If I Stay

( 1687 )

Overview

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.
 
Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!
 
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged ...

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Overview

The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.
 
Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!
 
In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.

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  • If I Stay - Movie Trailer
    If I Stay - Movie Trailer  
  • If I Stay - Movie Trailer with Cast Greeting
    If I Stay - Movie Trailer with Cast Greeting  

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Mia has no memory of the accident that changed her life. This inexperienced 17-year-old only recalls riding on that slippery Oregon road with her family, then, in an instant, seeing herself lifted from the twisted wreck. This affecting story of one young woman's struggle through tragedy and grieving will appeal to readers of books like Thirteen Reasons Why.
Publishers Weekly

The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents' corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state ("Am I dead?I actually have to ask myself this"), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia's thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity) expertly explores the teenager's life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia's singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold's adult novel, The Lovely Bones) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: "Please don't die. If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school," prays Mia's friend Kim. "I know you'd hate that kind of thing." Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living. Ages 14-up. (Apr.)

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Booklist
...laced with insight, good humor, and wonder...
Horn Book
. . . the stakes are poignantly conveyed through Mia's vivid memories of a rich, rewarding life.
Children's Literature - Judy DaPolito
This moving first person novel, told by seventeen-year-old Mia, begins as a carefree, unexpected holiday. School is called off because of snow, leaving Mia, her eight-year-old brother Teddy, and her teacher father free for the day. Her mother takes the day off work, too, and since the snow melts off the roads almost immediately, the family piles into the car to visit friends and grandparents. When a pickup truck smashes into the passenger side, Mia's mother and father are killed outright, her little brother is critically injured, and she finds herself standing over her own body as rescue workers fight to save her life. The book continues through the harrowing day and night with Mia's descriptions of current horrors in present tense sections identified by clock time followed by past tense sections devoted to her memories of family and friends. Through this narration, we learn about her eccentric but loving parents, her affection for Teddy, her deep friendship with her classmate Kim, her strong relationship with her rock-musician boyfriend Adam, and her own promising future as a classical cellist. Throughout her day and night in the operating room and the intensive care unit, she observes her unconscious self in the bed and—after hearing a nurse tell her grandparents that whether she lives or dies is up to her—wrestles with her decision. She is torn between fearing that she cannot bear to live with the loss of her parents and brother, and aching to stay with Kim and Adam and her grandparents. The resolution comes when Adam brings in a recording of Yo-Yo Ma, the cellist he took her to hear on their first date. Adam's tears and the sound of the cello combine to bring her back toconsciousness. Well-chosen scenes and details make Mia and the other characters both vivid and appealing. Reviewer: Judy DaPolito
VOYA - Lauri J. Vaughan
Beginning with the idyllic chocolate-chip-pancake morning, seventeen-year-old Mia recounts the twenty-four hours surrounding the tragic car accident that kills her parents and leaves her comatose in an ICU ward. In a manner that is not stilted, Mia becomes the invisible observer and narrator of her roadside rescue, emergency surgery, and the waiting room vigil of family and friends. Expertly woven into the detail of medical procedures and heart-wrenching visits by loved ones is the story of Mia, her parents, and ten-year-younger brother Teddy; her passion for the cello; and the unlikely but true boyfriend Adam. And although Forman's novel is about what might go through the lucid mind of a teen who finds herself in Mia's horrific spot, it offers even more. It is a story about the difficult choices facing teens everyday - even those who, like Mia, are part of a supportive family and have everything going for them. Mia's retelling of her own history is not a lament. At times, the reader will forget the narrator's present circumstance and get completely lost in the description of her first date with Adam at a Yo Yo Ma concert. Still the accident and Mia's condition provides a powerful backdrop that brings the history into frighteningly sharp focus - especially at the novel's conclusion. Forman's characters are smart and solid. There is little wasted prose, and not a single event rings false. Music lovers will appreciate the passions of Mia, Adam, and her family, who adopt an eclectic mix of favorites. Reviewer: Lauri J. Vaughan
VOYA - Isabel Crevasse
Forman's If I Stay is portrayed as just another coming-of-age, pseudo-dramatic teen story in the back cover paragraph. In this case, first impressions are painfully incorrect. Original and exciting, it is a novel about relationships, life, and the people involved in both. The characters are tangibly real; the plot is fascinating and will cause pages to turn rapidly. Teens and adults alike will find themselves falling in love with Forman's stunning novel. Reviewer: Isabel Crevasse, Teen Reviewer
School Library Journal

Gr 9 Up

Forman creates a cast of captivating characters and pulls readers into a compelling story that will cause them to laugh, cry, and question the boundaries of family and love. While out on a drive with her family, 17-year-old Mia is suddenly separated from her body and forced to watch the aftermath of the accident that kills her parents and gravely injures her and her younger brother. Far from supernatural, this shift in perspective will be readily accepted by readers as Mia reminisces about significant events and people in her life while her body lies in a coma. Alternating between the past and the present, she reveals the details and complexities of her relationships with family and friends, including the unlikely romance with her punk-rock boyfriend, Adam. An accomplished musician herself, Mia is torn between pursuing her love for music at Julliard and a future with Adam in Oregon. However, she must first choose between fighting to survive and giving in to the resulting sadness and despair over all she has lost. Readers will find themselves engrossed in Mia's struggles and will race to the satisfying yet realistic conclusion. Teens will identify with Mia's honest discussion of her own insecurities and doubts. Both brutal and beautiful, this thought-provoking story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.-Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD

Kirkus Reviews
When snow cancels school, Mia and her family pile into their beat-up station wagon for a drive. Unlike most 17-year-olds, Mia is secretly enjoying hanging out with her quirky family until an oncoming driver shatters their lives, leaving the gravely injured Mia with the ultimate decision: Should she stay or go? As a spirit-like observer, Mia narrates the next 24 hours, describing how her medical team, friends, boyfriend and extended family care for her each in their own way. Woven into her real-time observations are powerful memories that organically introduce Mia's passion for classical music, her relationship with her boyfriend and her bond with her parents and brother. These memories reinforce the magnitude of Mia's decision and provide weight to both sides of her dilemma. Forman excels at inserting tiny but powerful details throughout, including the realistic sounds, smells and vocabulary of a hospital, which will draw readers into this masterful text and undoubtedly tug at even the toughest of heartstrings. (Fiction. YA)
Christine Halkovic
Seventeen-year-old Mia has a great life: she has a close-knit family, her band-playing boyfriend is loving and devoted to her, and her talent as a cellist has almost certainly earned her a place at Julliard, her dream school. The only decision Mia really has to make is which path she wants to follow. At least, she thought that was the only decision she had to make. One ride with her family during a school snow day, however, changes everything. Suddenly, there's only one decision Mia has to make—a critical decision that she has to make as she watches the paramedics work on her body. It's the most important decision of all, and she has to make it all on her own: stay, or go? Reviewer: Christine Halkovic
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142415436
  • Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
  • Publication date: 4/6/2010
  • Series: If I Stay Series , #1
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 4
  • Age range: 14 - 17 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.92 (w) x 7.84 (h) x 0.88 (d)

Meet the Author

Gayle Forman

Gayle Forman is an award-winning, internationally bestselling author and journalist. She is the author of Just One Day and Just One Year, and the companion e-novella Just One Night, as well as the New York Times bestsellers If I Stay and Where She Went. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and daughters.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 1687 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(972)

4 Star

(382)

3 Star

(181)

2 Star

(74)

1 Star

(78)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 1691 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sarah Bean the Green Bean Teen Queen for TeensReadToo.com

    Mia has a lot to love in life. She is a cellist who could be on her way to Julliard. She has a wonderful, loving, and supportive family. And she has a boyfriend who is perfect. But as wonderful as Mia's life is, she has choices to make. Should she go to Julliard and leave everyone behind?

    When a terrible accident occurs, Mia suddenly finds herself with only one choice left - should she stay?

    This book is just WOW! Do not read this in public because this one will bring tears to your eyes - I'm warning you! That doesn't mean it doesn't have humor though, because there were many times I found myself laughing out loud. This is an intense story that will not only appeal to teens, but have a lot of crossover adult appeal, as well.

    Gayle Forman does an excellent job going from Mia's present to Mia's past and drawing the reader in so they truly understand her love for the cello, her family, and Adam, her boyfriend. As I was reading, I felt like I really got to know Mia and her family and found myself grieving along with Mia - the writing is just that powerful.

    IF I STAY is a short read, but it packs so much in and I wanted to savor every moment. At times I found myself reading slower and drinking in the words because I didn't want the story to end.

    The story centers around music: Mia with her cello, Adam with his band, and Mia's dad being a drummer, and Gayle Forman's writing felt lyrical. She was able to capture music and put it into a book. I don't know how to describe it, but it was like I was reading a song - hopefully that makes sense! Music is such an important part of the book, Gayle Forman has included a playlist for the book on her website. I loved checking out the songs that went along with the story and listening to them when Mia did.

    IF I STAY is a must-read. The themes of love, loss, grief, and hope are so powerful and beautifully written that this story will stay with you long after you finish the last page.

    175 out of 196 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 8, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazingly Beautiful

    All I can say is WOW. I finished this book at 2 AM this morning and I'm still thinking about how much it moved me. I cried several times and just fell in love with Mia and all those who surrounded her, "her family". It's a truly touching and a wonderful story, when I finished I was left wanting to know more about her families past adventures. And how Forman describes the families love of music drives you to want to pick up an instrument and learn to play. I enjoy all types of music and can't wait to check out Yo-Yo-Ma, aka "Yo Mama" per Adam. This is a great read and you will not be disappointed.

    71 out of 81 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 23, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent

    I loved reading this wonderful book! It is a story that keeps you entertained for hours.

    65 out of 84 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2010

    A dissapointment

    I got this book expecting It would be interesting and mature for teens, I was dissapointed to find that this book was all about switching from the present to the past on and off again. I would never reccomend this to anyone since this was one of the WORST books I have ever read. There was no point to it at all. I finished it and I went "Wow. I just wasted my time"

    64 out of 322 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 23, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Should I Stay or Should I Go?

    I've been wanting to read this book since it first came out, but was good and waited until it came out in the cheaper paperback.

    If I Stay is about 17 yr old Mia, a talented celloist, who is in a coma following a car accident that kills her entire family. While in this coma she must make the ultimate decision: stay alive with grief and an uncertain future or join her parents and brother in death

    I have to say this book isn't at all what I expected, and because of that, I may be a little disappointed. It was a surprisingly simple story. There was nothing supernatural about it and all the conflict was an internal struggle. It went back and forth between Mia's stay in the hospital, and her memories which only seemed to complicate her decision.

    Truthfully, I didn't find it all that entertaining. Good thing it read very quickly, or else I probably wouldn't have finished it. For some reason, it never asorbed me. Perhaps it was the meandering pace. Even the question of Mia's choice couldn't make me feel interested.

    Mia's memories served the purpose to give some background to Mia and help flesh out the story. I kind of felt that they were repetitive. They didn't show anything that couldn't be guessed atfrom the first chapter. Mia's loves her little brother. Mia loves her "hip" parents. Mia loves her punk boyfriend. Mia loves music. That's about it.

    I guessed I just missed out on the genius of it all. I'm hearing that it was "beautiful" and "beautifully written, and while I admit that it had more substance than most YA literature, I still wasn't feeling it. A blurb on the front cover said it "will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer's Twilight", and I don't see that at all. I didn't like Twilight, but these books are nothing alike. On top of it all, I hear Summit bought the movie rights to this book. Did I miss something?

    48 out of 66 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 6, 2009

    hmm.

    i skipped around a lot because it was super slow paced. the storyline was just that this girl had to decide if she wants to wake up or not. boring.

    28 out of 72 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 20, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    Amazing and a must read!

    Seventeen year old Mia Hall has it all. A loving family, an awesome best friend, and a wonderful boyfriend, but one mistake changes it all. Mia and her family get into a car crash with an unknown reason how. While Mia is rushed to the hospital all she is wondering is what happened to Teddy her ten year old brother . Once she figures out Teddy passed away and her parents died on the spot she can't think of a reason to stay. Of course her best friend and her boyfriend want her to stay, why wouldn't they. Mia's left fighting for her life while trying to think of a decision . Along the way she asked herself the same question that begins with "If I Stay".

    25 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2011

    I Also Recommend:

    If I stay...

    This book was SO good. I liked the way it switched back and forth. I know some people didnt like the back and forth but I did.

    23 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2011

    Worst book I have ever read.

    This book was boring and slow from chapter 1, I suffered while reading it. I didn't stop because if I start any book I must finish it, weird habit I have. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone.

    21 out of 56 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 7, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not that great

    I don't really know what I expected but this wasn't it. It wasn't a bad story, just not the story that I wanted it to be. I thought there should have been more to it and I couldn't really get into it.

    20 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2012

    This is my absolute favorite book EVER! From page one I could NO

    This is my absolute favorite book EVER! From page one I could NOT put it down, I was obsessed. Thank God it was a shorter book because I ignored family, and friends for a full 24 hours. I never re-read books and I'm tempted to buy this so I will have it. Any one who is looking for a good book, I recommend this one, always! I raved about it for weeks. Incredible, it really sucks you in and tugs on your heart strings. You feel nothing but powerful emotion throughout "If I Stay". So well written, so memorable.

    11 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2011

    Worst book ever!!!

    Don't waste your money on this book.

    9 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 24, 2012

    Anonymous

    You would be missing out on a fantastic book if you pass this up!

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 23, 2012

    Anonymous

    If I hadn't read the reviews on the second book, "Where She Went", I wouldn't have known about this first book. I really couldn't fully grasp what the author was trying to convey to the readers, and it ended so abruptly, it left you hanging on a cliff, and thats exactly what only 120 pages will do. I guess that is this author's intent if you want to find out what happens to Mia, buy the sequel for another 10 bucks. I don't know how many pages is in the sequel, but if its another 120 pages, the nice thing to do is COMBINE both books into one. I don't think I will be paying $20 to read a short story that is divided into two books.

    7 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 27, 2012

    If i stay

    Blahhh.

    7 out of 41 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2012

    Although i did read this book in less than i day, i found it rea

    Although i did read this book in less than i day, i found it really predictable and just really boring. the story just keeps switching from present then to flashbacks and memories of the past which was honestly kind of draining. maybe the sequal is better but i have to admit i didnt care enough to read it.

    6 out of 13 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 6, 2011

    if i stay

    this book was really hard for me to read because over three fourths of it was flashbacks and it started at a really confuzing point...

    6 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted August 2, 2012

    This novel had no life to it. I sped through many pages with bar

    This novel had no life to it. I sped through many pages with barely a glance because I was just that bored. The biggest issue I had was that, to be honest, I just didn't care if she stayed or went, which means the novel really did not accomplish what it was supposed to.

    5 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 22, 2014

    This book was truly amazing. its one of my favorite movies. I ju

    This book was truly amazing. its one of my favorite movies. I just saw the movie which was also really wonderful, but I would definitely recommend reading the book first before seeing the movie. all in all the book and movie are both truly awesome! I also loved the writing style how it went from memories to her being in the hospital, and choosing if she wants to stay.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Heart poundingly right

    If I Stay is a phenominal novel that shows us that there is more to life than want and greed and teaches us to appreciate everything. Every leaf and petal, every ray of sun or drop of rain. It teaches us to not take everything for granted and not be be unhappy when we dont always get everything we want.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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