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Q: You started your career as a journalist and your first book is a travelogue about going around the world. Is YA literature a departure for you?
Gayle Forman: Actually, it’s more of a homecoming. My first writing job was at Seventeen, where I spent five years on staff and as a contributor reporting the magazine’s social-issues stories. I loved writing for teens then because—contrary to popular opinion—they really care about serious issues (from child soldiers in Africa to kids embroiled in the drug war here) and the engage in their reading with such passion. So, now that I’m writing young-adult literature, it feels like I’ve come full circle.
Q: This book explores some serious themes. Why is this a book for kids and not adults?
GF: It’s a book for kids precisely because it explores serious themes. Teenagers are grappling with choices about life and love as much as adults, so why shouldn’t their reading reflect that? I don’t set out to write YA. It just seems like I’m drawn to stories about young people. That said, I think If I Stay is for adults, too. I love the idea of teens reading this book and then handing it off to their parents.
Q: Many key characters are serious musicians, and songs are referenced throughout the book. Are you a musician?
GF: No. Except for piano lessons when I was a kid and a brief spate of guitar playing in my teens, I’ve never played an instrument. I am, however, a huge music fan. And my husband is a musician; he was playing in a punk band when we met, so I’ve spent a lot of my life ensconced in that scene. I seem drawn to writing about musicians, though I’ve never been all that interested in the cello until Mia popped into my head.
Q: What inspired you to write this book?
GF: Music. Oregon. People I have loved. And unfortunately, the book is inspired by a real-life tragedy that happened several years ago.
Q: This is a book about death, but it’s not depressing. Why is that?
GF: Maybe because it’s really about the power of love—of family, friends, music—and therefore it ultimately affirms life.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Well written story. Love the use of fancy words, gives me a better picture of the main character Mia. And I also like the metaphors; they put me inside of the story. Read morePublished 10 hours ago by Nelly Sabel
Very interesting and very well written. Great idea for a book and it was very enjoyable.Published 14 hours ago by joan hamilton
My review is on a scale of one to ten one hundred!
This book has a heart to it because it has happy and sad parts to it ! Read more
Very interesting take on what happens when someone is in a coma like state of mind! Just finished book 2 (Where She Went) and did not like it much. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Joyce Randolph
I liked the book but I thought the ending was very bland and it got kind of boring near the endPublished 1 day ago by Sarah Daniels
Not a great read but a sad story that makes you wabt to find out what happens when it starts.Published 1 day ago by Courtney Carroll
I read the book after seeing the movie. I really enjoyed reading it while visualizing the characters in the movie. I consumed it so fast, just couldn't stop! Read morePublished 1 day ago by Danielle
Well... expect to cry for the first few chapters. The accident is really hard to take in and I can't imagine having to go through something like that! Read morePublished 1 day ago by Didi
Gayle Forman has totally won my soul, can't wait to begin #2!!! I just hope the movie does the same!!!Published 1 day ago by Michelle