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If Only It Were True

(Et si c'était vrai #1)

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3.68  ·  Rating details ·  16,509 ratings  ·  1,104 reviews
What do you do when you find a stranger in your closet; particularly when she's surprised that you can even see her -- and she can disappear and reappear at whim? What if she then tells you that her body is actually in a coma on the other side of town? Should you have her see a psychiatrist or should you consult one yourself? Or do you take a chance and believe in her, and ...more
Hardcover, 216 pages
Published May 1st 2000 by Pocket Books (first published 2000)
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Twila I saw the American movie and wondered if a version had been made in France also -- and if it were any better. Over the years we've compared American a…moreI saw the American movie and wondered if a version had been made in France also -- and if it were any better. Over the years we've compared American and original, foreign language versions of the same story (Le Cage aux Folles, Tall Blond Man with One Black Shoe, for example) and found that we particularly prefer the French versions.
Interestingly, one of the reviews for this book says that as a book it's not much, but that it would be a better movie.
I didn't mind the Spielberg version -- taking it for what it was, a silly rom-com.(less)

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Ahmad Sharabiani
Et si c'etait vrai... = If Only It Were True (Et si c'était vrai #1), Marc Levy

If Only It Were True is French author Marc Levy's first novel, released in 1999.

Lauren Kline is a pretty, young medical resident, completely devoted to her work in the Emergency Room of San Francisco Memorial Hospital. She worked round the clock dealing with patients until she got into a serious car accident.

As a result of the accident, Lauren went into a coma. She "woke" to awareness outside of her still comatose b
...more
Annie
Nov 05, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favourites
I was so delighted when I discovered the movie was inspired by a book! I really thought the film was so sweet, such a feel-good kind of chick flick. The book however, is a whole lot better.

This is the kind of story that makes you believe in magic. It makes you believe that two people can be fated to love one another and that that love is capable of creating the most unexplainable of miracles. It's books like this that strangely feature no religion but yet make me feel closer to God, to the unive
...more
Valérie
Marc Levy writes a poetic, funny love story between Lauren and Arthur. Their first meeting is not very ordinary, because she was in his closet and he is the only one who can see her. He does everything for her so that she can go on living, and that welds them together.
Abbey
Apr 07, 2012 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Have you all seen the super cute Reese Witherspoon movie Just Like Heaven? It was one of my faaaaavorites in high school--a fun, quirky, sweet chick flick. Turns out it was based on a book called If Only It Were True.

So when I was looking for an audiobook for my trip home for Easter and I found the book version of Just Like Heaven, I was excited. I also got The Kite Runner, but decided to listen to Just Like Heaven (which I later discovered was originally called "If Only It Were True") first bec
...more
Eva
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, france
This is too much of a romance novel for me too like it. It's about Arthur who moves into a new appartement. In his closet he finds a woman. She turns out to be the previous inhabitant who had a terrible accident and is in a coma. The woman he sees in his appartment is only her spirit. He falls in love and when the hospital is proposing euthanasia he sets out to save her.

The story has good parts: some funny stuff. But also terrible passages concerning the police investigation. Very much a charica
...more
Kate
Feb 22, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book was preachy and sentimental. And I am someone who usually enjoys sentimental, romantic books. The basic premise of the story was interesting enough - the spirit of a girl in a coma can only be seen by one special guy. However, the author delves into all kinds of background information that was completely unrelated to the plot - such as excessive information about the guy's dead mom and her lover. I kept thinking, WHY is this extra stuff in here? The book needed some serious editing. An ...more
Rebecca McNutt
Et si c'était vrai is the story of a man haunted by a troublesome ghost, possibly a mental illness of his... until she turns out to be closer to him than he realizes, and when he discovers that there's still some hope to restoring her life, he does everything in his power to help her. Despite being kind of preachy, for the most part this novel was incredible.
Jenne
May 11, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: didnt-finish
I picked this up (while weeding books at my library) because that movie with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, where she's in a coma and he falls in love with her ghost, was based on it.
I didn't like the movie that much, but I thought maybe the book would be good, I'm not sure why.
Anyway, it wasn't.
Czarny Pies
Feb 12, 2019 rated it did not like it
Faute de pouvoir donner cinq étrons, je lui donne une étoile.
Depending on how you look at it, "Et si c'était vrai " is either a shoddy novel or a serviceable movie scenario that ultimately become "Just like heaven" starring Reese Witherspoon (75% audience approval rating from Rotten Tomatoes.) The French publishing industry has produced far too many of these monstrosities over the last 20 years.
Marc Levy's recipe is admittedly very strong. From "The Choice" based on the Nicholas Sparks novel, h
...more
Jadine
Jan 29, 2009 rated it did not like it
I wanted to love this book because it is what the movie Just Like Heaven was based on. I figured the characters would be more fleshed out and you would learn more about Mark Ruffalo's character, but the whole back story was different and not nearly as engaging. Rent the movie; it was worth watching more than once and the book wasn't worth finishing even once.
Ape
Mar 16, 2011 rated it did not like it
2006 bookcrossing review:

A friend recommended this writer to me, so when I found this book in a charity shop, I grabbed it off the shelf.

It is terrible. Really terrible. The characters are two dimensional, the writing is bland, the plot very thin and very predictable - growing far too overly sentimental and it is just cliche after cliche after cliche. I always try to give books a fair go, and I did read this all the way through, but after a point I have to admit that I switched to skim reading.
...more
Emily
Nov 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: for-college
Lame. Totally, completely, utterly lame. Deeply painful to read. The prose is lazy and the characters typical and pretty unbelievable. And way too corny, with basic carpe diem teenage philosophy. Oh my god, it was just so bad I can't believe it's finished to my relief.
Bluetiful Hadeel
Oct 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: movie
A very cute book. Read it on the train, on your way to work. When you are totally bored in a gathering, hehehe take this book with you, you will enjoy your time ;) Light and easy...... Happy Reading :D
Valida Karimova
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: love-stories
I can say that, a magical novel...
International Bestseller.
This novel amazes people with its unusual plot...
Alaine
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a wonderful story about how we should value every moment of life we are given and what a gift it is. I really loved this book, it is the most beautiful story! If only our lives weren't so busy that we forget the basic concepts of life. To make the most of every moment.

This is the story of Arthur and Lauren and how two people came together. Lauren is a coma patient whose soul is free from her body, Arthur lives in what was her apartment. They meet and when Lauren convinced him that he was
...more
Amal Bedhyefi
Jan 28, 2017 rated it liked it
I started reading this book yesterday without knowing anything about the story and guess what ? It turned out that I have already seen the movie based on it : Just like Heaven with Reese Witherspoon .
& I didn't know what to dobecause I always hated reading books after seeing the movie ! But i loved that movie so much that i wanted to see the differences and i wanted to read the story all over again , The book however, is a whole lot better than the movie , trust me .
It's light , funny , romanti
...more
Ghada
Sep 26, 2014 rated it did not like it
one of the only few books where the movie is way much better than the book. it was a torture to finish it, I still remember the agony though I read it couple of years ago.
Romaissa
Jul 15, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Before reading this book, i had already watched the movie Just Like Heaven that is based on it, and this made me less excited to read it, but when i started reading the book, i found it more interesting than the movie.
I liked how the book is so easy to read, especially that it had been a long time since i read in french, i thought i was going to find some difficulties, but not at all; the language used was plain and very commun.
I also enjoyed the story so much and it felt a lot different than th
...more
Tessa
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
If only it were true that this story had anything to do with real life. The only thing I did like about this book was that it tells us to cherish every second of our life. That's true, cherish it, it's not an unlimited resource. The seconds I've spend reading this book were not cherished.

80% of this book was a boring story about a man falling in love with a ghost. The idea was ok, but it read like a movie script, nothing lyrical or profound about the writing. It's probably because I've read to
...more
Asma
Feb 20, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobooks
Nothing special about this book. The story was dull, the conversations were mostly one-sided and not engaging, and the characters weren't realistic. Maybe that wouldn't have been a big deal if I hadn't just finished with a really live novel where characters were impersonalized.

My favorite part of the book was Arthur's mom's explanation of death:
"When you've had a really good day, when you've risen early in the morning, to go fishing and you've been running around and working in the rose garden,
...more
Mariana Maiz
Dec 30, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebooks
This was a very good book, even if I think sometimes it got really deep really fast. It's almost poetic, really, but it happens so suddenly that I felt a bit lost at times.
The story was interesting and unique and Arthur and Lauren are interesting characters, even if I think Lauren's story could have been explored better. Paul, the friend, is also someone that I wanted to get to know, because after doing everything he does for Arthur, I need to know that man better.
And I've just found out that
...more
Le_mecreant
Aug 13, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I tried to read that book but found it so badly written that I gave up half way through... I just jumped to the very last page so could see how the story end. But I ended up being disappointed by that too.
It was my first novel by Levy and it's certainly gonna be the last! I can't help but to think that if that guy managed to reach fame with such a poor book, I should start writing mine because I too could be a famous writer :-)
Laura
Nov 22, 2011 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
One and a half stars. The translation wasn't so great (example: One night when you were about five years old, we made love. What?! Perhaps you want to reword the translation so that it doesn't sound like the 5-year-old is involved in the action??). Regardless, Arthur's relationship with his mother was creepy. All the characters seemed mentally unstable. Best to just stick to the movie. At least the movie comes with a side of Napoleon Dynamite.
Eslam Abdelghany
Dec 30, 2014 rated it liked it
NO pretension,or exaggeration,i adore romantic novels,and found the whole of them, to be good pills to alleviate life pressures & frustrations...

this novel was a nice one,just a nice and no more>>>
...more
Tina Wright
Mar 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my all-time favorite romances--it's a well-written, sweet story with a perfectly executed twist. BIG LOVE. Btw, there is a movie version with Reese Witherspoon and Mark Ruffalo, but the book is far superior.
Rickie
Aug 27, 2009 rated it did not like it
...if only it were good writing...
Andreea Diana
Sep 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Such a beautiful and sensitive book! I didn't expect to like it so much, as I tried to read an other book by Marc Levy just before this and it really didn't catch me, I dropped it after 60 pages. However, I have read two years ago one of his books and really enjoyed this, so I said let's give this one a chance. I'm glad I did. An original idea, funny, emotional, interesting, and with a deep meaning and message. Totally loved it, and totally loved the author's writing style in this book.
Nina
Jun 21, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting twist on a ghost story, since the "ghost" is still alive, albeit in a coma. Her spirit reappears in her apartment, now occupied by an architect who is the only one who can see and hear her. When her mother decides to follow the advice of the hospital administrators to remove her feeding tube, he hatches a plot to save her. A little predictable and formulaic, but a quick, fun read.
Erika Hayes
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What a sweet story. It is re-titled as Just like Heaven but was originally titled (in French) If Only It were... I didn't know that when I started the book but it was a very sweet story. I really enjoyed it. I checked this one out from the library but could see adding it to my collection!
Mary Huyett
2.5 stars
One of those times that the movie is actually a lot better than the book.
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Marc Levy was born in France. When he turned eighteen, he joined the Red Cross, where he spent the next six years. In 1983, he created a computer graphics company based in France and the United States. Six years later, he co-founded an interior design and planning company with two friends; the company soon became one of the leading architecture firms in France.

At thirty-seven, Marc Levy wrote a st
...more

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