2010 Jillian -always aspiring- rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: People who need some perspective about life and death and everything in between
Okay, I didn’t expect to read and devour this book -- but I was in a weird mood this morning, at 5 a.m. when I couldn’t get to sleep. . .only for this book to call to me from my to-read shelf. For once, I obliged a book’s call easily. . .and I am left stunned. The final pages had me gaping.

If I Stay, quite honestly, was mesmerizing.

The review blurbs for this book tout it as being “[appealing] to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight“ and “reminiscent of Alice Sebold’s The Lovely Bones” -- and I am...more
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...more
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
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,...more
Summer {is puntastic}
Fact: I’m the most sensitive little shit you’ll ever meet. I’m too sensitive for my own good, and emotional doesn't even begin to describe how I am. To this day, I still cry during The Lion King, regardless of how many times I've watched it. I cry over anything, which is pretty ridiculous, actually. Point of the matter is, I’m probably the biggest crier on the face of this planet.

So I was quite shocked to find that this book did not even make me shed one tear. Weird, huh?

Unless you count tears...more
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...more
Emily May
Mar 30, 2012 Emily May rated it 4 of 5 stars
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...more
Mia and her family, father, Mother and younger brother go for a drive on a sunny morning after a light snowfall the night before. In a moment, their world is turned upside down in the form of a devastating car crash.

Mia finds herself watching her mangled body being pulled from the crash and follows what takes place in the hospital as she decides if she should stay in this life or to move on.

Mia has couple of reasons to stay, one is for music. She has a major talent for the cello and is about en...more
This book starts off all wrong. In the first paragraph, Mia (the MC) describes an Oregon snow storm with that mocking tone people who live in states with actual snowfall have. I flipped to the author's bio: Brooklyn, NY. I didn't believe the setting. Mia references her rocker boyfriend as wearing "pegged" jeans, not skinny but pegged, like I'm embarrassed to admit having worn in the eighties, and all the bands referenced are old-school bands. I didn't believe Forman got teenagers. And her charac...more
I was speaking to a friend after I finished this, about different types of readers. I came to the conclusion that I apparently like being sad, because I’m constantly reading books that either make me cry or make me sad. Apparently I like reading about loss and catastrophes, because I seem to be drawn to books with a lot of emotional upheaval and heavy-handed themes. I like fairytales or fluffy chick-lit once in a while, but it’s the novels that lean heavily on the side of realism that always cat...more
Rating clarification: 3.5 stars / TBR reduction challenge #2 (Alexa)

I found it hard to rate this book. While it did make me incredibly sad and made me cry; which was to be expected of course, our protagonist in this story is on the brink of death after a horrible car accident and struggles with the decision whether to stay and live or to let go and die; I still have to say that I found the flashbacks somewhat, well, not boring, but I found myself thinking "hurry up and get back to the present, I...more
“The cello didn’t sound half bad with all those guitars.”

Initial Final Page Thoughts.

High Points.
Mia. The family. Groovy and the Geek. Music. Kim. Chocolate chip pancakes. Fancy dress parties. Brilliant characters. Two weeks of pizza-delivery tips. Feisty nurses. Making collages. Magic kisses. Musical sexy times. Dusty collections of punk-rock albums. Yo Mama. “I’ll let you go. If you stay.”

Low Points.
Even though I love Mia’s family and I liked that they were different without being cring...more
This review can also be found at The Book Eater

why so good, book?

I have no idea how to do this story justice. It seems like I could go on and on about it for hours without even getting close to how amazing it is.

This book is bittersweet. Hot and cold, funny and depressing, heart-warming and sob-inducing. It's the perfect roller-coaster, a prime example of how powerful writing can be. I adored everything about it. The plot, shocking and realistic (despite my skepticism at first), the characters, touching and rea...more
EDITED REVIEW. Beautifully written, but I didn't fully connect with If I Stay until reading the sequel, Where She Went. Both books are highly, HIGHLY recommended - together.

I read If I Stay not long after it was released. A sequel was not, at that time, planned. Though this novel was certainly an intense, emotional journey, and the writing was fluid and lovely, the book didn't leave me with the same profound "wow" moment that many other readers seemed to have. It felt incomplete.

When I heard Ms....more
Stephanie (Stepping out of the Page)
A mediocre novel. I thought that the plot did have potential and from the description it sounded like it'd be very interesting. Unfortunately, it definitely wasn't gripping, though I did speed through it. Despite the subject matter, it didn't really provoke any strong emotions within me and I couldn't seem to connect with it. The main character did seem to have a connection with playing an instrument though and so if I could have related to this, perhaps i'd have enjoyed it more. It didn't have...more

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.)
Read the review on my blog:
Elizabeth Salom (elistar)
Sep 09, 2011 Elizabeth Salom (elistar) rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: If you liked The Sky is Everywhere, Contemporary Fans
Recommended to Elizabeth by: Joyce
My God. I honestly cannot remember the last time a book touched me the way If I Stay did. I'd been hearing positive buzz about this book for quite a while, but for some reason or another I hadn't made the time to pick it up. Boy, was I kicking myself for having waited so long to read it.

If I Stay is the story of a young woman who, after a terrible car accident, is abruptly torn from her comfortable, easy life and loving family and forced to make an unbelievably difficult decision - whether she...more
Cynthia Hand
Loved this book. Tears pouring down my face at the end. Thought about it for weeks afterwards. So good.
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The Not-So Austen...: * If I Stay ~ Official Movie Trailer 33 42 7 hours, 17 min ago  
Addicted to YA: If I Stay 43 549 19 hours, 23 min ago  
FYA Book Club of ...: If I Stay Trailer 4 6 Apr 17, 2014 08:18AM  
If I Stay Trailer 6 37 Apr 17, 2014 01:41AM  
If I Stay Movie Out Aug 22! Starring Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia and Jamie Blackley as Adam 36 259 Apr 16, 2014 10:20PM  
YA Lovers: If I Stay 4 14 Apr 16, 2014 02:37PM  
YA :-): If I Stay 7 10 Apr 15, 2014 02:52PM  

About Gayle Forman

295178 Once upon a time, in a galaxy far, far away, I was a journalist who specialized in reporting on young people and social-justice issues. Which is a fancy way of saying I reported on all the ways that young people get treated like crap—and overcome! I started out working for Seventeen magazine, writing the kinds of articles that people (i.e. adults) never believe that Seventeen ran (on everything fr...more
  • The Piper's Son
  • Before I Fall
  • Speechless
  • The Rules of Survival
  • The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Mara Dyer, #2)
  • Fixing Delilah
  • This Song Will Save Your Life
  • Hold Still
  • Carter Finally Gets It (Carter Finally Gets It, #1)
  • Split
  • Second Chance Summer
  • Once Was Lost
  • Cracked Up to Be
  • The Things a Brother Knows
  • Chasing Brooklyn
  • Stolen: A Letter to My Captor
  • After
  • Memoirs of a Teenage Amnesiac
Where She Went (If I Stay, #2) Just One Day (Just One Day, #1) Just One Year (Just One Day, #2) Sisters in Sanity You Can't Get There from Here: A Year on the Fringes of a Shrinking World

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“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.” 2387 likes
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