Donna Happy Booker's Reviews > If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
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Jan 02, 11

bookshelves: read-in-2011, recommended, fantasy, death, contemporary, ya
Read in January, 2011

I read a review on Bibliophile Brouhaha's blog that made me want to immediately read If I Stay and I wasn't disappointed. This audio was just over 5 hours long and I listened to it from start to finish in one sitting. There was no way I could stop without knowing what was going to happen, so I'm glad, for this reason, that it wasn't a longer book. The narrator, Kirsten Potter, was wonderful, really expressing the emotional aspects in the book in a way that made you feel what she was saying.

I would describe this as a quietly powerful read, painful, haunting, bittersweet, and inspiring We get to know Mia and her family through Mia's memories as she hovers on the brink of life and death, trying to decide whether or not she she should stay. There are many reasons for her to decide either way, and I fully understood her confusion. Just the fact that she had to choose, that she found herself in this position, watching events from outside of her body, I can't imagine how terrifying that would be. I felt fully involved in every step of Mia's journey, although I didn't shed many tears, only at the end and even then just a little.

I was surprised by how much depth each of the characters had even through such small glimpses into Mia's life. I particularly loved her Grandpa and best friend Kim. There were several points where I laughed out loud, once when her little brother Teddy says something along the lines of "Next year, I'll be 8, then I'll be a man and you'll have to call me Ted" I loved the way the hospital was portrayed as well, it made me think of my nurse friends who always tell me that the nurses are the only ones who really know what's going on in a hospital.

Mia's family was engaging, funny, and lovingly attentive to each other. I wished that I had grown up with a family like that. Her father was a former rocker turned teacher with such charismatic self-deprecating humor. Her mother was a ballsy, strong and protective dynamo of a woman. And little brother Teddy was funny and adorable. Glimpsing their interactions through Mia's memories really made me understand what made this decision so hard for Mia.

Gayle Forman packed a lot of heart into this short novel. I cannot wait to read the next one "Where She Went" which isn't due to come out until April of 2011. My sincere thanks to Bibliophile Brouhaha for bringing this book to my attention with her wonderful open letter to the author which is what made me decide to immediately grab this from Audible.


Of course I'll be rating this a 5. This is another book that will stay with me long after I read it and that I highly recommend to all.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Lindsay Thanks so much for the shoutout - I am so glad you read and seemed to have it a great read! I can't wait until April so we can hear Adam's story. . .


Donna  Happy Booker I agree! It was wonderful. I finished it in just a night! I couldn't put it down at ALL. Thanks so much for the amazing review that brought it to my attention.


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