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review: “if i stay” July 22, 2009

Posted by Katie in reviews.
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If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
Dutton // Hardcover // 208 pages.
Reviewed from purchased copy.

Mia’s life is up in the air. Literally. She’s doesn’t know where she’s going to college, she doesn’t know where things are going with her boyfriend, she’s just been in a car accident, and she has no idea where she is. Caught somewhere between life and death, Mia thinks about her life and worries about where it is going. She hovers around her own body in the hospital, watching her friends and family cope with the accident, while she tries to decide if she should stay.

A lot of this book is told in flashbacks. I still to this day remember writing teachers telling me how this isn’t allowed and wouldn’t be published. Well, Gayle Forman has proven them wrong. The flashbacks are handled beautifully and really allowed me insight to Mia’s predicament. I loved the connection Mia has to her cello and her music. I’ve played violin since I was ten years old (fifteen years now, yikes!) and either Forman has played an instrument or someone in her family has or she’s the best writer in the world.

I had one major problem with the book and that was the falling domino in Mia’s decision. I do not believe that’s what would tip the scale for me. I also know that a lot of my teen readers had a problem with the ending as well. Most of them do not believe they would have made the same decision. (I know that’s awesomely vague for those of you who haven’t read the novel, but what are you waiting for?)

This is a great book and I could easily see it finding a place on teen bookshelves for years to come. Give it to readers who liked both “The Lovely Bones” and “My Sister’s Keeper.”

SWAN catalog
Gayle Forman




1. Linda - November 29, 2009

(I’m just saying my opinion.) The author captured my attention, made me feel sad, and giddy with just 1 book. My favorite part was when main character had flashbacks, especially when it was with her boyfriend. It proves that Love Conquers All.

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