- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (April 6, 2010)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014241543X
- ISBN-13: 978-0142415436
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.3 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 9,947 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,311 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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If I Stay Paperback – April 6, 2010
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About the Author
Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.
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The only criticism I have- and it's a mild one- is that the "present-day" events, and what Mia goes through as she makes her decision, are not developed to the extent I thought they would have been. After all, it's the original premise of the book- you expect the character to go through a lot of struggles to decide whether to return to life or not. And in the end, you don't see her actually make the decision- it just kind of suddenly happens, and then the book is over. Perhaps not surprising since it leads you to immediately want to read "Where She Went" to find out what happens next. And honestly, the book was so good that I didn't even realize the life-or-death decision hadn't been explored fully until the book was over!
It’s been three years since the accident that took away Mia’s family. Adam is a huge rock star now. His band Shooting Star is making albums, winning awards, and touring the world. Adam should be living it up, but he is no longer the same guy he was. His life is the shadow of what it should be and it all traces back to the accident that changed everything he believed in. He's a broken guy no longer in love with the music he used to eat, sleep and dream about. Instead he is a guy just floating by. A random chance encounter in NYC changes everything. The past that Adam thought was over and had left behind is suddenly right in his face leaving him no choice but to deal with his demons and decide if the past should be left in the past.
Where She Went is told in Adam's POV which i absolutely loved. I felt so bad for Adam. He was so heartbroken after Mia left, and i could really feel his pain. I was really mad at Mia for leaving him like that, but after reading further into the book I understand why she did what she did. I also liked that in the beginning of the chapters were Adam's lyrics to the songs he written. This book was just so beautifully written and it's an absolute must read.
I love the way the story of If I Stay is constructed. It is told from Mia's point of view, but it isn't just her version of the present. Instead, it travels back and forth through her history and those of the people she loves. This gives the entire book a bit of a bittersweet quality, as you experience loss with Mia. You are a part of her world after the fact and it makes the present all the sadder. It is a story of. a girl with an incredibly quirky and fun family, a snarky best friend, and rocker boyfriend who represents everything she herself is not.
Mia's family is built on music and love. Her dad was a former punk rocker and her mom his biggest fan. Mia's boyfriend Adam was a rocker whose career is growing even before he finishes high school. And then there is Mia, the classical music loving cellist who is on her way to great things. But, in a single moment, everything changes for her and for her family.
The author doesn't shy away from the tough situations or questions that arise from Mia's personal tragedy. Instead, she makes Mia and the reader question themselves about fanily and choices. What is a family? How do you choose when faced with such diverse choices?
This is a book about family and tragedy and unthinkable choices, but it is also a story of beauty. It speaks of the bonds between those we love. And with these themes, there is also the love between Adam and Mia. Their romance was beautiful, sweet and passionate. It was music that brought them together, no matter how different the two expressed it. And it was their differing musical genres that often threatened their relationship as their music took them in very different directions. I liked that their relationship was portrayed realistically. Instead of painting everything as perfect, it touched on problems and dischord.
The interesting thing, however, was in how I related to Adam and Mia. If I Stay was Mia's story, but it was Adam that I identified with the most. There were moments during flashbacks where I felt like Mia was unfair or too demanding and it was Adam who was the sympathetic quality. And Adam's pain and anguish and selfless love was beautiful to watch. I watched the movie shortly after finishing the novel and I felt the same way for most of it, as well.
My Recommendation: If you like a good, emotional read that isn't all perfect happy endings, then this is an excellent read. The story is beautiful and sweet, even as it is tragic and sad at times.
Most recent customer reviews
Very interesting and exciting! Could read it again and again! Would tecvpmend at sny time!