“If I Stay”

Year: 2009

Genre: Young Adult

Author: Gayle Forman

Movie Release date: August 22, 2014

3.5 bookworms out of 5 bookworms

For fans of:

“Looking for Alaska”by John Green

“Thirteen Reasons Why”by Jay Asher

“The Lovely Bones”by Alice Sebold

“Never take life for granted” — the typical response for someone who experienced the worst.

Mia Hall is a 17-year-old cellist in love with classical music and her boyfriend, Adam Wilde. Adam is the lead singer of a rock band called Shooting Star. One February morning, the Hall family decides to visit their out-of-town family, but their lives drastically changed without a warning.

“If I Stay” is divided into time segments starting at 7:09 a.m. Mia speaks about her issues in her music classes, her boyfriend, her family and Kim, her best friend. As Mia travels with her family to visit relatives they have a deadly car accident. Mia witnesses the aftermath of the accident. And watches herself on the ground unconscious. Mia goes through an out-of-body experience as she’s in a coma fighting for her life, she has the option to stay alive as an orphan or leave Adam and Kim behind. Throughout the novel, Mia worries about Teddy, her little brother, but she doesn’t know what happened to him.

The novel follows the perspective of Mia’s flashbacks. While in her comatose state, she attempts to gain the attention of Adam and Kim. Gayle Forman, the author, reveals the reality of human nature and how a person has to decide whether to live or die.

Although “If I Stay” is slow at times, Forman finds a way to intrigue the reader. The theme of the novel is to appreciate what you have while you’re alive and the family and friends who help you through difficult decisions. Forman is a great writer, but Mia’s perspective is too predictable. The reader will have a sense of what happens at the end of the novel as they read through Mia’s thoughts.

I believe the characters of Mia and Adam are realistic because they go through real-life high school experiences. The only characters that are not believable are Mia’s parents, because they are “rock-and-roll” parents that treat their daughter as a friend rather than a child.

Forman’s sequel to “If I Stay” is titled “Where She Went” (2011). The sequel is told in Adam’s point-of-view of the accident’s aftermath.

Read through Mia’s thoughts as she lurks in the hospital deciding whether she will live or die.

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