If I Stay, by Gayle Forman Review
"I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard."
-If I stay, (pg 175, US Paperback edition)
If I Stay is a story about love and tragedy, that makes your heart hurt, but at the same time brings you to hope.
My Initial Thoughts: To be completely honest, I wasn’t sure how much I was going to like this book when I first started. I had no emotional attachment to the characters when the accident happened, and everything seemed so rushed and unemotional at first. However, I have to give miss Forman props for the way she carefully wove in the backstory of the characters and how eventually the reader does start to care for them. Everyone becomes a loveable, real person and the loss and tragedy of what had happened just hits you hard.
The Plot: This book isn’t a thriller, the plot isn’t particularly exciting or fast-paced. This book more so causes the reader to feel and to think. It draws you in and doesn’t let you go. It causes you to step back and look at your own life, at the people you love and cherish and makes you contemplate what you would do if you were put in Mia’s position.
The Writing: This book isn’t filled with breathtaking poetic prose, but it has a simplistic beauty to it. Forman’s writing style is very easy to follow and to get into. It’s not filled with a bunch of fluff or long descriptors, but it has just enough of everything to build the characters and scenes and make the reader understand and tugs at the emotional heart strings.
Overall Thoughts & Rating: I really like this book for what it was, it’s emotional and thought-provoking and I would recommend it to fans of deeper, thought-provoking contemporary. It’s not all gloom, it does have its lighter, cute moments, but the overall feel is quite heavy. I really loved the way the characters were developed, I loved the part the music played throughout the book. I did think it was a little too short, it ended quite suddenly, but that didn’t take away from the impact of the story.
I give this book a solid 4 ½ stars out of 5.