If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fantasy
Release Date: April 2, 2009
I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.
Stay, he says.
Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love – music — even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.
If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.
First Sentence: Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.
Before I started book blogging, I had randomly picked up If I Stay from the library and started reading it. Bad news: I DNF’d it back then. I couldn’t even get past the first chapter. Flash forward three to four years later and after seeing the trailer for the movie (it’s probably one of the best trailers ever, although I am wondering if it’s a good idea for the movie trailer to show that much plot that had happened in the book) and tearing up because of it, I thought hey, why not give If I Stay another chance? It has been a couple of years since I first read it after all. The good news this time around is that I managed to finish it. As for the bad news, I’ll talk about that later.
The first thing you guys should know about If I Stay is that it has no chapters. However, it isn’t like Hungry by H.A. Swain where there are hardly any places where the passage ends. If I Stay has tons of breaks in it, specifically time breaks (example: a passage may be named 7:36 A.M. or something like that), indicating what time it currently is in the book.
You wouldn’t expect the radio to work afterward. But it does. (13)
One thing I didn’t expect If I Stay to have is that If I Stay has a lot of flashbacks in it. By a lot, I mean that more than 70% of the book is focused on flashbacks, giving us information on Mia’s life before the accident. Here’s the thing: the hardcover edition of If I Stay has 196 pages, not counting the acknowledgments. That is a lot of flashbacks for such a small book. Overall, I felt that some flashbacks in the book were not important and not needed; most of them are just used to introduce us readers to the characters and their personalities. Some other flashbacks were used to show us how Mia and Adam’s relationship grew to the way it currently is now.
One aspect I really liked about If I Stay was Mia and Kim’s friendship. Who knew that there would be such a strong friendship in a book focusing on grief and surviving? Mia and Kim’s friendship is the kind of friendship everyone, including me, would love to have. Kim is just so supportive and so understanding. Kim is there for Mia despite everything that’s happening in her own chaotic life and she would do anything to help Mia. While reading If I Stay, I constantly wanted to give Kim a huge hug because believe me, Kim really needed one herself.
It was Kim who must have braved any number of intimidating bouncers and hipsters to find Adam. And Kim who must have braved telling Adam. (86)
Now onto the bad news some of you are waiting for, although I did enjoy reading If I Stay, I know for sure that if there wasn’t a movie trailer inspiring me to keep on reading, I would have probably DNF’d the book a little past the midway point. Nothing much happens in If I Stay besides people visiting Mia and Mia reminiscing about her life through flashbacks. I didn’t even cry or tear up a little from reading the book like I did watching the movie trailer – If I Stay just didn’t pull any strong emotions from me. What really motivated me to keep on reading If I Stay was the fact that I was trying to recognize the movie trailer scenes in the story. Don’t get me wrong, If I Stay is a good book, but it takes a really patient person to really be invested in it and I’m not a very patient person. In my opinion, If I Stay is a slow book.
Overall, I did enjoy If I Stay, but it isn’t a great book by any means. You would definitely enjoy it more than I did if you’re a patient person. One way or another, I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie, especially after experiencing what the movie trailer did to me. I just hope the movie won’t have the movie trailer showed too much of the plot problem that other movies did.