Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

if i stayHere’s the description from

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.

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.

So much has already been said about this book so I’ll keep this short.

I read the book in like 2 evenings.  It didn’t blow me away but I did really enjoy it (I don’t know if enjoy is the right word since it’s a super depressing book?).  I thought at times it was heartbreaking, especially when Mia’s grandpa is talking to her at the hospital.  Other times though I just felt too disconnected from Mia and her boyfriend and her friends.  I know I would really have adored this one in middle school or high school.

The flashbacks to Mia’s memories with her family were pretty emotional for me, since I knew already that they were gone.  The scene where she first realizes this has really stuck with me.  How do you capture that feeling when you realize people you love are gone?  I think Forman got that right.

This really was such a different take on life after death.  And that alone made it worth reading.

I do think the hype of the book affected my opinion of it.  If it hadn’t been talked about so much maybe I wouldn’t have gone into it expecting to be blown away?  I do plan on seeing the movie soon.  I’m still deciding if I want to read Where She Went.

Have you read If I Stay?  Thoughts?


About Kelly

Hi! My name’s Kelly. I’m a twenty-something gal from Buffalo, NY. Mom to a little dog named Peabody and a slightly evil cat named Archie. Engaged to the best dude ever. I love books and craft beer! I also love all things France and francophone and have a degree in French Language and Literature from Buffalo State College. My blog used to be called Kelly’s France Blog, but I finally decided it needed a change because I wasn’t posting about French things nearly as often as I used to! You can still see all my imported posts on A Book and a Beer, or you can visit my original blog at
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