Wednesday, May 5, 2010

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Grade: A


Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left--the most important decision she'll ever make.


Character Development:8/10
Originality: 8/10
Overall Enjoyment: 8/10
Ending: 10/10
Voice: 7/10
Plot: 8/10
Setting: 8/10
Total Score: 57/70

Obtained: It was a gift.

Age Appropriate? R (eh)

Cussing: A lot and pretty foul.
Alcohol, Drugs, etc: References to and scenes of teen and adult drink consumption and drunkenness.
Sexual Content: Quite a bit, though not very explicit and overly euphemism-ized (not a word, but oh well)
Disturbing Images/Violence: A ton of super-graphic blood and gore and hospital scenes.


Resonant. That is the word that comes to mind for me with this story. I would not describe it as beautiful, or suspenseful, or stunning, or strong. It made me cry. It was certainly impactful. The writing wasn't actually powerful, but its quiet, gentle honesty somehow pointed out all the flaws of life. It was kind of depressing. Not pleasant. Not lighthearted. But cathartic--yes. Thought-provoking--yes. Deep--yes, yes, yes.

Mia, the protagonist, I did not like. Most of the time. Her personality was different in her memories than in her narration. She recalled herself as a weak, sheltered, ignorant, blunt, whiny person with warped morals. I did not like that obnoxious girl. I did, however, come to love the Mia who observed it all, the here-and-now Mia who loved everyone and was so truly human.

The rest of the characters were interesting in an I-don't-know-if-I'd-like-them-in-real-life-but-from-here-they-seem-cool kind of way. The setting was fine. The author's execution of the devastating event that changes Mia's life was flawless. In short, if it comes into your possession, read it, unless you really hate depressing stories. Something about the narrative is mood-bashing. But that aside, it was a very well-written book.


If I Stay
Gayle Forman
Playlist - Music is an integral part of this story, and the book is infused with references and allusions to many artists. This playlist is directly correlated with the plot and the story.


  1. Wow, great review! You put everything that I was thinking about the book into words!

  2. Oh, wow, wonderful review! I just got this book and now I can't wait to start reading it. It sounds like a moving read.


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