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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.
Thought book was great; almost real. The second half of the book just kept me going...i had to finish it. I couldn't put it down. Can't wait to read book 2!!Published 18 minutes ago by Jean M. Doiron
It would be inaccurate for me to say that I actually read this book. Annoyed from the very start, I started skimming the flashbacks before finally skipping them all together. Read morePublished 7 hours ago by Mrs.Wombat
Truly a remarkable book!!! It reduced me to tears numerous times but i couldn`t put it down!
I recommend it highly to everyone!
Loved it read it in just under 48 hours I haven't done that in a long time..going to buy book 2 now!Published 1 day ago by Chicoslaurye
This book sucks ford edge attitude of the language and I can see if york as a you
from Hunter Krukow
I have never written an Amazon review, but this book just annoyed me too much not to say anything. I normally really like and gravitate toward YA fiction, even if it's a little bit... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Gretchen
I just want to say that Mia and Adam reminds me a lot of the characters of the movie August Rush. The girl being a Cellist who also studied in Julliard and the guy being a rock... Read morePublished 2 days ago by Gigie
Very thought provoking book. The characters were well developed and the story flowed without being bogged down at some point. I will need to seek out other books by this author.Published 2 days ago by Janice Jones
Good YA. I can see a lot of middle school girls really enjoying this book. I'm ready for the next in the series.Published 2 days ago by Hannah Uffmann