Google+ Reading Teen: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Monday, May 2, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Speak; Reprint edition (April 6, 2010)
Author's Website:
Buy the book: Amazon
Sequel:  Where She Went

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen­year-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, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.
   I started crying as I read the last page of the book and almost my first thought was that I wanted to read it again.  I wasn't ready to say good-bye to Mia and her story.  I was in a rather emotional state at the time anyway and reading about a 17 year old in crisis was hard because I have a 16 year old granddaughter.  But, the story and the characters hit me with such reality and honesty that I couldn't put the book down.  The story grabs you from the first pages and refuses to let you go until long after you close the book.  It is a powerfully intense story with family, friendship, romance, music and life decisions all wrapped up together.  There wasn't a character that I didn't like or empathize with.

   The story is told by the main character, Mia, a 17 year old high school senior.  She is a talented cellist who has applied to Julliard and has every expectation of getting in.  She has a boyfriend who is much more than a high school romance.  She is part of a large, loving, supportive family.  And then....the unthinkable happens.  Mia then spends the following 24 hours reflecting on her life and making the biggest decision of her life.  The journey is sweet and warm, heartbreaking and uplifting.  The story will make you stop and reflect on your own life and maybe even hug your family a little tighter.  It is a wonderful book.

  • Sexual Content:  Moderate/Heavy
  • Profanity:  Very Heavy
  • Violence:  Heavy (car accident detailed)
  • Other Notables:  Underage drinking, mention of smoking, religious references/questioning
For more details go to If I Stay on Parental Book Reviews


  1. IF I STAY & WHERE SHE WENT are favorites of mine. Even got my husband to read them! He loved them too!

  2. I have WHERE SHE WENT, and just ordered IF I STAY...sounds like I'm in for a good read!

    Great review! :)

  3. I loved this book and was in tears too! I can't wait to read Where She Went.

  4. I LOVED this book too. I usually try to stay away from books that I know will make me cry, but sometimes those are the best books! I can't wait to get Where She Went. I love Gayle's writing, and the story was amazing!

  5. Now I'm excited I have a copy of this coming soon. I can't wait to read it. Thanks for the great review.

  6. As I said in my review, I hated to say good-bye to Mia and her story. So...guess what I bought at my local bookstore today?? I just had to buy Where She Went and I can't wait to get "the rest of the story". Stay tuned....


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