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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too
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...
Published on 10 April 2009 by TeensReadToo

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, original, delicate.
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...
Published 21 months ago by Debby (Snuggly Oranges)


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84 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too, 10 April 2009
By 
TeensReadToo "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: If I Stay (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.

IF I STAY is a must-read. The themes of love, loss, grief, and hope are so powerful and beautifully written that this story will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

Reviewed by: Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book That Makes You Think, 7 Sept. 2014
By 
Amber (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: If I Stay (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. The cover was simplistic yet lovely, the writing was incrediblely amazing, the feelings I got were overwhelming in the best way possible and the characters were incredibly endearing and I found it easy to feel what Mia felt and my heart broke for her, for everyone actually. All of her family, Adam, Kim and when the flashbacks came and Mia was remembering precious memories, I became a blubbering mess.

She had a choice, which was the main point of this storyline. I wont tell you what the choice is because it's not hinted at in the blurb and I want you to go through the experience the way I did: knowing next to nothing. I could not even begin to imagine having that kind of choice to make, with everything that happened I don't know if I'd have been as brave as Mia was or as clear-headed. I understand she's a fictional character but still, the writing was so perfect it felt real and all those raw emotions were real too.

So, I am 100% advising every single one of you who has not read this book to GO NOW to your local bookstore, library, amazon, bookoutlet etcetc and buy this. I know you wont regret it. I thought I wouldn't like it due to the hype surrounding this book even after almost 4 years but I adored it and it made it's way to my favourites.

OH and good news for all the fans of If I Stay: There will be a movie!!! August 22nd I believe, the trailer (which I have obsessively watched a billion and one times) is on my 'Books To Movies' tab so go ahead and take a look. Then tweet me and fangirl with me! It looks amazing, so close to the book and the song (Say Something) was just made for this story. Chloe Mortez looks the part, as do Adam and Mia's parents and I just can't wait. It doesn't look like it'll be a disappointment but I'll be sure to do a review when I've seen it.

Okay, please follow me on google+ (as a way of being able to see all my new updates on here), Twitter and Goodreads which are all linked to the side of this page and on the Home page too! I would love to have you guys give me some reccommendations and I'd also love to just chat with you all! This is a great community but I barely get to speak to many of you, so please don't hesitate to message me on any of my social networks:).

P.S. Please oh please ignore this: "Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyers' TWILIGHT." which appears on the cover of If I Stay. In no way does this book remind me of Twilight, absolutely no way. I don't know what those people were on but consider that suggestion absolute rubbish.

P.P.S. Before reading this book, be prepared. You will need: boxes(and boxes and boxes) of tissues, a big tub of ice cream, some more tissues, 1 person to vent to and then maybe a couple more tubs of ice cream.
You are welcome.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Subtle, original, delicate., 21 Sept. 2013
This review is from: If I Stay (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. I suppose that was intended to show that this can happen to a regular every-day girl, but if I'm reading a book I still want to be wowed and charmed by the main character. And the same happened with her romance with Adam. It felt rather lukewarm.

The time jumps didn't work for me. I liked how each visitor or occurence in the hospital triggers a memory of Mia's past, and some of them definitely worked, but some didn't. Some felt really out of place, and it didn't help that the memories weren't in chronological order either. That really made it especially hard to get swept up into the relationship between Adam and Mia.

Some parts of the writing just made me raise an eyebrow. Don't get me wrong, Gayle is definitely a great writer. Her talent pretty much floats off the page. But I could sort of tell this was her debut. Passages like Adam and Mia "playing each other" like they were instruments? What was that supposed to be? I mean, I am a music freak and a fan of romance but that just seemed really awkward to me. And Mia describes one of the nurses as having "blue-black skin". Ummm... wut.

The last 5-10 pages were better than the rest of the novel combined. I wish it all had that kind of spark. The rest of the novel was this big, slow build up to that moment, but while you're reading that it's difficult to tell that. I kept waiting to be wowed and it just took forever to (sort of) get there. While I get the idea of building to a climax, usually there's still some highs and lows on that journey to the climax, and I guess I just missed that. This book may have been too subtle for my liking.

Summing Up...

This heartfelt journey was a narrow miss for me. I think my opinion of this book is so lukewarm because I spent most of the novel waiting for the other shoe to drop. Which means I need to move on to the sequel right away, which I was planning on doing anyway. I think the consequences of Mia's decision will ultimately touch my heart more than the process of reaching that decision. So we'll see if Where She Went can sway me.

I can only hope this review doesn't change your opinions of me, and I'll be hiding in my cave, terrified of your comments, for the next couple days. (JK, please, explain to me what everyone's fascination with this book is. Am I missing something? Besides, you know, a heart.)

Recommended To...

People interested in the concept of out-of-body experiences and life/death decisions.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Poignant story for YA readers, 31 July 2010
When Mia's parents are killed instantly in a car accident, she finds herself facing a monumental choice. Separated from her comatose body, Mia watches as her extended family and friends keep a vigil at the hospital. In flashbacks, we learn about her life so far: about the family she's lost, and whether what's left is enough to stay for.

In many ways, Mia has always felt different to her family. Her parents are punk at heart, but she loves classical music and is devoted to the cello. Yet their bond is a strong one - a rarity in YA fiction these days - and she would rather spend time with them and her little brother Teddy than almost anyone else. Almost anyone. Mia's relationship with rock musician Adam is the kind of genuine, believable first love you don't often find in YA novels. Adam himself is a character who'll have readers going a little weak at the knees, I'm sure: edgy, exuding coolness, yet tender in every way that matters. We follow Mia's relationship with him in flashback from awkward beginnings to a sweet and true love that utterly convinces. Like their favoured musical instruments, they complement each other - but not at the cost of their own identities.

At the heart of If I Stay is the decision that Mia faces - to let go, or to hold on to life. There were several points along the way that I was sure I knew what choice Mia would make... and then the scales would subtly tip the other way, keeping me guessing until the end. There doesn't seem to be anything calculated about this constant shifting: it's just that the more we learn about Mia, and the greater our bond with her, the more we appreciate what she has to lose - and gain - either way. Although alternating between past and present becomes ever-so-slightly repetitive at times, in general the two strands of narrative work beautifully together.

If I Stay isn't a religious book, but it does have a spiritual quality. Throughout the story there's a sense that Mia's parents have gone somewhere, and that if she dies she'll join them there. But at the same time this is a story that reminds us how spiritual the best things in life are: the love of family members for each other, the pure joy to be found in music, the bond between best friends and generous love of soulmates.

If I Stay is a contemplative and poignant story that will resonate with readers of all ages. Don't let its slender appearance fool you: this is a satisfying tale, the characters are exceptionally well-developed, and the story will touch your heart. Tears? A few. Uplifting? Eventually. Recommended? You bet.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book, 20 July 2009
This review is from: If I Stay (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If I Stay, 2 Jun. 2010
This review is from: If I Stay (Paperback)
17-year-old Mia has had some difficult choices to make particularly concerning her boyfriend and her other love, music. But none are as tough as the choice she's about to make. On a cold, snowy February morning, on a trip to see family and friends, a horrific car crash changes Mia's life forever. Mia finds herself completely alone in the world and must make the most difficult decision of her life all by herself: should she stay or should she go?

"'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." This is the quote on the back cover of If I Stay. It is an immensely intriguing quote and it is what originally brought the book to my attention a few months ago. I was going to buy myself the paperback version when it's released in May but when I saw the original cover in the book swop last week, I snapped it up as quickly as I could. I've heard fantastic things about the book so my expectations were incredibly high. I was looking for a relatively quick read earlier today and at just over 200 pages, this was the perfect read so I happily settled back to start it.

If I Stay is written incredibly well and Forman easily seemed to get into the mind of a confused 17-year-old. The book is written so easily that it's very easy to breeze through pages without even noticing it. If I Stay doesn't have any chapters but if you need to put it down, there are regular blocks of space but really, the book is so quick to read that you don't even need to put it down. I thought the 207 page length was perfect and although the ending was relatively quick, I didn't feel at all let down by it. It was the perfect ending. The ending made me so much more happier when I read something fantastic on Gayle's website.

If I Stay was a fantastic and very moving read and I was almost in tears countless times. Forman has really crafted a fantastic story with If I Stay. It really doesn't surprise me that this book is in the works to be a movie. It's going to be a mind-blowing movie. If I Stay is not a happy book but like Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, it is ultimately uplifting. I hugely recommend it.
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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A three-hanky teen+ read, 16 Jun. 2009
By 
Annabel Gaskell "gaskella2" (Nr Oxford, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If I Stay (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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21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow and wow!, 12 Jun. 2009
By 
G. Lawe (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: If I Stay (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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars heartbreaking but brilliantly written, 3 Jun. 2011
By 
Sian Louise (UNITED KINGDOM) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: If I Stay (Kindle Edition)
This book was extremely well written.

The author drew me into Mia's story completely and I couldnt put it down.
My heart hurt for the main character of Mia for the entire book, and was so easy to relate to her in some ways. As I think most of us would feel the way she was in the situation.
I liked how the whole book was from her perspective even though she was having the out of body experience, it was really interesting to read about her past and her relationship with her family and others and the lead up to the tragic accident.

I was reading the Kindle edition to this book and when the ending came I was shocked, I had no idea I was even near the end of the book, I just wanted to continue reading her story and read how she gets on with life etc

The writing was just brilliant...I had tears in my eyes at various points of reading this. More so every time she talked about Teddy..he was written so vividly and having younger siblings it was heartbreaking to read some areas of this book.

I have the next one in book form and it won't be long before I pick up that one to read as I cannot wait to read the next chapter in Mia's life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Please Don't Stay, 29 Dec. 2014
This review is from: If I Stay (Kindle Edition)
I know that many people have fallen in love with this book and have found amazing and heartbreaking, etc but I found this book to be seriously over-hyped! I know that this is an unpopular opinion but I found it to be quite bland. After a few pages through I was bored to death! I felt like I couldn't connect with the main character Mia at all. I think that Forman was trying to make her come across as a typical teenager but in doing so she left out the flare and excitement in her character.
This book was mainly made up of flashbacks which, in my opinion, is what ruined this book for me. Since I couldn't connect with Mia or empathise much with her, I just found it excruciating to read. There were some moments that may have tugged on my heart strings a little bit such as the moment when Mia realises that her brother has died but otherwise I really didn't feel like crying whilst reading this book, like many people have. However, to defend Forman, this book would mainly appeal to people who are interested in the life/death thing. This does not particularly appeal to me but if it does to you then you may love this book.
This is again another unpopular opinion, but I didn't find Forman's writing to be that impressive. I found the way she wrote very bland and simple. The book was, I guess, a fairly original idea but I think that with fewer flashbacks, better sentence structuring and more depth and personality in Mia's character, this could have been a great book!
I am not going to say much about the romance since I found it extremely cringe-worthy and unrealistic. I love romance but I didn't find myself rooting for their relationship or getting butterflies when reading it. If I am honest, I found it quite awkward.
Anyway, to conclude, as you can tell, this wasn't a very positive review! However, this was mainly due to the clashes this book had with my own personality and style. I do think that this book has been severely over-hyped but I am no book expert. Many people have enjoyed this book and I am definitely not one of them unfortunately.
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If I Stay
If I Stay by Gayle Forman (Hardcover - 7 May 2009)
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