author’s website: Gayle Forman
release date: April 2, 2009
appeals to: Young Adult
length: 272 pages
overall rating: 5 stars
*the back cover*
On a day that started like any other. . .
Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full o fmusic and full of choices. Then, in an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left – the most important decision she’ll ever make.
Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.
This book was breathtaking. The book begins with the story of a seemingly normal teenage cello player with slightly quirky parents. But immediately, Mia’s world is turned upside down when a tragic accident throws her into a state between being alive and being dead. She can watch everything, hear everything, but she can’t feel or touch anything. This book covers just one day, and it is absolutely riveting. I literally read it in one sitting because I didn’t want to close the book. I just had to know what happened next.
At the end of the paperback, there are 18 pages of additional writing that talk about the story behind the story, discussion questions, a “behind the music” section, and an author Q and A section. These additional sections were just as intriguing as the story, and they really made things come together. Mia is a serious musician, and her parents are serious about music, but a totally different genre, so reading the “behind the music” section was really interesting. It really showed the attention to detail that Gayle Forman took when creating the story. Even those pages were difficult to close, because you just don’t want the story to end.
This review has been incredibly hard to write, because I have trouble explaining exactly why this book was so good (especially without giving spoilers). The raw emotions, difficult decisions, and beautiful writing come together to create an honest and breathtaking story.
*short and snappy*
writing: down to earth – Mia is narrating the story and she has a very down to earth personality that comes across in the writing
plot: stunning – for a story set in one day, there are a ton of elements at work in this plot
characters: all of the characters are interesting, but since Mia is telling the story, we learn the most about her
judging by the cover: I love the cover and the tagline under the title, “what would you do if you had to choose?”
miscellaneous: The website for the book has a playlist, videos, an excerpt and other goodies.
one more thing: On the cover, there is a quote from USA today saying that this book will appeal to fans of Stephanie Meyer’s Twilight series. I really enjoyed this book, but I don’t see any kind of connection to the Twilight series except that both books appeal to a teen audience. If I Stay does have a little bit of a paranormal aspect in the plot – since Mia is watching herself from outside her body – but there isn’t really a fantasy aspect, and there isn’t any kind of adventure story like there is in the Twilight series.