If I Stay – Book Review

Title: If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman

Length: 209 pages

Genre: Romance, drama, YA Fiction, music,

Release Date: 7 May 2009

Publisher: Random House

Description: Mia is seventeen, a cellist, in love and thinking about going to University. Mia has a lovely and supportive family, an amazing boyfriend and some great friends, not to mention she’s an uber talented musician.  Everything is perfect for her really, until she’s going to her parents’ friends house with the family, driving along the snowy road, Mia is and never will be prepared for what happens next.

My Thoughts: I watched the film of If I Stay in early July last year, before I had this blog. And I remember watching it with friends and thinking that it was really bad, that it had no proper storyline and nothing was particularly happening and I just didn’t care what actually was happening. Although, in the film’s defence I did watch this film at about one in the morning so maybe my ability to accurately criticise it wasn’t at it’s best.

Anyway, I picked up this book from my shelf because I thought it was a relatively short book and it would be an easy read because I’d seen the film. It’s also always nice to give the book a shot even if the film was bad and the film a chance even if the book was bad (although less of a chance). Okay, back to the point, my point is I was really pleasantly surprised with the book.

When I saw the film I really hated Mia, I thought she was really annoying and she just didn’t seem like a real person. I couldn’t relate to her at all. When reading the book I felt completely differently, I loved Mia from the first paragraph and I could instantly relate to her, she was such an inspirational character I felt and I think she handled things really well. There were other characters that I really liked as well, I really loved Kim and Teddy they were really great characters, I don’t really remember them from the film. I think all of the characters were great to be honest, and I could relate to almost all of them and they all had great personalities and it was just really great to get to know them whilst reading the book.

I could actually see the storyline that was developing in the book whereas in the film I couldn’t really see it at all, it was kind of like a load of messy scenes just there to pass time. I thought the storyline was really good, and I liked how it jumped backwards and forwards in time and how she was thinking about her past to help her in the present and how she was always summing up the pros and cons.

I had a really detailed image of everything that was going on in the book and I really like that, I get it with most books you’re constantly imagining what’s going on but sometimes I just have a vague image of like your average kitchen or an average bedroom but this was different, when I read a book where my image of the scene I’m reading is so clear it’s almost like I’ve been there before then you know it’s a good book. Sometimes when I’m reading I know I’m basing my image on a place in my hometown or a place that features a lot in a TV programme etc. and I can place why I’m imagining those thoughts but when my brain can just come up with these completely realistic and detailed images of places that aren’t inspired by or anything like any places I’ve ever seen I can always tell the book I’ve read is a good one. That’s one of the ways I tell, I sit there and think, I have a really detailed image this book must be good.

I’m really glad I decided to give this book a chance and read it even though I didn’t like the film (although now I’m desperate to give it another go, and really pay attention to what’s going on.).

I really suggest reading the book even if you didn’t like the film because from what I remember they are both so different and I think it’s a real eye-opener of a book. And that it teaches you a lot about life and to be grateful for everything and everyone you have because you never know when they will be ripped from your hands, you never know when it’s the last time you will ever see someone laugh, smile, cry, shout, show any sign of emotion at all, hell even breathe. So I just think we should all be grateful for what we have. There’s a quote I’m quite fond of – though I don’t know who it’s by – that goes ‘Love what you have before life teaches you to love what you’ve lost’ and it’s kind of a quote I live by, whenever I’m a little bit down or I’m feeling sorry for myself or jealous of other people for whatever reason that quote always pops into my head and makes me feel better. You may feel like there are people out there that have it better than you but remember there are also people out there that probably have it worse than you, and I think this book makes you realise that just a little bit more.

5/5 stars.

If you’ve read this book (or the film) and would like to share your thoughts please leave a comment telling me what you thought (If you agree or disagree with what I’ve said, or have anything to add to it.). If you’ve written your own review of the book (or the film) please free to leave a link to your blog post in the comments section and I’ll make sure to read it! I’d love to know what you all think of If I Stay!

Other Books In The Series: Where She Went (Sequel).

Other Books By The Author: I Was Here, Just One Day, Just One Night, Just One Year,  Sisters In Sanity, You Can’t Get There From Here.

Author’s Website: http://gayleforman.com/

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