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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 is a good read. There are a lot of twists I wasn't expecting. But would recommend.Published 1 hour ago by Love2read
The book is one of the most beautifully written books out there. It's filled with love, heartache, loss and so much more. Read morePublished 4 hours ago by Justine
I loved this book not as much a I did the fault in our stars...although I'd recommend this book so yeah.Published 6 hours ago by Kelly Haskell
Was not expecting such an amazing read. Couldn't put the book down- you find yourself cheering for Mia to come back to Iife and experience her emotions with her. Great read!Published 7 hours ago by Carli
I cried so many times and I can't handle the ending. I can't wait to download the sequel ASAP. I'm gonna need more tissues I just hope the movie does it justicePublished 8 hours ago by S. Chin
The title says it all a lot like tfios this book takes your heart out of your chest, shreds it, then tramples it with the hooves of 73 shoed horses and you enjoy every moment... Read morePublished 9 hours ago by Amazon Customer
I was reading this book, and at first I was like, "Well, this book is good." Last week, I finished it on my way to a cabin about 2 hours from my house. Read morePublished 15 hours ago by Rachel
Great but short read! Beautifully written and very uplifting! I would definitely reccomend to my friends and family. Just wonderfulPublished 15 hours ago by Randi