With a massive fan base, a movie released and another movie in the making I expected this to be an epic read. I was not disappointed as this book belted me in for a rollercoaster of emotions.
If I Stay tells the story of Mia, whose perfect family life is turned upside down following a car accident. With so many changes ahead concerning education, love and life she is left with only one decision, and this one towers above all.
This book is a beautiful perception of the importance of life and love. The value of family, the impressions the people around you have, the value of self-worth, so many areas are covered in this book if not touched upon even slightly and it left me with so much to think about. I always know how much I have enjoyed a book if I still think about it a few days afterwards and If I Stay definitely falls into this category.
The characters throughout the book were all likeable if not impressionable. They varied from shy and reserved to outgoing and caring. The mix of people made the fearful plot not only realistic but relatable as some of the characters reminded me of my loving family whilst others left me appreciating my quirky friends and questioning if they all would do the same for me.
The plot took place over many settings which again were all identifiable and recognisable. One thing about the book that I found unnerving was how realistic it actually was. The main event in the plot could happen to anyone, it reflects that terrifying lack of control that everyone has on life. This makes the book in a sense worrying, whilst the settings again were places that everyone can relate to in one aspect or another. As I mentioned before this same realistic and chilling feel from the book is only strengthened by how authentic the characters are.
As for Gayle Forman’s writing style, I found it easy to read, fluid and perfectly fitted with the plot. I was able to read the book in one day because the writing was engaging and fast paced and overall I felt it complimented the action and main events of the plot. This is the first book I have read by Gayle Forman yet it surely won’t be my last.
If I Stay left me confused and curious about the choices between life and death, if it is possible to make your own decisions surrounding that infinite decision. I think this book helped me to appreciate life and in a strange way death too, how if humans decide when the time is right that their decision is valuable and should be respected. Despite the plot being fictional, I believe Gayle Forman touched on some important issues in the book and really highlighted some ideas that have been pondered over the years.
I gave If I Stay a 4 out of 5 stars on goodreads, it was everything I expected and for me has lived up to the hype. It was a great book and one I would definitely recommend if you haven’t already read it. I will be adding the next book in the series, Where She Went to the top of my book buying list as I can’t wait to see what direction Gayle Forman goes in for it.