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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.
Even though this book made me cry from almost the beginning to the end, this is a fabulous story and very well done.
This novel is actually a very easy read but the way Gayle Forman pieces her scenes together made the story flow perfectly and so the writing is beautiful.
"If I Stay" is one of those books that makes you feel like you have lived in its world all your life, like you were a part of it.
Loved all the music references! Quick read! I would definitely recommend this book to my friends. I'm ready to read the next one!Published 3 hours ago by Kristin
I have adored this story since I read it my senior year of high school. With the movie coming out I figured I should buy this and read it again. Love love love.Published 7 hours ago by Samantha Burnham
I've tried to read one new book a month. This book is a must read. Well written, perfectly thought out, and evokes so much emotion I actually cried a few times. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Kayla
Boy, for a short book this author knows how to make the words count! So many emotions. Good book, can't wait to start the next one.Published 1 day ago by Sara Wilburn
great book..heard about this book after a friend saw the movie trailer. Love the family dynamic and love the love story.. Read morePublished 1 day ago by B. Diggity
I saw the movie trailer for this book and one clicked right away.
Beautifully written, heartbreaking and so emotional - told through the eyes of Mia, the lone survivor... Read more
Great story! Drew me in from beginning to end! Had to read the second book right after finishing this one, and you will want to as well. Read morePublished 1 day ago by C. Williams
It was interesting and well written. Made me cry over the sense if loss. I doubt the movie will do it justice.Published 1 day ago by N. Gomez
Seriously can not wait to see the movie, don't know how I'm just hearing of this book!! It's a tear jerker for real!Published 2 days ago by Courtney lee