I know I have mentioned it in my recommendations post of Sunday, but I have recently read If I Stay by Gayle Forman, and I wanted to make a full review of it, because however short it is, it totally deserves one!
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Release year: 2009
My rating: ★★★★☆
“Living is all about making choices. Dying’s no different…”
If you don’t know, If I Stay is the story of Mia, a high school student who also plays the cello. She gets into a car accident with her family (her parents and her little brother) and is taken to the hospital. She is unconcious, but at the same time, she can see everything that happens to her. She is outside her body in a ghost kind of form, but not entirely a ghost. And through the day, she witnesses her entire family gathering at the hospital for her, with her best friend, and her boyfriend. Except her parents and little brother aren’t there. And she has to decide if she wants to wake up or not.
The book travels between the present, at the hospital where Mia is unconcious, and flashbacks of the past which show us her relationship with her family, her best friend, and her boyfriend.
This was my first Gayle Forman book, and I am in love. On the one hand, this book totally broke my heart, I kept crying, washing away the tears and ending up crying again. But on the other hand, it was also a brilliant and beautiful book, and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel, and on other books by Gayle Forman. This book is so powerful and incredible, and I think everyone should read it. It will make you think about your life and the people you love and care about. Yes, you will probably tear up. But I believe it is woth the tears.
I read this book in one evening, it’s rather short, and really hard to put down. It’s an easy read, though it’s rather heavy emotionally.
I really love that we got lots of flashbacks to Mia’s life. She seemed to be an introvert girl, but she had a fantastic relationship with both her best friend and her boyfriend, as well as her family. Little by little, we get to know more about all of them. This makes the story really incredible and moving.
The characters are all great and all seem pure. It just shows how unfair life can be, and how you have to fight for it. It’s a roller-coaster of emotions, which will definitely make you think about your life and your choices.
Why did I give it 4 and not 5 stars? Simply because there are books I liked more. I really enjoyed it, but in comparison to others, it was 4 rather than 5 stars. And 4 stars is still a very good rating! I just felt that maybe, there could have been more to it.
The great thing about this book is that it made me want to live, and to live to the fullest. Not everyone gets a choice, and in the meantime, I want to enjoy my life and do crazy, incredible things. Not every book has the power to make me feel this way, and this is something I really appreciate.
Fun fact: I bought this book on second hand at my local bookstore, and some pages have traces of tears, so at least I know I’m not the only one who was destroyed inside by this book…
Recommended for: People who like sad, emotional and powerful stories, and who are not afraid of crying because of a book! I would recommend it to pretty much everyone anyway, but I just want you to be warned before you start, because if you don’t cry when you read this book, you will have to explain me how you managed that…
If you have read this book, feel free to share your opinion in the comments so we can discuss it!