Released: April 2nd, 2009
Cover: 4/5 Stars (There's another, but this one is just so much prettier.)
Plot: 4/5 Stars
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." - Goodreads.com summary
Spoiler alert: It's fairly big, but it's the major event that starts off the book and it's hard not to refer to it.
If I Stay is a beautiful and poignant read about love and loss. It's not a cheerful book, let me tell you, but I didn't find myself depressed reading it. I had a friend once point out that she didn't like to read about books with a certain subject matter because they made her sad. I always thought: that doesn't necessarily make a book bad. Taking after The Fault in Our Stars, If I Stay is another great example why.
The truth is that this book will make the reader face an emotional roller coaster. I haven't been on one this bad since seeing Les Miserables (with an accent one the e I believe) a while ago. I started the book just coiled up, waiting for the inevitable accident and it was there only a few pages in. I would start smiling during the flash backs and I'd think "wow her parents are great" or "Teddy is adorable!" and then I remembered with a punch to the stomach that they had passed away.
I loved all of the characters in this book! It's near impossible for a reader to instantly hate Mia. Not because she's been through so much, but because she's strong and realistic. Adam was a great boyfriend and I love them together. At many points in the book I just wanted to reach in and hug them both!
Gayle Forman writes with her own style. There are a lot of flash backs in the book that give more insight into Mia's life. I adored these little anecdotes that build up her story and break my heart a little bit. I seriously admire the author for her novel that filled me with so many bittersweet emotions. I know that I'm going to come back to this book again and again. And now time to read the sequel? I'd better arm myself with some tissues.