Hello lovelies! Today I’m doing a book review of ‘If I stay’ by Gale Forman. If you haven’t read the book and don’t want to see any spoilers then look away! Look away before you see anything!
Okay, so I read this book about a month ago while I was cruising around the South Pacific (sigh). It took me two days to read it and I really loved it. It’s the kind of book that’s deep and has a lot of meaning behind the words but it also keeps your attention by changing the focus of the story between the present and the past.
The story follows teenage musician Mia through her life changing decision of whether to stay or move on after a tragic and traumatic car accident. Throughout the book, I found myself wondering what I would do in Mia’s situation. Would I stay with the love of my life and my grandparents and friends? Or would I follow my parents and brother into whatever comes next after life? I pondered over these questions for a long time before I decided that I had no idea how I would ever choose that.
‘If I Stay’ wasn’t a particularly long book but it was certainly jam packed with relevant information about Mia’s past and how all of that contributes to her decision. I think, for me, the most emotional scene was when Mia is describing the accident scene and her out of body experince. She goes into gory detail of the states of the bodies of her family members, especially her younger brother Teddy who is desperately trying to hold on to life but ultimately with no success.
Throughout the story, Mia experiences flashbacks to her past which features her family, her relationship with her boyfriend Adam and how she grew to fall in love with the cello, her instrument of choice. Towards the end of the book, Mia makes her decision quite suddenly and quickly. I sort of turned the page and though “Oh wow, it’s done. That was random.”
The only thing I didn’t like about the book is how vague it is at the end when the choice has been made. I found myself confused as to whether or not she did stay. I think she stayed, but that’s only because I read a small part of ‘Where She Went’ which is the sequel to ‘If I Stay’. I didn’t read much of the sequel purely because I loved the meaningfulness throughout the first one and I think I prefer ‘If I Stay’ as a stand alone book.
Overall, I really loved this novel. It’s a really beautiful story. If you like books like ‘The Fault In Our Stars’ or ‘Paper Towns’ then you’ll love this. I also might add that I think boys would also really enjoy it. There are a lot of themes that I think would touch everyone in a deep way after reading ‘If I Stay’ and that feeling shouldn’t be genderised.
So, If you’re looking for a new book to read then I’d definitely give ‘If I Stay’ by Gale Forman a go. It’s a really lovely and well written book for all ages.
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