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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.
Not often does a book move me to tears, but this one did several times. Such a beautiful story of family and its strength in love and its capability of binding memories to your... Read morePublished 5 hours ago by Kim
Had me crying by the end but it was an amazing story, the author makes you fall in love with all the characters, unlike anything I've read before, very easy read and feel as if I... Read morePublished 1 day ago by Rebecca Ann Daniels
I started to read it and before you know it you are sucked into the story! Truly amazing! Kudos to the author for a job well done!Published 6 days ago by Sharpie
I am in the medical field and thought this was an interesting read. I wasn't to thrilled about the ending. Interesting point of viewPublished 7 days ago by Amazon Customer
Thought provoking... How can you decided to stay or go? Had me wondering which would be my decision. There is not an easy answer.Published 10 days ago by Summers
If I stay by: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult fiction
Plot overview: Seventeen year old Mia loves her life. She has everything she wants and more. Read more
I’ve had If I Stay for the longest time on my e-reader and I’ve heard nothing but great things about Gayle Forman's beautiful writing. Read morePublished 12 days ago by Iniya Mani
Such a great book. Can't wait for the movie to come out. Definitely will see and I'm sure enjoy it.Published 14 days ago by Becky Leffler
I wasn't expecting this story. I've had this book for months but never got to read it. Now I'm fascinated by it.Published 15 days ago by Gladys M