Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

“Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal”

― Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Gayle Forman wrote the young adult book If I Stay, which was released in 2009. Summit Entertainment optioned the book in December 2010 for a 2014 film adaptation after it got favorable reviews from the young adult market.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

My reaction to this novel...

The book If I Stay was written by Gayle Forman. A young woman's life is abruptly flipped upside down in this incredibly touching novel. The story revolves around Mia's struggle to decide on that crucial course of action. The story is told in flashbacks between the past, present, and future. The scenes with Mia and her family in the hospital and her recollections of crucial individuals from her daily life are intercut. Through Mia's memories while she rests in a trance-like state in the intensive care unit, on the verge of death, we get to know all those involved. It's heartbreaking to see as each loved one approaches her and expresses their support, love, and compassion for her. They battle to keep her while knowing why it's so difficult. Every chapter is emotionally intense, and every memory makes me cry.

I found it difficult to put this book down. The writing was fantastic, and there is a ton of thought-provoking stuff, some of it is partially covered through flashbacks and the stories themselves say a lot. Despite the fact that it doesn't hold back on the emotions, despite the hefty subject matter, it also has a breezy aspect. This was one of those rare novels that simply really channels you. You may picture flashes of happiness, joy, misery, and pleasure while reading this novel. It's a novel whose narrative just sticks with you. I adore the structure of "If I Stay"'s story. Although it is recounted from Mia's point of view, it is not only her version of the present. When everything is taken into account, it revolves around her experiences and those of her loved ones. This lends the entire work a certain amount of self-contradictory quality.

On the other hand, I found it difficult to accept how the characters were portrayed. Everyone is calm and considerate. It didn't appear like real people were there. Anyhow, this is a novel about family, hardship, and impossible choices, but it is also a story of perfection. It discusses the bonds between the people we love. Really, the book was so good that I didn't figure out what was going to happen in the final chapter until the book was over.

Although I was aware that this book was written many years ago and that a movie based on it was produced—which I haven't seen—this book strikes me as being quite innocent yet having a powerful and engaging story that everyone should be familiar with. You'll be moved to tears and wish you could save Mia by going back in time. I can't even begin to imagine how distressing it would be for someone to see themself in a coma. sometimes all you can do is lie there and hear your loved ones' happy and sad news. It hurts a great deal.

I would strongly suggest it to everyone who like dramatic literature. This book has the ability to both cheer up readers and tear their hearts at the same time.

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)
Where to buy this book


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