Title: If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 9, 2009
Cover Designer: Monica Benalcazar
Age Audience: YA
Summary: 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 and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.
This may sound unusual, but what drew me to this book was not the cover, but the title. If I Stay. It just sounded so…songlike. I guess you could say that I judged this book by its title. However, I was unsure when I found out it was realistic fiction. I usually steer clear of contemporary/realistic fiction because it tends to be too melodramatic and sappy for my liking. I don’t think I would have even gotten around to reading this if Gayle Forman wasn’t going to be at the TLA this year.
I read this book in three hours. But those three hours were unforgettable.
It’s difficult to tell what the book is about from reading the summary, so I’ll tell you that If I Stay was about Mia, the protagonist, deciding whether she should keep on living after a tragic car accident, or join her family in death. But this book wasn’t only about death. It was also about life, family and love, as you can see from Mia’s flashbacks throughout the novel.
Surprisingly (at least to me), this book wasn’t melodramatic at all. The characters and their situations were realistic and truthful. This book was touching as well. I mean, it wasn’t Between Mom and Jo-touching, but one of my eyes slightly leaked at the end.
I also loved the musical aspect. I’m not a huge fan of music-themed books, but I can’t imagine If I Stay without the music. It flourished and upheld the story, which made this short book even more engrossing.
Needless to say, I’m very much looking forward to Where She Went.