Wednesday, August 10, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

"In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands." (From

Pros of listening to If I Stay on audiobook: The music. Mia plays the cello, and at the beginning and end of every CD, cello music plays. It adds the perfect context and emotion to the story, touching the listener in a way that only music can -- which is a big part of how Mia understands and relates to the world.

Cons of listening to If I Stay on audiobook: You can probably figure out just from the synopsis that it's a tearjerker. And bawling your eyes out when you're driving?! Kinda hard.

I had heard a lot of great things about this book, so I went into it with high expectations. Luckily, these expectations were met. Gayle Forman develops her characters so well. By the end of the book, I felt I personally knew Mia, Adam, Kim, Teddy and Mia's parents. This book also did a good job at taking a somewhat hazy issue and giving it a clear path.

I definitely recommend it! Listen to it if you can, but if  you can't -- at least have some tissues on hand!


Teri's Review

I wasn't sure how I would react to this book. I picked it up on a whim, I def. didn't think I would like it or relate to it as much as I did  .The subject of the books is both heart wrenching and tragic. Mia, is in a coma after a horrific car accident that takes the rest of her family. She somehow has an out of body experience and is able to witness and tell us the events that are taking place around her. These moments are intermixed with memories of her past to help us understand the characters in the book.
I think Forman did  excellent job in her secondary characters. I am usually not a fan of parents in YA series, they either come off as completely over protective or so uncaring you wonder why they are in the book , Mia's parents were in a happy middle ground. Parents that were once carefree and were now trying to make the best for a family. I loved how Mia's fathers description is of a former rocker and now a English teacher geek , there was lots of humor on the subject.
This book was truly written about Mia, and her struggle to stay among the living or join her parents in death , but it was Adam who brought the story home for me. He wasn't a main character so much, but his presence in the book greatly affected me.  The year my son was a sophomore in high school his long time girlfriend was in a car accident and several days later was taken off life support. My son was with her at the end. When I read the speech that Adam gave Mia, the one begging her to stay, my heart was wrenched out. I have never asked my son what he said to Bek when she was laying there and he has ever felt he could tell me, this was their last moment together and it still remains theirs. I think I related so much to Adam because of the few horrific days in my life, I know first hand not only does it affect the people involved, but it also affects the people on the fringes of the accident, such as Mia's friends and family, as we were left to deal with my sons roller coasting emotions. I think for these reasons alone I shed a few tears while reading this book, something I usually do not do.
My son has moved on, slowly at first, but this has always played a key in his life choices . I look forward to picking up Where She Went. I want to know how this affected both Mia and Adam, because I know it will. This book was a great read, I laughed, I cried, it defiantly made me feel.

1 comment :

  1. I loved both of these books and I noticed a certain Our Town quality to it. This woudl be great in the classroom because once you start digging, there are really some big questions about what makes life worth living. The use of flashback was so well done, where is could have easily become confusing. Loved this book!