Thursday, September 18, 2014

*REVIEW* If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay
Book: 1
Rating: ★★★★

Blurb from Goodreads:

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

Stays, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love--music--even if that means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends 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 one that matters. 

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

My Rating/Thoughts:

"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you."

Now I went into this book fully prepared that my whole heart was going to get completely ripped out. I had heard nothing about this book except a small glimpse into the trailer where I heard "if she wakes up shes waking up an orphan." So obviously I have to prepare myself that this book would make me cry like a little baby. And damn it if it didn't make me cry harder regardless of all my mental preparations. This book is brilliantly written. I loved the power of love and music that brought these two teenagers together regardless of their differences. I love the power of music that flooded through the family. This whole book was surrounded around music and it was beautiful. The writing was beautiful that even months after reading this book, I am still in love with it and thinking about it. 

The characters were so lovable. Every single one of them. I loved Mia's dad, her mom, and her adorable little brother Teddy. So losing all of them pretty much the first chapter of the book was heartbreaking, but I loved how Forman gave us flashbacks all throughout the book. Which I would have thought would be a bit distracting, but it worked flawlessly. There was no apparent timeline, we just thought about memories as Mia thought of them. It worked. 

Now Mia was a great character. I couldn't help, but love her. She faced some important decisions and I think I valued her choices because she knew that her relationship with Adam was going to be hard once his band was getting popular and once she applied to Julliard. How could it be easy? But instead of throwing that all away or choosing the easy way, she knew she had to do what was best for her. Even if that meant giving up Adam (who she loved terribly). I think she handled all her confusion about her future perfectly. Way better than I did when I was her age because we all know the future is scary! 

The relationships in this book were so heartwarming! She had a great friendship with Kim. I loved seeing how Kim and Adam put their differences aside when Mia was in the hospital because they were the only ones who knew how the other was feeling. I loved her relationships with her parents and brother even though she felt like an outsider in her own family. The fact that her parents went along with her interests and never questioned her or forced Rock music or anything else on her was truly touching. I loved the scene where they were in the car and they left Mia play her Classical music. Who would actually like to sit through that music even when they don't like it? That is tough, in my opinion. 

Now as for Mia and Adam's relationship? Beautiful. In fact I am pretty sure if you looked up the definition of "true love" you'd find a picture of Adam and Mia. They were just perfect together. They held their differences, but they loved each other. And to find something like that so young is truly a blessing. 

"Please Mia," he implores. "Don't make me write a song."

Overall, this book was beautiful. It really captured the essence of what Mia was feeling and I felt like I was torn right along with her. I had no idea what she should do and I think that's what makes this book so captivating. I really enjoyed reading it even if it tore my heart to pieces. It was truly amazing and I know it will have a special place in my heart forever. 

"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." 

Would you stay? 

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