If I Stay by Gayle Forman


I decided to read this book because John Green recommended it on his Nerdfighter Book Recommendations Video back in December and I am a HUGE John Green fan. I've been reading him since 2007 when I found Looking for Alaska in the bookstore I now work at--which is actually one of my favorite books. But I digress. Anyway, I figured because I love his writing, I would probably enjoy books that he enjoyed. However, unfortunately that was not the case with If I Stay.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a novel about a girl caught in the "in between". After a devastating car accident, Mia watches herself as the paramedics and doctors try to keep her alive while she struggles with the question of if she wants to live at all after what she's lost. The story switches back and forth between flashbacks of her family, boyfriend, best friend and present day as she's in the hospital. It's a story about family, love, life, death and friendship--and how powerful they are.

Mia was both a likable character and a strong female that wasn't just focused on the "magic of love" or other bull. She had aspirations and she wasn't going to put them off just because the person she was in love with may not have been included in her future. Which I really appreciated.

But I had a problem with the book. I live for drama in books, let me tell you that. I love a good tragedy. But the emotion in this story felt forced. Because of the serious and depressing subject matter, Forman wanted to evoke emotion from the reader--but it wasn't successful. It was painfully obvious what she was trying to do, and therefore, it didn't evoke anything from me. It just made me cringe.

Overall, I just wasn't moved like I thought I would be. I've heard nothing but good things about this book, so I had high expectations and I was greatly disappointed. It was a compelling idea. It was a well-developed plot. But it was average. It didn't give me that feeling. That "my-heart-is-breaking-in-the-best-way-possible" feeling. It just was. And I wanted more than that.

My Rating: ★ ★

Favorite Quotes:
"I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard."
"Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal."

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