Book Review | If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Book Review | If I Stay


“Mia had everything: a loving family, a gorgeous, adoring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music 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 one 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.”


I was really looking forward to reading this book and finally purchased it from Target.  I thought I would cry while reading the book, but nothing ever came.  The story was great, but it didn’t have enough emotion for me and I didn’t really relate to the characters who all seemed to be these hipster music people to me.

Even though I wasn’t fond of the personalities of the characters, I did enjoy the overall message of the book (or at least what I thought was the message).  Never take the small things for granted.  Seeing as I have lost two very important people in my life, I do miss the small things.  Like watching Friends with my mother.  That seems like something very insignificant, but now that I can’t share that time with her I really miss it.

While Mia is trying to decide whether to move on or stay she thinks about a lot of things we take for granted, like spending time with family, friends, and significant others.  Essentially, when you’re time comes you don’t care what you did, but who you shared your life experiences with.  At least that’s what I will think about.

If Mia really could decide to live or die, she’d have to come to terms with the people closest to her being gone.  I’m not sure if I would decide to stay if I’d be an orphan and my young brother was gone. It would be really hard to cope with that kind of loss.

Now, I’m completely biased with my next comment, but I didn’t feel that there was enough of a connection between Mia and her boyfriend.  There wasn’t a lot of romance between these two characters and I felt like there could have been more to it.  But that’s just my hopeless romantic side talking.

Overall, If I Stay is a good book, but it didn’t live up to my expectations and sometimes I set those expectations too high.


“For the first time, I can sense how fully agonizing staying will be.  But then I feel Adam’s hand.”



Gayle Forman is an award-winning author and journalist whose articles have appeared in such publications as Jane, Seventeen, Glamour, Elle, and The New York Times Magazine, to name just a few. She lives in New York City with her husband and daughter.

Buy Links: Amazon, B&N, iBooks

Social Media Links: Website, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr 

Publishing Company: Dutton, Penguin Group

Release Date: April 2, 2009

Genre: Young Adult

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7 thoughts on “Book Review | If I Stay by Gayle Forman

  1. Arielle Joy December 29, 2014 at 11:03 am Reply

    Great honest review. I think sometimes it’s a bit of a bummer when books get talked up to the point where you go in having very high expectations. Still sounds like one I’ll read to experience it myself but I’ll definitely take your review into consideration so that I don’t have super high expectations.


  2. Claudia {SparrowHawk} December 29, 2014 at 1:47 pm Reply

    There was a lack of emotional connection with the characters in my part too, and a few other “personal” complaints ha ha! Yeah, this author and series are just not for me. Have you seen the film? I actually enjoyed the film WAY more than the book 🙂


    • Danielle Miller December 29, 2014 at 3:05 pm Reply

      I haven’t seen the film yet, but I still want to. Good to know that it’s better than the book. 🙂 That not something that happens often.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. April Wood December 29, 2014 at 6:11 pm Reply

    Great review, Danielle!


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