If I Stay by Gayle Forman

March 12, 2012
Many people are afraid of death, however most of us agree that it can sometimes
be an easy way out. Forced to accept the loss of her immediate family, Mia realizes
that she is not completely sure that she wants to stay. Struggling with the burden
of her suffering, Mia has to make a decision that no one can make for her, to live
with her loss, or leave with her family. If I Stay, a novel written by Gayle Formen, is a
touching story that leaves readers wondering, if you were in her position,
would you find the strength to stay?

If I Stay, Gayle Formen's novel, is a book full of emotion about a seventeen
year old girl who has her life ripped from her in seconds. She finds herself
sitting in the wreckage of a car with her parents dead. Unable to find her
younger brother, Teddy, she searches through the debris. While looking for
Teddy, Mia finds herself in critical condition. Rushed to the hospital with
an 'collapsed lung, a ruptured spleen, internal bleeding from an unknown origin
and most serious, the contusions on her brain', she watches her remaining family's
efforts to bring her back to reality. She is caught in a state where she is between
living and dead, and the decision to stay is completely up to her.

There is always something left to live for. The overpowering feeling of loss may
make it near impossible to see this but it is definitely true. This is the message I
took away from If I Stay and it is something the main character struggles to see
throughout the book. No matter what situation you may be in, there is always a
flicker of happiness that is worth being there for. Mia lost her mother, her father and
her younger brother in a car accident and she has trouble realizing how many people
are still there for her and that care for her very much. In other books - and in real life -
this is very true because - from the girl with cancer to the boy who lost everything he
has to war - everybody suffers and it is the realization of what we still have that
truly gets us through our pain. All in all, no matter what we have lost, there
is always something still there for us.

If I was in Mia’s position, I would probably not have as much of a struggle as she
had. Though I do not know, and I hope that I will never have that experience the
exact amount of pain that she was feeling, I am almost positive I would chose to live.
When you leave your life behind, you are not only escaping the bad experiences but
missing out on all the good ones as well. I know that in that situation, my
parents would want me to live above everything else, and I think that Mia’s parents
probably would feel the same way. I also think that this is much harder for her to realize
then for me. She witnessed the deaths of her parents and that is a very hard thing to live
through. My decision can not be compared to hers because I am not her. Everyone gets over
things differently, and if she does choose to leave, no one can judge her poorly for that

Gayle Forman wrote this book in a way that was both interesting and intriguing.
The whole book was from Mia’s point of view, and I feel like the author is trying to
help the reader fully understand the conflict that Mia is faced with. We read about
Mia viewing the events occurring around her, then in between these events she
tells us about her memories. The readers listen to her talking about memories
about her life before the accident. By doing this, we understand more about her and
we know how much her boyfriend means to her,. We find out about her parents,
her best friend, and things we otherwise wouldn’t know about her. I like this way
of writing because it helps us relate to Mia. The book is very engaging and
very well written. The plot is well built up and I would recommend it to any fans of
realistic fiction!

In conclusion, If I Stay is a good book that forces you to think as the main character
does. The author, Gayle Forman, will take you into the world of Mia. You will understand
her life, what she has been through, and you will begin to understand her conflict. When
I finished this book, I had to sit for a while and consider what I had just read. I am sure it
will make many of you think hard about it as well. Gayle Forman's voice came through
her writing, and through Mia, and if you are prepared to read a book that
may have your eyes watering, then read If I Stay.

Join the Discussion

This article has 4 comments. Post your own now!

PriyaKJ said...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 3:29 pm
Great job, Claire! Congrats on getting your review published!
Claire H. replied...
Mar. 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

Hey priya! thx

i might take it down tho and repost it cuz it posted werid....

PriyaKJ replied...
May 3, 2012 at 5:14 pm
You're welcome. :) Yeah I noticed that too! It might've been the way you pasted it in.
Claire H. replied...
May 3, 2012 at 6:43 pm
do u think i should repost it?
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