If I Stay by Gayle Forman


Genre: Drama, Young Adult

Rating: 4/5

Summary: This book is centered around 17-year-old Mia Hall. Mia is an extremely gifted cellist and classical music22IFISTAY-articleLarge lover who dreams of attending Juilliard for college. Mia’s boyfriend, Adam Wilde, is in a rock band and the two could not be more different, but they are young and very much in love.

It begins in her hometown in Oregon where Mia, her mom, her dad, and her little brother Teddy are sitting at home due to the snow day and the cancellation of work and school. They decide to take a spontaneous day trip. While Mia is listening to classical music in the backseat, they are hit by a truck. Mia wakesif-i-stay up after a serious head injury and as she looks over her body on the concrete, she realizes she is having an out-of-body experience. Unfortunately, she also discovers that her mother and father were killed in the crash, and her brother Teddy is seriously injured and eventually passes.orchestra-cello

The story jumps between the past and present as Mia watches her friends and family wait in the hospital and show Mia support. She reflects on memories from her childhood with her family, her affinity for the cello at such a young age, experiences with her best friend, and her growing relationship with Adam. Mia realizes she has to decide whether she wishes to die and be with her family, or live and move on with her life.

Thoughts: This book was very emotionally touching and difficult to read at times. The car crash scene in particular was very painful to read and visualize. I really enjoyed the book overall and felt that the out-of-body experience was a very unique and interesting way to experience the story. It was very Lovely Bones-esque in that sense. I got a little bored after the adrenaline and memory of the car accident scene started to fade from my mind, but that is simply because I am a big fan of unexpected plot twists while this story was centered around romance, tragedy, family, and tough decisions.


“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

“I don’t really care. I shouldn’t have to care. I shouldn’t have to work this hard. I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

“Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal”

“You can have your wishes, your plans, but at the end of the day, it’s out of your control.”

Recommendations: The Beginning of Everything, An Abundance of Katharines


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