Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com
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.
I really liked this book a lot. It is targeted at young adults but any age can enjoy it. It was beautifully written and just such a unique book!
To me this was not a OMG, break out the tissues, bawl your eyes out, read this alone type of book. If you watch soap operas, this is old hat to you (especially if you watch Young and the Restless, when Colleen died, this is like a remake of that). So yeah, no boohoo here. It was still kinda interesting but still kinda not. You get flash backs, you get what's going on at that moment, but it's so much like a soap opera that you can predict what's going to happen and when. This book is nothing overly special. It's ok. Not great, not so horrible I couldn't read it..just ok.
A quick read that packs a huge punch! It really tugs at your emotions and makes you think. I highly reccomend this book!
A heartwrenching story told from the perspective of a young girl in her senior year that is trapped between her family who has passed on and her family and friends who remain. Switching between the current time as she clings to life and flashbacks to her younger years, I was entranced by the story. The ultimate question remains what happens if she stays or if she decides to go.
My heart was ripped out while reading this book. I couldn't imagine sitting and watching the majority of my loved ones sit vigil by my bedside in a hospital ICU fighting to keep me alive. I absolutely felt her internal struggle as to whether to give it all up to be able to rejoin her parents and brother. A poignant book that makes you take a step back and evaluate who you hold close and what you would do to be with them at all times.
I was beyond touched by this book and although the main character was a young senior in high school, I felt as though this book could be read and impactful to any age group. I think everyone could find the heart and the meaning behind this sweet book. Now to start the sequel!