If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle FormanTitle: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) Publishing Info: April 2, 2009 by Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 4, 2012

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.


Ho. Ly. Cow. This book was phenomenal. First I have to say bravo to Gayle Forman for such beautiful writing – I read a lot of cheesy books and yes, they’re fun, but nothing is better than a flat out wonderfully written story. Although this is dubbed YA fiction, Mia’s narration throughout the novel does not feel juvenile at all. I feel like any age can read this book and appreciate it in its entirety. Every character in this book has a story and I felt such connection, like this was the story of a real family, real friends, and not just characters on pages. I connected with everything Mia was feeling throughout her struggle to fight to stay alive or decide if it was her time to go. Wow, it just really moved me, as cheesy as that sounds. There’s just no other way to put it. So mature, so emotional, so gripping. I laughed, I smiled, and most of all I cried. Just read the book. It’s so worth it!

For a more in-depth review, check out my thoughts of my re-read of IF I STAY!


5/5 stars
Love love loved it!


If You Liked This, You Might Like…
One Day by David Nicholls — I actually read this because the movie was coming out… And then I never saw the movie (oops). This was another story that I was captivated with – The 20 year love story of Emma and Dexter, struggling to decide whether they’re supposed to be together or end up apart. It actually took me just a little bit to get into the story, but this was another one that when I finished, I just had this inexplicable feeling leftover and it stuck with me for days. Really moving story, lots of pull on the emotions of the characters, and a bittersweet ending.
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold —  Susie Salmon’s story takes place after she is already dead, observing her family move along with their life after her disappearance as she hopes they’ll solve the mystery of her murder – I actually think If I Stay is WAY better than The Lovely Bones. If I Stay is so touching and I feel like it connects much more with the reader and brings them in to the book, gets them involved with the characters. While The Lovely Bones is a similar-type story, I actually found it a little too long and dragged on.

You can also check out my post “12 Books to Read If You Liked IF I STAY” for more recommendations!

Hi, I'm Brittany!
Hi, I'm Brittany!

I'm an avid reader, candle-maker, and audiobook lover! Here you'll find book reviews, fun blog posts, and my other loves of photography & craft beer!

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6 thoughts on “If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman

  1. Kelly

    Great review! I agree that while some of the events in the book do “feel” YA (when the rock star shows up at the hospital, etc), Mia’s narration is far from typical YA speak.

  2. Kelsey

    I keep hearing about this book, and it definitely looks awesome. I will have to wait to be in the mood to read it, if it’s going to have sad moments in it I have to prepare myself, and get some tissue for the tears since you mentioned that you cried. I’m glad that you really liked it, I will let you know when I get to read it myself!

    1. Brittany

      I think it’s a great read! It’s kind of bittersweet in a way. Even though it has a lot of sad moments, it also has a lot of really great ones too. Hope you enjoy when you get to it! 🙂

  3. Candice

    I’ve had this on my TBR list for ages. I try to limit the amount of “emotional” books I read, but I think I’m well overdue for one! It may just have to be this one!

    1. Brittany S

      I agree – I actually try to stay away from most “emotional” books because they’re so heavy, but I got really wrapped up in this one and I just loved her writing. I think you’ll really enjoy it!


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