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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!
Mia is eighteen and has the kind of family any of us would pray to be born to and the kind of boyfriend that can only exist in the fictitious world. Furthermore, she is a gifted musician and is about to be accepted into the prestigious Julliard. Mia has a choice, she can follow her love of music, go to Julliard and accomplish her cellist dreams, or she can stay with her family and the love of her life and follow her heart. Either way, she has something to gain and something to lose. Then, one fateful morning, Mia’s world is turned on its head and life as she knows it changes. The one thing that remains the same is the question that Mia has asked herself for the past few months, should I go or should I stay?
In art, the brightest colors appear beside the darkest of lines and in this book, the most endearing, tender and happy moments are surrounded by grief so palpable, that you will laugh through your tears and sob with a smile. If I Stay demonstrates the kind of beauty that can only exist alongside despair and shines all the more for it. It is filled with happiness and sorrow, laughter and tears, birth and death, love and loss. By writing a book filled with parallels, Forman proves that life has no opposite and thus leaves readers with an overwhelming since of joy and hope despite tears and grief that they are bound to feel.