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If I Stay Paperback – 13 May 2010

433 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Definitions (Young Adult) (13 May 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1862308314
  • ISBN-13: 978-1862308312
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (433 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 26,770 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"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)

"A compulsive read" (Jacqueline Wilson)

"This is a haunting and heartbreaking novel reminiscent of The Lovely Bones . . . Impossible to put down" (Sue Steel Bookseller)

"For the first few pages, If I Stay comes across like a light hearted story about a teenager, her love life and her kooky family, but from the moment Forman hits you with the devastatingly detached description of the aftermath of the crash, you know you've picked up something special" (The Bookbag)

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

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

86 of 87 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 April 2009
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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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amber on 7 Sept. 2014
Format: Paperback
*Originally published on my blog; Cosying Up With Books*

Oh my heart still hurts from this one! I don't usually start reviews with talking about the ending but OH MY GOODNESS. I was a mess reading that last line, sobbing uncontrollably at 11PM on a Saturday night. Yep.

So, let's now move back to the beginning.
This story gripped me from that very first line: "Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true."
Now, the blurb for If I Stay doesn't reveal too much, it just mentions choices and love so when I read the first line I instantly wanted to know what Mia was talking about. What did the snow do? I had my suspicions from reading reviews on Goodreads and I knew the plot was based on Mia losing something. Nevertheless, in no way was I prepared for the emotional onslaught reading this short book gave me.

The chapters were not marked in the usual way and instead, time stamps were used and everytime I got to a new part I'd stop and think about what Mia was narrating. I did this because it gave me a lot to think about and I remember half way through this book something that Mia said hit me so hard that I cried for a long while.

“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

I could fill an entire page with the quotes taken from this book because every single line was indescribably beautiful and so powerful. I have come to love Gayle Forman's writing. She was easily able to transition from Mia's out-of-body experience to the flashbacks and it wasn't choppy at all. It flowed well and gave me a helluva lot to think about. This is one of those books that will stick with me for a very long time!

I know this is highly irregular but I have absolutely nothing bad to say about this book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Debby (Snuggly Oranges) on 21 Sept. 2013
Format: Paperback
I blame the hype machine. Part of me wants to be really cynical right now and scream, "Keep your opinions to yourselves people!" But in truth, I think this is more of a case of "It's not you, it's me." Don't get me wrong, this is a good book, for sure. But it never made me gasp, cry, or any one of a million emotions seemingly everyone had promised me I'd have.

If I Stay is a very original and daring story. It takes a concept that just hasn't been done before, really, and does it really well. The decision Mia faces is dramatic, thought provoking, heartfelt, albeit at times depressing. A lot of people, fascinated with near-death experiences and life/death decisions, will love this book. Sadly, it's time for me to come to terms with the fact that I'm not really one of those people.

I think my personal beliefs got in the way of this one. I'm not a big believer of out-of-body experiences. I think I'm just too skeptical for that. And while I know this is a book, and it doesn't have to be true (I read enough fantasy as it is), it didn't convince me. I think I had trouble not only with the concept, but also with Mia's arguments against "staying". I didn't feel they were strong enough to justify her consideration of that option for most of the novel.

I just couldn't connect to Mia. I think this is partly because we're thrown right into the accident. We barely get to see any of Mia, her personality and her family, before it happens, and that makes it difficult for me to find a connection to her while I'm simulatenously trying to figure out what is happening. But even afterwards, her memories make her seem really bland and boring.
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