Wednesday, May 13, 2009

If I Stay - Gayle Forman


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 heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make-and the ultimate choice Mia commands

“Just listen,” Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.

I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.

“Stay,” he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones. Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her friends and family behind?

Then, one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only that matters.

If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

You can read an excerpt from the book on Gayle’s website: link1; link2

When I finished reading this book, the first thing that came to my mind was an aphorism by the Ancient Greek physician Hippocrates

Vita Brevis, Ars Longa – Latin for Life is short; Art is enduring.

The aphorism sums up the plot of the book. From the minute I opened the book I didn’t want to put it down. Ms. Forman wove a tale so magical, that anyone could fall hook, line and sinker for it. I did. I read it on April1 in a little over 2 hours and did not want to let go.

This is the magic of YA books. No matter how common the tale, authors make it special by adding their special touch. Ms. Forman adds that touch in this book in the form of the cello. 17 year old Mia, is a child prodigy, has a loving family, and an adorable boyfriend, Adam. In a split second, she loses almost everything.

We all go through life trying to find ourselves. That special identity that is unique to us. Mia is struggling to achieve that too. Her whole life revolves around the cello. It is with the cello that she identifies herself the best. She feels like a fish out of the water in her family. We can all identify with something of the sort.

Ms. Forman draws upon the renowned cellist, Yo-Yo Ma, and his beautiful gift of playing the cello, to create a magical tale that shows the inner turmoil, and the psychomachia (battle of the mind with itself), that Mia goes through. The arduous decision of whether to give up on life and die, or fight back for all that was precious to her. Her music is her life. And losing her life meant losing music. Which would mean no Julliard, which also mean being close to Adam, her mom & dad-would-love-him-type-rocker-boyfriend.

She interweaves the past and the present, the pleasant and painful, making it painstakingly beautiful; a heart wrenching story that will make even a heart of stone shed a tear. Alteast a drop. Or two. Unless you’re Khy. Who really does have a heart of stone. Her words not mine. Here see yourself.

Also her mom loved her book. So did mine. It was weird coincidence, but seeing that both moms are a lot alike in character its not difficult to imagine. Also, what does that say about Gayle? I think on April 23rdthis said it all. She was officially a NY Times bestselling author!

When I asked her what she thought about making the list:

She said,

"For the rest of my life, no matter what happens, even if only for this one week, I am now a NYT bestselling author.

And that is pretty amazing"

So here are 5 reasons to read this book.

  1. Because its an AMAZING book.
  2. Because NY Times says so.
  3. Because Khy & I say so.
  4. Because our mom's say so.
  5. Because its a book you will love to curl up and read on any given day.
  6. Gayle is amazing.

So go on and read this book! And let me know what you think of it! And sorry about all the weird terms..Im sorta into them.You'll see a lot more of them later.

Follow Gayle on Twitter here and let her know your thoughts!

Edition: ARC (Courtesy of Susane Colasanti)

P.S. Waiting For You is out tomorrow 5/14...GO BUY IT!

There will be a special video of Susane reading from it tomorrow!

Wait for it! :-)

I wasnt listening to any music when I wrote this!


  1. Hi mitali! Yeah, I loved this review, like I said on Twitter. Oh, and I'm following Gale now too! The review was good, really good, and it honestly made me really want to read the book. "Her music is her life. And losing her life meant losing music."-best part. Ever. I love your writing, and I agree that you're deff going to be a best selling YA author one day. Aha. <3

  2. Thanks for the wonderful review. At this point I've been recommended this book by so many people that I don't have enough fingers to keep track.

  3. haha love your reasons why. I loved it too and omg i want to read it again!?

  4. I love this book. Did you read our discussion? My favorite question is...would you stay?

  5. This is such a great post! I don't know if I'd give it to my mom in particular - but good to know yours loved it. And I can see why - strong, loving, surprisingly supportive family. You don't get that a lot in YA these days. =)