Debbie's World of Books
My book reviews, book news & random rants

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

November 29th, 2010 by Debbie's World of Books

Source: Won the ARC in a giveaway

Publication date: April 2, 2009

Publisher: Dutton Juvenile

I give this 4.5 out of 5 stars

Description from

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

Wow, this book brought tears to my eyes and it was so good!  I’ve had this book for over a year and never read it.  Kicking myself for letting it linger so long.

The Characters

I don’t think there was a single character I did not like.  I fell in love wit Mia and her entire family.  Her best friend was awesome and I love the story about how they ended up friends.  Her boyfriend was also sweet without coming across as flat and I’ll admit for once it was nice to see a boyfriend who did not have issues.  Don’t get me wrong, I love the bad boys turned good but there has been a flood of those in books lately.

The Story Line

I was amazed how quickly I fell in love with Mia’s family so when they get into the accident and you find out what happens to them all it is heart breaking.  The book pretty much takes place in the space of a day as Mia watches what happens to her after the accident.  It’s through these observations  and her memories that you get to really know everyone.  When I realized the title meant Mia could choose to stay and live or move on it really got me thinking what would I have chosen in her shoes.  It would be so hard to go on after suffering what she did and yet could you really leave those who care for her behind?

The Romance

I loved the way the romance was handled.  It was not over done with drama that over powers the main story but it’s not picture perfect to make it seem unreal.  I heard the next book is written from Adam’s point of view and I cannot wait to see what happens.

Posted in 4 Star Books, Books, Young Adult

8 Responses

  1. ComaCalm

    I loved this book just as much as you did, I seem to have lost my copy somewhere, soon as I can find it I plan to re-read it. I heard somewhere that they might be making a movie of it, but that could just be a rumour. :)

  2. Helen Murdoch

    I really enjoyed this book as well! The students at my school check it out on a regular basis too

  3. Pam

    I really enjoyedf this. There have been books on far less sensitive subjects that are handled with way more sap. I thoguht this was light and beautiful on such a hard topic. I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  4. Pam

    I am wanting to dive into Where She Went. Forman is awesome!

  5. Laura @ I'm Booking It

    I loved this book!

    II really appreciated that (before the accident) Mia had a loving family with normal tensions but no Issues. And yes, I liked that about the romance as well.

    I’m looking forward to the next book, but I’m also a little worried– it can’t possibly have the same kind of impact.

  6. dsuzuki

    ComaCalm-a movie would be great if they did it well.
    Helen-glad that your students enjoy checking it out too!
    Pam-yes, it had that perfect mix of sappiness and angst.
    Pam-I konw! I want to pick up Where She Went right away but I have too many Nov./Dec. books to get to right now :(
    Laura-I heard the next book was even better.

  7. Michelle

    I’m so so excited for the follow up! It looks fantastic too.

    Have you seen who they are hoping to cast as Mia in the movie? Dakota Fanning.

  8. dsuzuki

    Dakota Fanning would be great. I can’t wait to see what the movie is like!

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