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4.2 out of 5 stars483
4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 6 August 2014
I read this book because I had read the fault in our stars and this book had been recommended based on that. This book was amazing. I was gripped from the first chapter and couldn't put it down. I'm gutted I've finished it so soon!
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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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on 13 December 2013
I'm not someone who gets tearful easy and I read a lot. This is the first book to make me cry. The characters personalities are so strong and the novel is written so well you feel every emotion they go through.
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on 15 November 2015
I don't know how i feel about this story. I'm not sad i spent time reading it but the writing style didn't appeal to me. Usually i can't put a good book down but this one i could, usually i can visualise characters and the setting, this one i couldn't, but I`d say give it a go.
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on 9 September 2014
Sometime you find a book that is so breathtakingly beautifully done that it shakes you to the very core and this book is one of those rarities.

It tells the actually horrific tale of Mia, a seventeen year old cellist and the car accident the forever changed her life in every single way possible. I don't want to tell you too much more about the actual storyline as I don't want to spoil the book (or the upcoming movie for that matter) and it is a pretty light book at just over 200 pages so even the slightest thing could give it all away.

What is there to love about this book?

There is great deal to love about this book, the author has taken a terrible, life altering event and written a throught-provoking and emotionally heart-wrenching tale, it's beautifully written in every way. The characters are detailed and feel very real and down to earth and while it may be a small book it is packed full of lush imagery that puts you right there within the action with Mia. Be prepared for this book to completely break your heart into pieces and if the movie turns out to be being anything even close to the book make sure you take plenty of tissues with you as you'll certainly need them all, it's a devastating tale but it also leaves you with the sense that you just read something exciting and almost delightful.

Was there anything not so good?

I want to say that I wish it had been a longer book but in truth it was the perfect length as it contained eerything you needed and if it had been longer it might have stretched the story too thinly and ruined the fact that it was short but very sweet. It's hard to find fault or flaws in this book, if there were anything I really can't remember them as all I can remember about the book are the positive things about it.

Was it an interesting read?

It was a very interesting book in that it really makes you think about yourself and your family dynamics,about what you would do in Mia's place and how it would affect you, your life and your whole family. It examines love and loss in extreme detail ad it's that that makes the whole book so tragically sad and such a tear-jerker of a book..... yes, it even made me, who rarely cries at book, weep a tear or two. Books that are as dramatic and hard-hitting like this can be extremely personal reads for each reader as you read them with your own personal experiences behind you and it does affect how you view this kind of book, it also makes it quite difficult to explain how you feel about a book like this when someone reading this review doesn't know about the my own life and experiences and how certain aspects of the book hit me very hard in a personal way, how it brought back memories of my past and how it made be feel in that moment. I think every reader will view this book in a slightly different way so the book will have a very different impact from reader to reader.

Was it enjoyable to read?

It was a book that I really just devoured down in the space of two reading sessions as it was that good that I could barely wait to get back to the book to find out what happens next. It's fascinating view on such a tragedy and the way it is told is a genius idea and really helps the reader to get into the depths of the emotional heart of the story.

Was it a well written book?

It is a beautifully structured book told with a real touch of class. The pacing was just perfect and the imagery was simply amazing and on the ball. The language was simple and easy to read and emotional sucker-punch you get really smack you hard and I was surprised at how hard the whole book hot home for me. It made me look at my own family dynamics and at how things need to change before anything happens to change it all forever, it's thought-provoking in more ways than one and it just makes for a beautiful and brilliant book. What is also good about this book is that it's the kind of book that lingers with you long after you've finished reading it and that it lingers in extreme detail too, you don't get a fleeting glimpse that is soon forgotten you get a story and characters that stick with you and for me that is the sign of a true classic in the making. It's a truly haunting book as it's the kind of story that happens everyday to ordinary people, maybe not to the extreme that this one does but it the kind of tragedy that happens every single day.

Would you recommend it to others?

If you like books with a emotional punch then this is the book for you as it certainly will give you that so make sure you have tissues before you start this book as you will need them. It will be interesting to see which direction the next book Where She Went will take us and I am actually gagging to read it and find out as you will be if you read this too! Read it, it's so worth it as it's not very long, it's an easy read and it's hardball tragic, a brilliant, brilliant little book!
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on 8 February 2013
It's not what I expected it to be, at all! I gathered from the blurb and from reviews that some sort of accident occurs. But personally I felt the book had something missing. I didn't know whether I was supposed to cry or not! I didn't. I wasn't at all sad. Although I loved the plot,I thought it was badly written in some ways. For instance skipping back in time could become quite boring and repetitive, I thought it was written childishly,was too fast, had loads of things missing, for instance what happened to Teddy, her mam, her dad, aside from the obvious, it tells you nothing, as though they were forgotten. It still was good,I will read the sequel, but there's something not right, as though it was pointless reading it. I mean we still don't even know pic she stay's?
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on 7 September 2014
I chose to read this book after seeing the film advertised as being released in the cinema on seeing the advert I knew it was a book I would like to read. I made the decision to read the book as I generally prefer original stories to the film. playing the story out in my imagination. The book is very well written conveying a whole spectrum of emotions explaining the characters feelings and experiences well to the reader however I feel it the book came to its conclusion too abruptly there were too many unanswered questions and a huge series of events that in my opinion should have followed. whilst I was hugely disappointed in the ending I thought some of these issues may be addressed in the sequel however when I read the sample I felt further disappointed the two books is not flow into one as seamlessly as I would have imagined. while I want to know what happens to mia from the sample I do not feel enticed to purchase the follow on.
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on 3 August 2014
I thought this book was amazing it had great tension to know if Mia would stay or go.
I would recommend this to every one I know because it's an great book that I enjoyed reading.
I chose this book because it was a recommended book on my kindle app and I had heard of it and wanted to read it.
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on 7 September 2014
*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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on 27 July 2014
If I stay is one of the best books I have read in a very long time, I laughed I cried I questioned what if I was Mia, what would my decision be. Gayle Forman makes you feel as if you know the characters intimately, Mia could have been my best friend thats how well I got to know her through reading this book from her love of playing the cello to her love of Adam and her friendship with Kim.
I was gutted when the book ended as I wanted to know and read about Mia, Adam and Kim, so much more. Thats when I found the sequel WHERE SHE WENT. I was so enthralled by both books I literally couldnt put them down. If I stay has been compared to Alice Sebold's Lovely Bones, which I have also read but to me and this is my personal opinion If I stay was better but as I said that is PERSONAL OPINION. Well worth reading and you cant read If I stay without reading Where she went. 10/10.
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