If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Posted July 1, 2017 by Debbie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

 If I Stay


Gayle Forman

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen ­year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces- to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family.

~My Thoughts~

Breathless … that’s what I felt as I read the last word to this story … absolute breathlessness  … the world around me silenced and my mind processed those last few words and slowly I began to breathe again

If I Stay ~ A story told with such compassion, beauty and tenderness.  You don’t realize the impact it is having on you until you have finished reading the book.

“And that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.”  

I went in blind, not knowing what to expect and I am so glad I did.  Not knowing the storyline and what other’s had thought of the book enhanced the entire story.  I was awestruck at the creative and unique way the author played upon the first person point of view.  I was somewhat baffled at the intense connection I felt with the emotions of the two main characters.   How their words embedded themselves into my mind and had me pausing while reading just to absorb them.  It wasn’t until I finished reading that I realized the impact of these words.

“It’s quiet now. So quiet that can almost hear other people’s dreams.”

Gayle Forman takes family dynamic to a new level.  The lifestyle this family has led and passed on to their daughter is what for me at least, made this such an interesting story.  The quirks, the honesty, the truths and hard facts were written with such an easy flow.  The uneasiness that is the start of Mia’s relationship with Adam only added to this.

“Please Mia,” he implores. “Don’t make me write a song.”  

While I felt the emotions of the characters within the story, the only character I developed a strong bond with was Adam.  I think  Adam not being related, but being so deeply invested in Mia had something to do with this.

If I Stay is a story of family, destiny, decisions and love.

“It’s okay,’ he tells me. ‘If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life.’ His voice cracks with emotion. He stops, clears his throat, takes a breath, and continues. ‘But that’s what I want and I could see why it might not be what you want. So I just wanted to tell you that I understand if you go. It’s okay if you have to leave us. It’s okay if you want to stop fighting.”

Imagine having the opportunity to watch your life from a distance.  To feel as though you have the power to decide if you stay.  To view the world, the people who love you and process the devastation life has handed you.  To accept and realize that love isn’t always unconditional, it’s earned through trust and honestly.  Imagine if you had to choose .. would you stay? 

If I Stay is written in a very unique fashion.  It is written with compassion, heartbreak, strength and love.  The story takes us on journey of one person’s life. The happy, sad, shocking and truths of family, faith, friendship and destiny.  It showcases the good, bad, ugly and beautiful.  It tears at your heart, captures your mind and settles beautifully in the calmness of your being.

I highly recommend this story.  Take the journey.  It’s worth every word written upon the pages of the book.

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