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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.
The story flowed so well, at times I cried and laughed and it really made me think.
Even though this book made me cry from almost the beginning to the end, this is a fabulous story and very well done.
This is absolutely a beautifully written book and an unforgettable story with unforgettable characters.
Honestly this book was quite a journey, but a journey I have never taken in before.
Other books have you traveling day by day, night by night, weeks and sometimes years... Read more
Superb and intense emotional roller coaster into the main characters thoughts, as she lays in the ITU after a car accident tore the majority of her family from this world. Read morePublished 11 hours ago by Bookreader
This book was a good read and a quick read, and it leaves you wondering and awaiting a follow up book. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Stacy
There are so many books available on Kindle lately and I love to read, but honestly I am disappointed most of the time. I liked this book though, interesting and well written. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Suzanne
Note: Review may contain spoilers
Just read 'If I Stay' in one sitting then bought and read the sequel 'Where She Went' the next day, reading that all in one go as well. Read more
I kept waiting for something really interesting to happen or be revealed in her back story, but it didn't happen. Read morePublished 7 days ago by Bethany Paulson
This novel had a great storyline and makes you think about the things we take for granted and how in a instant it can all be gone. Read morePublished 8 days ago by Daniel Berry Jr.
I liked the idea behind the story. Having the teen, Mia, be the main character and having her be "in between" life and death and wondering where and what she needs to do... Read morePublished 9 days ago by P. Davis
Synopsis: Seventeen-year-old Mia Hall has it all - a rock star boyfriend, a loving family, and a great musical talent. Read morePublished 11 days ago by Nicole L. Terrano