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If I Stay [Hardcover]

Gayle Forman
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, 7 May 2009 --  
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Book Description

7 May 2009

'Just listen,' Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.

'Stay,' he says.

Everybody has to make choices.

Some might break you.

For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they're all about a future full of music and love, a future that's brimming with hope.

But life can change in an instant.

A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia's choices are gone. Except one.

As alone as she'll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you've lost - and all that might be.


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Doubleday Childrens; 1st, First Edition, First Printing edition (7 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385616201
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385616201
  • Product Dimensions: 13.4 x 21.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (100 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 103,912 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Review

"Reminiscent of The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold - this is a beautiful book that will move you and make you question your own life" (News of the World)

"This sensitively written story of the power of love and loss presses all the right buttons . . . the intensity of feelings and tragic suddenness with which life changes will strike a chord with teenagers and the young at heart. Read it, as they say, and weep" (Daily Mail)

"This is a wonderful, beautiful book; so gripping, so wise and oh, so heart-breakingly painful" (Carmen Reid)

"It reminded me very much of The Lovely Bones. I found it uplifting and satisfying" (Anne Cassidy)

"This is a haunting and heartbreaking novel reminiscent of The Lovely Bones . . . Impossible to put down" (The Bookseller) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

What would you do if you had to choose? A haunting novel about the power of love and loss - a story that won't quite let you go.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
57 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 10 April 2009
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Mia has a lot to love in life. She is a cellist who could be on her way to Julliard. She has a wonderful, loving, and supportive family. And she has a boyfriend who is perfect. But as wonderful as Mia's life is, she has choices to make. Should she go to Julliard and leave everyone behind?

When a terrible accident occurs, Mia suddenly finds herself with only one choice left - should she stay?

This book is just WOW! Do not read this in public because this one will bring tears to your eyes - I'm warning you! That doesn't mean it doesn't have humor though, because there were many times I found myself laughing out loud. This is an intense story that will not only appeal to teens, but have a lot of crossover adult appeal, as well.

Gayle Forman does an excellent job going from Mia's present to Mia's past and drawing the reader in so they truly understand her love for the cello, her family, and Adam, her boyfriend. As I was reading, I felt like I really got to know Mia and her family and found myself grieving along with Mia - the writing is just that powerful.

IF I STAY is a short read, but it packs so much in and I wanted to savor every moment. At times I found myself reading slower and drinking in the words because I didn't want the story to end.

The story centers around music: Mia with her cello, Adam with his band, and Mia's dad being a drummer, and Gayle Forman's writing felt lyrical. She was able to capture music and put it into a book. I don't know how to describe it, but it was like I was reading a song - hopefully that makes sense! Music is such an important part of the book, Gayle Forman has included a playlist for the book on her website. I loved checking out the songs that went along with the story and listening to them when Mia did.
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A three-hanky teen+ read 16 Jun 2009
By Annabel Gaskell VINE VOICE
Format:Hardcover
I came to this novel knowing nothing at all about the plot other than it was a family drama; but I had read several recommendations of this novel from respected sources. They all said that it was a book best encountered fresh, that knowing would spoil the enjoyment of reading it.

I concur wholeheartedly. This is a fantastic book about love, loss and decisions which made me well up with tears repeatedly. Written for teens (there are adult themes), it charts the story of Mia, a young cellist, her musical family and rocker boyfriend - you'll fall in love with all of them. Set in Oregon, their story is picked out in flashback over the course of a couple of days.

That's all I can say about the story without spoiling it. It's short enough to be read in one session. It will appeal to fans of Jodie Picoult's family dilemma dramas, but it's way, way better. A brilliant three-hanky novel.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow and wow! 12 Jun 2009
By G. Lawe
Format:Hardcover
What can I say? This is an amazing book. Powerful, raw, funny, uplifting, romantic, thought-inspiring. One of those books you think about for weeks after you have finished reading it. I highly recommend it.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book 20 July 2009
By Dot
Format:Hardcover
The book revolves around 17 year old Mia, she has a loving family; great friends and a boyfriend who she truly loves. Mia has decisions to make about her future; she is a talented cellist and there is the possibility that she will have won a place to study at Julliard in New York, leaving her life in Oregon behind. However, Mia's choices are vastly compromised by a cold February morning and a snowy road; she is left having to face an even harder decision all on her own.
I don't want to give the story away in my review but I do want to stress that I thought that this book was amazing. I literally couldn't put it down, I read it in one ago as I was totally absorbed into the story and the characters. I think that it is possibly one of the best young adult books that I have ever read; so many sensitive subjects are explored to their very limits. I loved how Gayle Forman painted the picture of Mia's relationship with her parents and also her boyfriend Adam. By building this up gradually the reader is left knowing how hard it is for Mia to make her decision at the end of the book. Ultimately this is a tale of love and loss; it really does make you take a step back and realise just how lucky we all are and how many things we take for granted every single day.
This review in no way does this book justice; there is so much that I would like to talk about further but I think that I would end up giving the story away. Gayle Forman has a wonderful website which probably describes the book in a much better way then I have; I thought If I Stay was a wonderful book though and I'm still thinking about it days after finishing the last page.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Such a pleasure to read. 9 Jun 2009
Format:Hardcover
This is story for all who love to weep unashamedly at a film. It made me consider whether if living were so hard and all I cared for were lost, would I still want to live? The pages whizzed by and my emotions were heightened at the end by the turn of the narrative. A wonderful read for teenage girls with a box of tissues.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars An Average Story 26 Jun 2012
Format:Paperback
I had high expectations of this book. Everybody who read it seemed to rave about it and promised me that I would be blown away by it. So when I finished it, I was actually disappointed that I did not feel this way.

Don't get me wrong, this is a very cleverly written book and I enjoyed it for what it was. But it didn't leave me awestruck and in desperate need to read the sequel. I just thought it was good but with no wow factor.

The story takes place all in one 24 hour time period. There are no actual chapters; the story is simply updated by inserting the time every so often. And we are told the story from the point of view of Mia. Mia is in a terrible car accident right at the beginning of the book and finds herself sort of `trapped' between life and death. She is viewing the aftermath of the accident and all that is happening in the `physical world' as a separate entity to her actual body. I found this very unique and a completely different way of telling a story.

And of course the rest of the story revolves around Mia trying to decide whether to stay in the world of the living where her life will be very different or to `cross over' into death and in essence `give up'.

As you can probably imagine, this makes for some quite grim and depressing reading. This did not bother me at all. What did bother me were the flash backs. As Mia hovers between life and death and as various relatives and friends come to visit her in hospital, she one by one delves back into her past going through pivotal moments in her life with these various people. Now I understand that these were needed in order for her to make the decision she made but as a personal preference of mine, I simply am not a fan of flash backs in books.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars :)
Simply incredible. I adore this book and cry every single time I read it and I have read it a lot.
Published 8 hours ago by L. Hawkins
4.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful book, though warning, it makes you weep!
This is a wonderful book - it makes you feel sad, and is very thought provoking. It ended quite suddenly and I actually wanted it to go on so that I could find out how Mia gets on... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Soogles
5.0 out of 5 stars if I stay
A really powerful and moving book. I like how the story mingles with Mia's past as she tries to come to terms with the accident. Read more
Published 3 days ago by bpshielsy
2.0 out of 5 stars snore
I found this really boring, and was constantly fighting the urge to flip through the book to the more exciting parts, if you could even find them exciting.
Published 8 days ago by L. S. Richards
4.0 out of 5 stars Great concept
I read 'If I Stay' after it was mentioned in a review of 'Before I Fall' by Lauren Oliver by one of my Goodreads friends. Read more
Published 28 days ago by fennerstuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is such a powerful book. I got so emotional while reading it and finished it within 2 hours as I could not put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by amy manson
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, read it in one evening!
Loved the book, my eyes are sore and I'm tired but couldn't stop reading until I'd finished it!

Fascinating story which makes you wonder what you would choose, not sure... Read more
Published 1 month ago by mum jane
5.0 out of 5 stars Love
I love this book and I bought it for a friends birthday and she loved it too. Can't wait for the movie.
Published 2 months ago by Corinne
3.0 out of 5 stars a good little story
Read the book because i heard about the film adaption, its a good little story, not too memorable. easily a 6/10
Published 2 months ago by Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Heartrending, humbling.
A story written very much from the heart. Painful to read but lovely too, and the underlying issue was both thought-provoking and emotive.
Published 2 months ago by Ms Indigo
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