Edna's Reviews > If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman
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Aug 20, 14

bookshelves: young-adult, contemporary, paranormal, signed, 2013, 2010, 2011, 2014
Read in April, 2010, read count: 6

4.5 stars.

There's a simplicity in the writing style that makes an impact. This is one of those books that will stay in your mind and ponder an answer to one of the teaser lines...what would you do if you had to choose?

Right from the beginning, I felt an ache inside. Mia and her family were picture perfect and knowing that tragedy was awaiting them a few pages away...it was already killing me. Directly after the accident occurred I felt like it was one of those moments in movies where all sound is suddenly cut off and you're walking in a daze. When Mia looks around at the aftermath, it was haunting complete with chills. It really did feel surreal. It's even more heartbreaking that this story was inspired by a family the author knew.

I admire the way Gayle Forman arranged this book, alternating it from Mia present in the hospital to some significant moments in her life before. Although this book is short, readers are easily drawn into Mia's life. I instantly loved those important people in her life and felt a sense of loss as well.

There are two very powerful scenes in If I Stay that really moved me more than anything else in this book, when Gramps talked to her, and the last moment with Adam. Especially in the latter, I swear I could feel my heart shattering. It was an extremely poignant scene. I can't get it out of my mind.

Life, death, love, music...Gayle Forman wove them together into a beautifully moving story.

On another related note, film rights for this book have been acquired. If I Stay has the potential to be an amazing film if done right but it also could fall flat. I don't know, I'm often not on board with turning books into films. I guess I'll just try to keep an open mind until I find out more about it.

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Reread: 9/9/13

A few days ago Jamie Blackley was cast as Adam in the film adaptation of this book. Personally I was thrilled with the choice because I already knew he's both a good actor and singer (Spring Awakening, And While We Were Here, etc.). It helps that he also perfected the American accent and even has the "Adam look" down pat which is a big deal since I'm always picky when it comes to casting for book-to-film adaptations.

Anyway, once I heard this news I was inspired to reread If I Stay. This is my third time reading this and it still hits me hard. Loved every page.
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Quotes Edna Liked

Gayle Forman
“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”
Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Gayle Forman
“It's okay,' he tells me. 'If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life.' His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. 'But that's what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So 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.'

For the first time since I realized that Teddy was gone, too, I feel something unclench. I feel myself breathe. I know that Gramps can't be that late-inning pinch hitter I'd hoped for. He won't unplug my breathing tube or overdoes me with morphine or anything like that. But this is the first time today that anyone has acknowledged what I have lost. I know that the social worker warned Gran and Gramps not to upset me, but Gramps's recognition, and the permission he just offered me--it feels like a gift.

Gramps doesn't leave me. He slumps back into the chair. It's quiet now. So quiet you can almost hear other people's dreams. So quiet that you can almost hear me tell Gramps, 'Thank you.”
Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Gayle Forman
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”
Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Gayle Forman
“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.”
Gayle Forman, If I Stay


Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Ami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ami I cried buckets for this one (I think I finished it before you did). It started from when Mia realized that Teddy is dead as well and she thought about all those things her little brother would not experienced. And the water damn of my tears just broke. And yes, the moment with Gramps and Adam in the end is so powerful too.


Edna I have no idea whether or not you finished before me, LOL, but I got done last night and couldn't really write a review just yet. It's one of those books where I had to sit down and reflect for a little bit. I reread some parts while doing my review this morning and ugh, I was such a baby and started tearing up again.

Like I said, I was already feeling terrible at the beginning but as you mentioned, Teddy...oh gosh, that was huge moment and completely heart wrenching.


message 3: by Ami (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ami I finish around noon on Sunday -- and wrote review at night. My eyes were puffy and I had to quickly clean with water because I had a family gathering two hours after :p. I need to switch to lighter one or M/M short story after that one.


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