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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.
The author really does a good job of emursing you into the book. I lost a few hours reading this and loved every minute. I would recommend to everyone.Published 1 day ago by nekeia hilton
When I first purchased this book I was a little skeptical where it was not within my "age" range, I'm in my mid-20's and sometimes love a good quick read like this. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Stephanie Rewa
Well written... Keeps you hanging on from page 3. Can't wait to read the sequel. A def must read for sure.Published 2 days ago by Pen Name
I got this book from a thriftbooks Haul. I appreciate that this book was written for a younger audience. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kristina
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you”. The novel, “If I Stay,” by Gayle Forman, is a thought provoking read. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Kate N.
I saw the movie, and decided to read the book because of that. I finished the whole book in a day. Forman manages to make the emotions seem very real, and Mia's relatives... Read morePublished 3 days ago by Rebekah
Saw the movie, so I had to get the book! As usual, the book is better. Though I really think they did a great job with the movie too! Read morePublished 3 days ago by Joe Krenn