Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 3830
Beautifully written characters, a lyrical and amazing book
Overall rating 
 
3.7
Plot 
 
2.0
Characters 
 
5.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
I couldn't help but fall in love with the characters in this book. Definite thumbs up for me.
Good Points
I’ve heard many positive things about Gayle Forman’s If I Stay so I was really tempted to read. So on my own whim, I bought it from the bookstore and dove into it instantly; I wouldn’t call it love at first page, but hey, give me props for wanting to give it a try. And I read it, and initially I think somewhere in its beginning I decided not to like it. Then I tried reading it again. And again, and again... you get the point. And guys, this is over a span of three years. It took me forever to realize I wasn’t giving the book the light of day I knew it should have, and a teeeny self-note: never turn down a book for its beginning because it can get better. This was the case for If I Stay.

Yes— this story does dumps a lot of tragedy early in its beginning, and out of the tragedy erupts a beautiful novel like this— so lyrical and just so romantically written, I couldn’t help but come to love it at its end. Actually... I didn’t want it to end, because with the way the whole novel was wrapped up—I just couldn’t believe it had to stop there, because by the time you finished I know you’ll be full of questions and wanting answers just as I was.

My little summary: so this story follows Mia, a seventeen year old virtuoso at the cello, has a gorgeous and amazing boyfriend, a very promising future, and a family who adores her. Perfect, right? In an instant, on a day that started like any other, Mia’s family dies in an automobile accident and her near-perfect life is taken away from her. Mia is left in a comatose state; trapped between life and death, between a happy past and an unclear future, Mia must decide whether she wants to stay or live.

I was heartbroken. Mia lost her entire family in an instant (and in this book, it is literally the case.) This sounds cruel, but I was lacking sympathy for her and the characters. I think this is due to the fact that we hardly knew the characters in its beginning, and Mia had such a perfect life even I was beginning to feel a little envy. I was doubtful; Mia was giving that total Mary Sue vibe, and the almost perfection (almost) of her life just seemed way too good to be true.

Honestly, I didn’t even realize the car accident had happened. How it is written in the book was so quick and brief, and I ran over the sentence so quickly I hadn’t even realized the car accident happened. Next thing I know, the ambulance is arriving and I’m wondering: “What did I just read?” No worries, I re-read it but I just wished it could’ve been written at a more... moderate pace so I could actually catch onto what happened more easily.

Perhaps, if there was a thing that bothered me most about If I Stay, was the fact there wasn’t much happening. There’s little episodic tales that somehow tie into the story otherwise while she’s in her coma, and just some really heartfelt moments. As the memories of Mia’s past and future unravel, you can’t help but think but wonder what she will choose in the long run—and if it weren’t for such a big decision she had to make by the novel’s end, I probably would’ve put the book down. There’s just no clear plot, just full of written charm and wit from Mia in such an expressive, beautiful way. And there’s absolutely nothing wrong with beautiful writing, as I do admire Gayle Forman’s stylization and dialogue, but you might find yourself craving a little more if you’re one of those readers who love their books jam-packed with plot lines, plot twists, plot ANYTHING, really.

But what’s amazing is how sincere the relationship between her boyfriend, Adam, and Mia connected. I didn’t really care for the couple much, because we were never given that character-driven, building moment where the story slowly eases into their first kiss and really see their relationship blossom. In this instance, the more is told about the relationship between the two the more you realize how amazing of a couple they are together. I mean, the rocker and the cello-player?! That sounds absolutely adorable and Forman just writes their romance in a way when it just really comes to work.

No joke, I started off not liking this book much at all. I was bored, and wanted more from it but then as soon as I finished I screamed out “NOOOOO!” because it just couldn’t end there. It can’t!! Not especially when there’s so much more story to tell about Mia’s future, Adam—well, everything. But don’t worry, my lips are sealed!

So is If I Stay a miss or a pass? Personally, I think this book particularly is something that might appeal to the older YA readers, and the lack of the plot-driven storyline might be a little annoying to some. It’s a mix of tender moments and the characters are given a lot of depth, and overall an amazingly written story. It might not be tonight’s page turner or your favorite, but is something I’d recommend reading if you’re looking for a good winter read passer-by.

Happy reading!
With much love,
Bri
Report this review Was this review helpful to you? 0 0

Comments

Already have an account? or Create an account
Powered by JReviews

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

Send Me Their Souls (Bring Me Their Hearts, #3)
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
There are worse things than death. ...
The Walrus and the Caribou
 
4.5
 
0.0 (0)
When the earth was new, words had the power to...
The Elephant's Umbrella
 
3.5
 
0.0 (0)
Elephant is always ready and willing to share her prized...
Calvin Gets the Last Word
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
The dictionary as narrator? YES! ...
Goblin King (Permafrost, #2)
 
4.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Hollowpox: The Hunt for Morrigan Crow (Nevermoor, #3)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Morrigan battles a new evil as a strange, frightening illness...
The Gilded Wolves (The Gilded Wolves, #1)
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
*AN INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER* From New York...
Earth-Shattering Events: Volcanoes, earthquakes, cyclones, tsunamis and other natural disasters
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
An atlas of the most extreme meteorological and geological disasters...
Among the Beasts and Briars
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
Ashley Poston, acclaimed author of Heart of Iron, returns...
Gut Garden: A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome
 
4.7
 
0.0 (0)
A journey into the wonderful world of your microbiome! Within...
ICK! Delightfully Disgusting Animal Dinners, Dwellings, and Defenses
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Animals--they're cute and fluffy, cuddly and puffy, and ... sometimes...
Dinosaurs Are Not Extinct: Real Facts About Real Dinosaurs
 
4.3
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author-illustrator Drew Sheneman brings budding paleontologists the truth about...
The Camelot Betrayal
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The second book in a new fantasy trilogy from New...
Soulswift
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A dark, epic fantasy about a girl who must rethink...
Goblin King
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
In Kara Barbieri's Goblin King, the stunning sequel in the...
Beautiful Wild
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
You are invited to set sail on the maiden voyage...

Latest Member Reviews

Mightier Than the Sword (Mightier Than the Sword, #1)
 
4.0
"Part mad libs and activity book plus fully developed fictional story, MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD is a delightfully interactive read..."
All You Need Is a Pencil: The Totally Sick Sick-Day Activity Book
 
5.0
"THE TOTALLY SICK SICK-DAY ACTIVITY BOOK is exactly what the title describes. There are crossword puzzles, places to doodle, word..."
Animazes
 
5.0
"ANIMAZES shows the migration patterns of fourteen different creatures. It shows that there are several different paths these creatures can..."
Under the Snow
 
5.0
"When you see snow, you think of how pretty it is or how cold it is. UNDER THE SNOW opens..."
Explorer Academy Codebreaking Activity Adventure
 
5.0
"Fans of the Explorer Academy series won't want to miss out on this Codebreaking Activity Adventure. Enter into Explorer Academy..."
Harry Potter Origami
 
4.0
"Scholastic Inc brings origami and Harry Potter together in this book with fifteen foldable crafts! Each one has a different..."
Bear's Springtime Book of Hidden Things
 
4.0
"Winter is over and Bear is ready to have some springtime fun. First, Bear has to gather everything he needs,..."
Pre-K Extra Big Skills Workbook: Ready for Reading (Scholastic Early Learners)
 
5.0
"READY FOR READING is a great way to introduce reading to your preschooler. The tasks start off simple like finding..."
I am a Wonder Woman
 
5.0
"I AM A WONDER WOMAN is a fun and cool activity book which celebrates the amazing things women have done..."
I Spy Little Hearts
 
4.0
"I SPY LITTLE HEARTS is a cute little look-and-find for toddlers. It's in a board book format. The pictures are..."
I Spy Little Bunnies
 
4.0
"I SPY LITTLE BUNNIES is a cute little look-and-find for young children. It's in a board book format. The pictures..."
Hidden Creatures: Scratch Magic
 
5.0
"HIDDEN CREATURES: SCRATCH MAGIC contains pages with black on them. Some have the whole page and others have designs for..."
The Kidult Handbook: From Blanket Forts to Capture the Flag, a Grownup's Guide to Playing Like a Kid
 
5.0
"THE KIDULT HANDBOOK is the perfect book to pull out on a boring day. It is packed with fun activities..."
Ultimate Sticker Collection: DC Comics Wonder Woman (Ultimate Sticker Collections)
 
5.0
"A charming gift idea for young Wonder Woman fans, with plenty of additional DC universe appeal. This Wonder Woman..."
Code It! Create It!: Ideas & Inspiration for Coding (Girls Who Code)
 
5.0
"Interested in coding but not sure what products or activities you could do with it? Look no further than this..."
Laugh-Out-Loud Ultimate Jokes for Kids: 2-in-1 Collection of Awesome Jokes and Road Trip Jokes
 
4.5
"This durable hardback presents a sizable collection of perfectly clean kid’s jokes. There are anywhere from 3-6 jokes per page..."
Laugh-Out-Loud Road Trip Jokes for Kids
 
4.0
"A well-arranged, highly portable collection of kid-friendly jokes. This little paperback book of road trip ready humor is 128..."
Where's Waldo? 30th Anniversary Edition
 
5.0
"Where's Waldo is an iconic search and find activity book that has been entertaining people for 30 years. This 30th..."
Grocery Games! (Shopkins Jumbo Sticker Activity Book)
 
4.0
"For fans of the Shopkins phenomenon, this product has a lot going for it. Vibrant, cheerful, and devastatingly cutsie...."
KLUTZ Circuit Clay Science Kit
 
5.0
"Hours of step-by-step projects--endless sculpting and light-up possibilities. This electrical sculpture kit contains four colors of conducting clay (purple,..."