IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Penguin Group 2009

If I Stay Book CoverI was slow to come to this story. It took a movie yelling at me that it should be read to actually get the book in my hands.

I knew it would be sad.

I don’t always like sad. Oh, I enjoy a good cry as much as the next girl, but the sad in this story is very possible. Possible sad can be hard to handle.

Seventeen year old Mia is a cello prodigy. She’s in love with her family, even her little brother, and a punk musician named Adam. One February “snow day” her family goes for a drive. An accident with a truck leaves Mia alive but in a coma. An out-of-body experience allows her to sort out the fact that her family is gone and gives her the chance to decide if she wants to stay in this life without them.

Let me say that Gayle Forman is an amazing writer. She handles the potentially overwhelming aspects of this tragic story like a virtuoso might play…the cello. There were highs and lows, though I found at times the story was moving along at an enjoyable pace. We were given lovely flashbacks and just the hint of sorrow. I was almost lured into a sense of serenity.

Then the melody changed tempo. I was brought from the beautiful highs to the depths of the low notes. It physically hurt. And I can’t just say that I cried. There were two (well, maybe three) times in the reading of this story that I blubbered uncontrollably. That is all because of how much control Gayle Forman has on her writing.

Even though I suffered, I appreciate it. I love it.

Do yourself a favor. Read the book. Then, go see the movie. Just make sure you are packing a few handkerchiefs or a whole box of tissues.

You can find out more about IF I STAY, the sequel WHERE SHE WENT and all of Gayle Forman’s other lovely books on her website: gayleforman.com


Take Care,



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