Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

“I have a feeling once you live through something like this, you become a little bit invincible.”

This week I purchased If I Stay, by Gayle Forman, on my Kindle. It was only $2.99 and I figured I could spare a few dollars to check it out. Heck, I can always spare money for a  book with an interesting synopsis and this why one day I will be on Hoarders, in my house full of books.

I was planning on reading another book on my Kindle before reading this one, but I couldn’t really get into it and If I Stay was just waiting to be read. I can’t just ignore a potential good book. This is my problem, I feel like I am always finding more and more books I want to read and my pile keeps getting higher and higher. I sometimes find myself rushing through one book just so I can get to the next.

If I Stay was an easy read. It is a Young Adult novel and I believe it would be good for anyone over 14. I was really impressed with some of the vocabulary used in the book. I think a few YA readers may even have to open up a dictionary and look a couple of words up. Who am I kidding? I know they’ll just look it up on the computer, or their phone.

The Kindle version of this book only has 196 pages, but the paperback has 320. It’s hard reading a Kindle book sometimes because it usually doesn’t have page numbers, but this one did, which was great. I like to know what page I’m on and how many I have left.

The novel is set in Oregon, not far from Portland, in the winter of Mia’s senior year of high school. Mia is a cello prodigy and is waiting for her acceptance letter to Julliard.  She has a wonderful family which includes: a brother who is in second grade and parents who love rock and roll.  Her boyfriend, Adam, loves her unconditionally and is just starting a tour with his band who has recently become popular.

The story starts off on a rare snow day in Oregon. The family decides to take a road trip to visit some friends and family because they have a free day to spend however they please. Before they can make it to their first destination, a devastating car accident occurs. Mia is now stuck in-between life and death trying to figure out how to choose between what she has lost and what is left for her to live for.

If I Stay jumps from present day and  stories from Mia’s past, every few pages. You quickly learn that Mia has a hard choice to make, to stay or to go, but in reality, is it her choice to really make?

Although this book is on the serious side , Mia adds a sense of humor to it that will make you laugh, at least it made me laugh. Her outer body experiences seem real and reminded of the One Tree Hill episode where Clay was recovering from a gun shot wound.

I found this book to be interesting. I read it fairly fast, which means it was good enough to hold my attention, but I hated the ending. All of a sudden it was just over, and it’s not like I didn’t want it to end, because I kind of did, but I was left feeling like there was so much more to be said. It’s as if the author got bored with writing and she was like, “Eh, I can just end it here, no one will notice.” Well, I noticed, and I want more.

I also hated all of the typos on the Kindle. I have noticed that Kindle versions of books are not edited, as well as, the print version. A few times I had to read sentences over and over again to only determine that it must be a typo because it didn’t make any sense.

If I had to give If I stay a grade, I would give it a B-.

Upon further investigation, I found out there is a sort-of sequel to this book called Where She Went. Do not click on link unless you want spoilers or have already read If I Stay.


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