‘Imagine if all your choices were gone. Except one. And it’s the only one that truly matters.‘
Rating: 3/5 stars
Publication Date: 2nd April 2017
Page Count: 201 pages
Genre: Young Adult
If I Stay
‘Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.‘
Every so often, you stumble on a book which changes your perspective – even if just for a little bit. This can be said about If I Stay, a young-adult novel, surrounding the life and potential death of seventeen-year-old Mia Hall – a girl from Oregon, deeply in love with playing the cello.
First off, I need to warn: this book has high percentage chance of making you tear up, or maybe even cry a little. Secondly, it needs to be said that Gayle Forman does a splendid job at diving into the lives of the Halls, especially Mia and her relationship with Adam Wilde, as well as her infatuation with classical music.
What works so well with this book is just how open, honest and relatable it is. With teen romance, the loss of loved ones and the reality of growing up and making life-changing decisions, it is easy to see why this two-hundred and ten page book has been making waves since its release.
Although I do not want to give too much detail away about the plot (for those who have stumbled onto my review debating whether to give the novel a chance or not) I will say this: the ending is flawless. It will have you cradling your pillow at 3AM because you’ve stayed up all night to finish that final chapter. And no, that statement in no way indicated Mia’s choice. By the time you reach the final pages, you are so attached to every character in Mia’s life, and herself, that with either outcome, whether the one you wanted or not, will leave you needing a moment of reassurance that the surviving characters will be alright.
This book grips you from the first line – ‘Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that’s true’ – and refuses to let go until weeks after you have closed the cover.
My suggestion to all is that if you do decide to read this book, read it fresh. Do not look at spoilers, do not watch the film adaptation first, and do not google its mass collection of inspirational, raw quotes (there are a lot of them out there). Go into the story not knowing what to expect because each twist and turn deserves to be read in its passionate, thought-provoking way.
About the author
Award-winning author and journalist Gayle Forman has written several bestselling novels for young adults, including the Just One Series, I Was Here, Where She Went and the #1 New York Times bestseller If I Stay, which has been translated into more than 40 languages and in 2014 was adapted into a major motion picture.
Forman’s website can be found here.
Her Twitter can be found here.