If I Stay


By Gayle Forman


This is a book that has been sitting on my shelf for a while now. I even went to meet Gayle Forman and had the book, which I had never even opened, signed by her. Then the movie came out and I went and saw that too, all without having ever picked up the book. That ended today, and honestly, I was disappointed.

Actually, I’m not sure how I felt with this book. I didn’t have any specific thoughts, didn’t feel any particular emotions. This, is, I think, the problem. I went into this expecting to feel and yet, I felt nothing.

If I Stay is a very sad, touching novel about a girl on the brink of death, holding the spark of her life in the place between here and there. As Mia looks back at her life and at all the things that brought her to that moment, we get to see her family and her relationship with her boyfriend Adam, who is trying desperately to get her to stay.

The premise of this novel was great and original. The idea that someone can just choose to live or die in such a way was entirely captivating. My problem with this novel was that it was just too cheesy at time. It was too much for YA, I feel. And as bad as that sounds, I don’t really have a way of explaining it.

The characters were too perfect. They were the perfect American family, the kind you see on a cheesy sitcom that occasionally takes itself too serious. I loved the family dynamic and the loving family and all of that, but it was just too perfect, too peachy. Everything was just too well placed, to the point that it was unreal.

Despite this, I loved the relationships shown within this book and how diverse they were. This was not a book about a girl and her boyfriend, it was a book about a girl and all the love she has received, from all the people who care for her and want her to stay. This is also not a book about death, it is a book about life. About all the reasons we should be grateful, all the reasons we should be glad with the lives we are living, and I loved that.

In the end, this was a very confusing book for me because I don’t know how I feel.  Since I also have the sequel I will definitely be reading it, I just don’t know when. Still, I would recommend this book to anyone.


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