Book Review

If I Stay By Gayle Forman || Book Review

Hey Guys! It is Max here and I will be doing a book review for ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman today! As you can see on my Goodreads page, I gave this book a five out of five stars which I do not regret on giving it that score because the book was so captivating and it messed with my emotions so wonderfully that I have had a hard time reading the book… Wait, we will go into the details later on in the review.

As for now, I will dive right into my mini-summary for ‘If I Stay’ by Gayle Forman. So, If I Stay is a Young Adult, Contemporary romance following a seventeen-year-old girl named Mia whose family died in a car crash and she is the only one that ‘sort of’ survived the car crash. 

So, without further ado, let us get into the review for ‘If I Stay!’ 

Disclaimers: 

  • All thoughts and opinions are on my own and…
  • This is a spoiler-free review. So, feel free to stay until the end!

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“But I’d understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love’s a bitch.”- If I Stay, Gayle Forman.

Synopsis:

Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.

Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?

Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

My thoughts: Introduction

“I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”- If I Stay, Gayle Forman.

Before we get into the review, I would like to point out that the blurb on the front cover which USA today had quoted, “Will appeal to fans of Stephanie Meyer’s TWILIGHT” did not give the book any justice or rather, it did not make any sense because both of the books are very different and they are from different genres and it will also make fans who strongly disliked Twilight to not read this book. Therefore, I recommend you to not read that blurb because it just does not make any sense. Now, let us resume with our review…

Let us begin with how well the pacing was written in this book. The pacing for this novel was pretty quick because things went down on page 13 and it had not stopped until the middle part of the novel which a lot of back-stories and flashbacks were held to make the characters fleshed out and when the story reached the ending section of the book, it made me feel sadness, angry feels, unfairness and just, many feels. Plus, this is a book which you can finish in like 4 hours or less because it is only a hundred and ninety-six pages long. Therefore, I loved how the pacing was written in this book!

Moving on, I am going to talk about my favourite quote in this book and how it had punched me in the guts with feelings. So, here goes the quote, starting and ending with:

“How am I supposed to decide this? How can I possibly stay without mom and dad? How can I leave without Teddy? Or Adam? This is too much. I don’t even understand how it all works, why I’m here in the state that I’m in or how to get out of it if I wanted to. If I were to say, I want to wake up, would I wake up right now? I’ve already tried snapping my heels to find Teddy and tried to beam myself to Hawaii, and that didn’t work. This seems a whole lot more complicated.

But in spite of that, I believe it’s true. I hear the nurse’s words again. I am running the show. Everyone’s waiting on me. 

I decide. I know this now. 

And this terrifies me more than anything else that has happened today.”- If I Stay, Gayle Forman.

The above quote punched me with feelings because… Well, let me rephrase that. Just imagine you are the one making those frightful decisions and you pick to live, what would your family who died in the car crash thinks? And if you pick to go with your family, what would the people who care about you on earth think? That’s what made me cry because it is just sad to think about making those abominable choices without anyone guiding you. Therefore, I loved this quote very much.

Furthermore, we will now be discussing the wonderful plot that was driven in this book to make a magical story out of it. So, the plot lines are basically about a Seventeen-Year-Old Girl whose parents and brother died in a car accident and she is the only one who is in a coma and she can choose to either live a life as an orphan or to go with her parents to heaven. 

So (Um, I am using that word again, alright), I found the plot lines to be intriguing and promising. Thus, I picked it up and I read it and… It DID NOT DISAPPOINT! I loved this book so much and I recommend all of you to read this book if you have yet to read it! Now, let us move on to the next topic in the review.

Moreover, I would now like to speak on the beginning section of the story. When I started reading this book, I do not find the beginning to be real and I found it pretty much unreal because a lot of characters were thrown in without much being described and said. Therefore, I found the story to be rather dull. However, I was glad that I continued reading the book because it just got better after the beginning. Thus, stay ‘ until the end if you are planning to DNF the book because the story is wonderful and you will not be disappointed with the overall story! 

On top of all those stuff that I have mentioned, we are now going to talk about the atmosphere and the tone of the novel. The atmosphere that the novel held was pretty much, all through, sadness. It is one of the atmospheres that punches you in the gut without leaving and you will be left there, staring at the ceiling while you are trying not to cry. Therefore, I really loved how well the atmosphere was rounded into!

In addition to the previous paragraph, we have the tone of the novel that I would like to discuss right now. The tone was distressing, mourning and sentimental because it had lots of flashbacks which made me feel for the characters as if they were my friends! Therefore, I adored the tone of this book.

Moving on, I would like to speak about the cliffhanger that was situated at the end of the story. Oh my Gosh, so, the ending was satisfying and the cliffhanger did not really matter but it sure is a set up for the next book which is called ‘Where She Went’ and it sounded like a great book! Thus, I cannot wait to read the sequel to If I Stay!

Finally, we are going to discuss the hook in the opening lines of the book and the length of the book. So, the first line of the novel is basically the hook of the story which captures the readers’ attention and it also induces the readers’ to keep up on reading the book. Therefore, I loved the way it hooked me when I was reading this book.

In addition to the previous paragraph, the length of the book was what ignited my curiousness spectacles on when I picked the book up because how can a story fit perfectly and satisfyingly into a book which is 196 pages long? I originally thought that the story will not be satisfying because of its shortness, but it proofed me wrong because I loved this book so freaking much and I cannot recommend it more. So, I hope that you guys will give this book a try.. It will probably be one of your favourites as well!  

Now, let us get into the audiobook section of this review!

Audiobook:

Well, this section is not at all necessary for the review and you may skip it if you would like to because I did not exactly listen to the full version of the audiobook but only a fragment of it and I am going to be giving you guys a few reasons why I would not recommend you to pick the audiobook up!

Firstly, this book was narrated by Kristen Potter and I did not think that she did a fantastic job on it because she had this weird up and down accent that just made me want to DNF (DNF is an abbreviation for Did-Not-Finish) the book but I am glad that I did not because the book was fantastic! So, I DNF-ed the audiobook instead.

Secondly, the audiobook might ruin your experience and emotions with the book because it was a heart smasher and it will make you hate the main character. Thus, my second reason for not recommending you to listen to the audiobook!

Finally, I would like to say that it torpedoed a little of my affair with this book. So, I am giving this audiobook a 0% rating and I do not recommend you guys to pick the audiobook up and I recommend you guys to just pick the book up and read it physically. Thank You. 

Now, let us move into the writing section of this review!

Writing:

“Girlfriend is such a stupid word. I couldn’t stand calling her that. So, we had to get married, so I could call her ‘wife.”- If I Stay, Gayle Forman.

The writing for ‘If I Stay’ was so freaking beautiful. To be specific, it was lyrical, magical and articulate. It was not at all hard to read and you could actually zoom through the pages without actually knowing how many pages you have already read! (and that happened to me often while I was reading this book…) Therefore, I cannot wait to read more books from Gayle Forman.

Moving on, I really enjoyed the flashbacks element that Gayle Forman had added into the book to make the story even more captivating than it already was. It was such a fantastic part of the story because those flashbacks were where the characters had a chance to grow and also, to make themselves more appealing than they already were. Thus, I loved how the author had thrown the element into the book.

Finally, I liked how she had written the characters and brought them into life by sprinkling words into them and that was truly magical and I loved reading about what they are going through and also, I loved how relatable her characters were. Thus, Gayle Forman is an amazing artist who paints characters into life! 

Now, let us move into the writing section of this review!

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Characters:

“And that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.”- If I Stay, Gayle Forman.

Mia: I loved how developed Mia’s character was in this book. She was so sassy and she was forced into a choice between her family or real life that was inevitable which is scary because once you have picked a choice, you cannot turn back. Also, I loved the flashbacks that were used in her life which made me care for her well-being. Therefore, she was a great character in this book!

Adam: He was so romantic in this book. Just like Mia, his character was not one-dimensional but very well-crafted out because he had many layers to his nature and he was just a very, very good character to read about! Therefore, I loved the fact that he was added to this book!

Kim: She was Mia’s best friend and she was not as well-developed as the previous two but Kim was still an enjoyable character to read about because first off, she stayed true to Mia as a friend among all the things that she was going through and due to that fact that I have listed above, it just warmed my little heart to read about such relationship. However, I said she was not as well-developed because there were not many scenes regarding her friendship with Mia and her overall personalities. Therefore, I liked her as a character in this book but I wish she is a little more developed.

Overall:

I am giving this book a 95.951% rating because I think this is the first contemporary novel that I have read this year that really surprised and touched my heart and soul which made me feel the emotions going through my body. Therefore, I highly recommend you guys to check out this miraculous novel if you have yet to read this blockbuster!


This is the end of my spoiler-free review for If I Stay By Gayle Forman! I hope you all enjoyed it and follow me with your email/Wordpress account to get notifications when I post a new article! Bye!

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24 thoughts on “If I Stay By Gayle Forman || Book Review

  1. Loved this review! I have to be honest, I had little interest in the book starting out but I’ll definitely be picking it up on my first chance! It just sounds so interesting!! (also, I have to say thank you for mentioning the blurb from USA today was inaccurate, as I don’t see myself as a Twilight fan and would’ve been thrown off by the quote).

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so glad you adored it as much as I do! I got all emotional again just by reading your review. To me it’s one of the best contemporaries out there. Just wait till you read the sequel! It’s from Adam’s POV (swoon!) and it’ll play on your emotions so so much! It was even darker and more angsty than this one, so be prepared ;

    Liked by 1 person

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