Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Original Publication Date: April 2nd, 2009
Original Price: $10.99 (Paperback)
Number of Pages: 212
Starkiller Rating: ★★★★✫
Quick Synopsis: Mia is pretty much the perfect teenager. She’s talented, has a talented hot boyfriend, and a perfect family that she loves dearly. But that all changes when they get into a car accident that kills her parents and leaves her in a coma, wondering, should she stay.
Alright. Let’s just take a second and marvel at my beautiful synopsis. I’ve been getting preeetty meh with them, but man, this one was good.
Anyway. If I Stay has gotten a lot of attention lately, all thanks to the movie that was released last week. I, unfortunately, still haven’t seen it (poor student life). But I hear that it’s amazing and stood true to the original text. So, again, Mia is the child I wish I would have. She’s obsessed with her cello and got this rocker stud with a record deal as her boyfriend. And guess what, that rocker stud is not a complete douche bag like most rocker studs are. He’s actually pretty amazing with Mia and her family (especially her little brother)
The story is told mostly through flash backs. It starts off the morning of the accident and goes on into the night. Throughout the day, Mia is left wandering through the hospital, remembering her family, friends, and boyfriend. And wow, Forman did wonderfully at getting you to truly fall in love with these characters. Her family was supportive and trusting but also opinionated and tough. Same with Adam, her bf. Forman has you drawn into their lives and just when you’re falling for them, you remember, “oh yeah, they died on page 8”. It’s so moving and I loved it.
There’s talks about how Mia was a terrible character with her only personality trait being her self-doubt (obvs I’m talking about a specific article that I’ve read and I’ll link that in the comments below). I totally and completely disagree. Mia does have a lot of self-doubt but what seventeen year old doesn’t. I remember being in high school and being “in love” and not wanting to leave for school. Well, guess what, she has the same exact problems! Except her love is much more real than mine was……
She tries out for Julliard and is plagued with the “what if” of getting in. Will she leave Adam and that family she loves so much to go across the country? She has a lot going on and I love that about her. She is a complex teenage character.
My biggest thing about loving YA is that when people “grow up” they begin to think that teenager’s problems are just that, teenage problems. But no. When you were a teenager, these problems were legit problems. I think Forman handled it well.
I’m not going to include spoilers in this because I want you all to read or watch the movie.
And with that, I’m just going to leave this tiny complaint about life:
I’m TIRED of people comparing If I Stay to The Fault in Our Stars!!!
They’re absolutely nothing alike. Except that they have girl main characters. And I’m not going to get into this on my review for If I Stay because I don’t want to detract from my love for this story.