Saturday, 21 May 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

If I Stay
by Gayle Forman

Summary: In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeenyear- old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

So…I didn’t hate it. But I didn’t love it. The book left me a bit -- underwhelmed.

It was the shortest book out of the challenge Julie and I had, but it took me the longest to read -- it just dragged on and on and on and I had no trouble at all with putting it down and not picking it up again for a day, which isn’t a good sign.

I did like the book, it wasn’t bad…it just wasn’t my cup of tea. It didn’t live up to the hype for me and I seem to be in the minority in thinking that, because so many people have gushed about it saying how awesome it is.

Things I did like were the writing and the characters. It was well written and the characters were likeable -- although, the side characters were given way more personality than Mia even though she’s the one narrating the book. That could have been because the narration felt kind of…detached/distant to me, I didn’t connect with her (I guess that could’ve been intentional given where she is in the story) and the problem with that was I didn’t care enough for the book to have an impact on me.

The book didn’t make me cry. The story was sad as hell, it should’ve been one that tugged at my heart strings and had me bawling like a baby but I didn’t shed a single tear over the story (even on the day where I was in a crying mood anyway) -- there were one or two moments where I was close to feeling that sadness, but then I would be pulled out of the moment by the story switching from the sad scene to a flashback and that was so frustrating.

I actually think that was the biggest problem for me: the flashbacks. I genuinely wanted to throw the book across the room most of the time when it jumped to a flashback…most of them were so boring to me and I genuinely did not give a damn about that part of the story. There were a few slightly interesting ones, but the best parts of them were just glossed over or summarized.

So yeah, I did not like the flashbacks. I get why they were necessary, but anytime I was getting into the story a flashback scene would drag me out of it -- it was the present that interested me, not the past. And even the present story wasn’t too original to me, it was predictable, it was always obvious what was going to happen and it’s been done before in movies and TV shows (not sure if it has been done in books before, but I bet it has at some point).

I’ll stop trying to explain why the book didn’t really do it for me now. Basically, I liked it but just…not enough. I don’t want to read the sequel and when I finished the book, I just put it on my shelf without a second thought (the good books get under my skin and the story lingers in my mind for hours or days or weeks after reading and I hesitate putting them back on my shelf because I like rereading parts and having the book beside me).

I would still recommend reading it though, if you haven’t, because other people seem to absolutely love it (my co-blogger included) and I really do seem to be in the minority in not connecting with the story.


p.s. silly random thing that made me cringe throughout the story: Adams band being called “Shooting Star” -- fun fact, when  I was younger, me and a few of my friends had a band (not a good band, just a cheesy band who only wrote like two songs and didn’t play any instruments - it was very 90’s girl/boy band) and that band was called “Shooting Stars” but we were all under the age of 10 and still stuck in our Spice Girls/S Club 7 phase, so that almost excuses the cheesy name…Adam is supposed to be like 18/19 and the story isn’t set in the 90’s and they're meant to be a punk/rock band. So yeah, band name epic fail.


  1. Lol. So, we loved the book, but we totally agree with you on the band name.

  2. Loved. Loved. Loved this book! Great review!

  3. I can see why it didn't work. The book isn't amazing It's good so I can see why this sudden hype can put you off. I was emotional towards the end and that's it really. Like I said It wasn't amazing like many others make it out to be. Great honest review!

  4. I don't know what I was expecting, but this book was different than I thought it would be. It wasn't a sad story of a girl who lost her family and must choose between life and death. Even as she remembers events and people there's a feeling of hope.



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