Melanie's Musings
September 15, 2014

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

 

If I Stay teaches patience to its readers. Knowing the pivotal plot point before even opening the book then spending the next two hundred pages waiting for the resolution would be enough to try a saint’s patience if it were not for Gayle Forman’s writing. The frequent use of flashbacks takes readers from the anxiety of wondering what will happen to complete immersion of a simpler time. Of Labor Day cookouts, Julliard auditions, and deciding who to be for Halloween.

 

Of heart to heart talks with Mom (who is gone). Singing with Dad (who is gone). Playing with Teddy (who might be gone).

And once again you’re jolted back to present reality, where Mia must decide to go or fight to stay.

Forman’s characters are so real; in fact, they’re people I’ve known, in a small way. I have family with Adam’s need to occasionally make a Big Production. A parent who I can tell nearly anything. Friends who I could call on night or day if I need help. I’ve received kindness at the hands of strangers that I’ll never forget, just like Mia.

The familiarity of the people in the novel is the only thing I could relate to, while Mia decides. It anchors the novel, while the grandness of Mia’s situation spirals out of control.

If I Stay takes place in less than a few days’ time, but in its span, I learned who Mia was, the wonderful and challenging life she had Before, and the grief that would overtake her like nothing else… if she stayed.

 

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Posted by Melanie at 8:29 am - Comments (12)
Categories: book review

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  • September 16th 2014
    Gina said:

    Gotta say it’s not the first glowing recommendation I’ve had of this book nor do I believe it will be the last. Definitely on my “to read” list. Thanks for the fab share!

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  • September 17th 2014

    I’m so glad you loved this as well, Melanie. It was a pretty interesting read, huh? Haha, patience? I guess so but at the same time it was short you know? Well, IMO. But it’s true that I was longing to know her choice and what was going to happen. Very lovely review. :)

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  • September 17th 2014

    I loved If I Stay, and I can’t wait to see the movie. Great review, Melanie :)

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  • September 17th 2014

    I’ve become a very impatient reader so I wonder if this is for me.

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  • September 17th 2014

    This isn’t a book that would usually appeal to me but since practically everyone seems to love it, I think I’m going to have to read it. It definitely sounds like a moving read. Great review, thanks.

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  • September 17th 2014

    I don’t think I’d like it as much if it wasn’t for her writing either (I haven’t read it all- but I have read a few chapters ages ago before putting it aside to read something else- but that was also before blogging and my sticking with a book.) I want to read it before watching the movie though (and I’m waiting for the DVD so I have a while, yay!)

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    Melanie Reply:

    I read the book so I could see the movie guilt free too! Hopefully, I’ll catch it this weekend.

    Hope you enjoy it when you do finish reading it.

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  • September 17th 2014
    Lindsey said:

    I enjoyed this one too. I think Foreman did a wonderful job of creating really vivid, lovely characters and I would have read about them even without the major question that frames the book!

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  • September 17th 2014
    elena said:

    I really need to re-read this! It’s been awhile and I want to see if it will emotionally affect me like everyone else.

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    Melanie Reply:

    I’m not a crying reader, so I wasn’t surprised when I didn’t bawl like so many others, but it was definitely an emotional, thoughtful book.

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  • September 18th 2014

    Ah — this book was so sad. I’m not sure I can handle watching the movie in the theater. Have you read the companion book? I might have liked that even more.
    Thanks so much for stopping by! Jen @ YA Romantics

    [Reply]

    Melanie Reply:

    I haven’t- not yet. I originally wasn’t planning to read it at all, but after I finished If I Stay I got incredibly curious.

    I’ve tried to imagine them as older, grief worn characters, and I’m not sure I’m doing them justice on my own.

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