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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.
Excellent book. My daughter and many of her classmates have enjoyed it. It is better than Where She Went, but both book are worth a read.Published 54 minutes ago by deb
What if... Do we choose?.... Maybe we all will find out one day.
Wonderful storytelling! We'll develop characters that tied you in, story flashbacks gave details that made... Read more
I thought this book was okay. Maybe I was expecting a little something more dramatic.Published 7 hours ago by BrendaH
Oh my god. You guys. This book was incredible. First, Forman's prose and Mia's voice are so beautiful, and then I love the way she weaves old memories in with what's currently... Read morePublished 8 hours ago by Vicki Leigh
If I Stay tells the story of Mia who is involved in tragic accident with a truck while travelling with her parents and little brother, Teddy. Read morePublished 8 hours ago by Meredith Goodwin
Loved it but a little disappointed w/ the ending...requires buying the next bookPublished 10 hours ago by smd
well. The hype didn't live up for me. I struggled through the entirety of this story to see it through.Published 10 hours ago by Rachel Lacoste
amazing book just starting the where she went its a must readPublished 12 hours ago by nicole crowe