BOOK REVIEW: If I Stay by Gayle Forman


ABOUT THE BOOK (from Amazon):

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.


Sometimes I accidentally pick out juvenile fiction and don’t realize it until I’m so far into the story that I can’t turn back. In this case, however, it worked out just fine because this book is amazing!

There was just one thing I didn’t like about the story — a (completely non-graphic) sex scene between the main character and her boyfriend, both of which are in high school.  I was picturing my daughter reading the book and felt that the reference was completely inappropriate for the audience.  Granted, my daughter is only 11 (a little younger than the target audience for this book), but her 13-year-old friend mentioned to me that she had read this book and I just don’t like that being in it at all.  In my opinion, the story would have been just fine without it.

Besides that, this book is phenomenal.  Seventeen-­year-old Mia is in a fatal car accident with her family.  As her body lies in a hospital bed recovering, Mia is in a coma, but her mind is working overtime — assessing all that has happened, what she has lost, what she has left on this Earth and whether she should “stay” or go.

While telling this story, the author provokes a range of emotions in the reader.  Despite the subject matter, the story isn’t just sad.  There are funny, sweet, light-hearted moments as well.  Overall, it is bittersweet.  It makes the reader think about life and love and the bonds that we have with those around us, even at just 17-years-old.  I recommend this book to any fiction lover, even if you don’t typically read books in the “juvenile” category.

Published by Kelly Schuknecht

Kelly Schuknecht is a marketer with a background in the publishing industry. She is passionate about all things related to books and loves helping authors navigate the world of social media for book promotion. She recently launched the course Marketing Your Book on TikTok.

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