Book Review: If I Stay

If I Stay 

Published By: Penguin Group

Release Date: 2010

Buy it at: Amazon

Source: Owned by reviewer

Audience: Young Adult

If I Stay is the story of Mia, a teenager whose life is forever changed when a car trip with her family ends in a tragic accident. Mia is forced to watch the aftermath of the accident from outside her body. She is caught between life and death and she discovers it's her choice to make. 

Anytime I come across a book that is labeled a "tear jerker" I walk away from it. I just can't do it. I'm the same way with movies. You won't find me watching Beaches over and over. So, when I heard about this book I was stubborn and wouldn't read it. Everyone kept telling me to keep tissues handy. So, I stayed away. When I ran across it in the store, I did what you aren't supposed to do, I judged a book by it's cover. It just looked pretty. Shallow, I know. But, I am so glad that i had a shallow moment. If I Stay is one of those books I want on my Kindle and on my bookshelf. It is one of the most beautifully written books i have read in a long time. It's almost lyrical in the way it reads. Which is interesting because music plays such a heavy role in this book. The author has actually said one of her inspirations for writing this book was music. Most of the characters meet because of or through music in some way. One of the most poignant moments of the book revolves around lyrics in a song.

To say If I Stay is a bittersweet read is an understatement. You go through every emotion while reading this book. You start out happy and comfortable and then you are thrown into grief and spun around once again. It's a roller coaster. But, you don't want to get off. As emotional as it made me, I didn't grab the tissues until the end and those were tears of joy for Mia. The beauty in this book is that as soon as things get really intense you get thrown back into one of Mia's memories and it lessens the blow of what just happened. You fall in love with the characters and the writing. You will not want to put this book down. Part of you can't wait to see what her final choice to live or die is and the other part of you will just want to stay on the journey with Mia. Worth the time and tissues. You will not be sorry.

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...
A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.


  1. Great review, Erin! I loved this one too. I'm so excited for Where She Went. :)

  2. Great review. I was steering clear of this book for the very reasons you mentioned, but after reading your review I have is on my list for books to read this year.

  3. Erin, nice job with this review. I agree that the prose is just beautiful. I love that you described your relationship with the book a bit- that interaction is what keeps us picking up the next one, don't you think?

  4. I haven't read the book yet, but I've watched the movie. The movie was ok, but after reading your review, I think I'll read the book too

  5. You're right -- the writing is very lyrical, which I've come to find is generally Forman's style. This book sucks you in and won't let go. It's so close to my heart that I won't see the movie because I don't want to ruin my visions of the book.

  6. I love books that take you places emotionally that you may not want to go to. Sounds like an epic read! Fab review!


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