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{Review} If I Stay by Gayle Forman

By 9:18 pm

This image does not belong to me
Author: Gayle Forman
Release Date: April 6th 2010 (first published April 2nd 2009)
Publishers: Speak
Pages: 262
Genre: Contemporary 
Links: Goodreads | Author's Website Book Depository

On a day that started like any other,

Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and full of choices. 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. It is the most important decision she'll ever make.

*I'd like to thank Random House Aus for sending me this for review, it does not influence my opinion.*


If I Stay was a riveting novel exploring the power of family, friendship, love and the challenging choices we make. I had heard a lot of Forman's books beforehand but this was my first experience with her writing and she does not disappoint. For some reason I found If I Stay slightly slow paced but it worked. I read little bits at a time and I think I enjoyed it a lot more than if I had sped read it 

I think the main factor that made me love this novel so much was the large amount of character development. Each and every character had such depth and personality to them. They each held some importance to the story and it was almost like there was no secondary characters. I was impressed because a lot of novels lack in this department and Forman did it so effortlessly. 

Mia was a perfect protagonist and her voice really shines through in the story. I admire her as a character because she faces a decision that no one should ever have to make. I don't want to spoil anything for you but lets just say there are challenges to each choice. Not only was the novel based on friends and family but it was also centred around music. Forman's knowledge of classical music was portrayed in Mia's character and it gave the story more of a backbone. 

I wish I was a part of Mia's family. Her parents were so supportive and I feel like they're an image of the ideal parents. They held such a passion for music and it was obvious this passed on to their children. Mia's boyfriend - Adam - was so down to earth and his love for her was so evident. I can't wait to this translate onto the movie screen and I really hope it's done well. 

The whole novel was based on flashbacks and I wanted to see more of what happened in the long run. I guess that's what's going to happen in the sequel but I also felt like the novel was too short (that's how much I enjoyed it). All I can say is that if you're looking for a light and happy read, this is definitely not the sort of book to go for. I'm a bit hesitant for recommending this book to friends because I know this isn't everyones cup of tea. 

If I Stay was an emotional novel and I'm so glad I got around to reading it. I'm excited to read Where She Went and I feel like it'll take me on an even more emotional ride so I'm mentally preparing myself. I really recommend you read it especially before the movie comes out and I think if you like strong characters then this is the book for you.


  1. I can't believe I still haven't read this. :'(
    Should've taken the opportunity when I had the chance! I'm so glad you loved this one though. I definitely want to get my hands on it one day. I'm gonna look around to see if I can find matching covers! I feel like everyone has different covers for the first and second books. Lovely review Francoise!

  2. YAY YOU FINALLY READ IT I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH. So glad you liked it!! It's not a lot of people's thing. Character development is my fav thing evaaaaaa that's why I love this so much. I want the film now plzzz. Jamie Blackaby is incredibly hot, let's hope that boy can act.

  3. Contemporary novels have never been "my thing" but this book sounds very intriguing. I completely agree with you about the character development. Books are so much better when I feel like I really know the characters. I must add this book to my tbr list. ^_^

  4. I kind-of want to read this before the movie comes out because, even if the movie doesn't look like my type of thing, I'll probably end up watching it anyway! And I like having read the book beforehand.

    I'm not sure I'd be a fan of the slow pacing though - I really need a good paced adventure story, if I'm honest. But maybe I can read this between fast paced reads to give my mind some relaxing time. ;D

    Great review!

  5. Heeeey!
    I'm new here and I only wanted to say that I love your blog! it's fantastic :)
    Kisses ^_^
    P.D.: Loooooove this book soooooo much *_*

  6. Glad you enjoyed it Francoise, Mia was a very "real" protagonist but I guess the flashbacks and what she did in her afterlife was weird for me. Thanks for the review!

  7. I read this one a while ago, but absolutely loved it. It was a completely different contemporary from anything I had read at the time. The flashbacks do take a bit of getting used to, but it's well worth it. I found it a really emotional read. Can't wait to see what you think of Where She Went. Lovely review <3