If I Stay by Gayle Forman | Review

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If I Stay book cover laying on a pile of pages with a fake indigo rose beneath it.
4 stars.

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

This was one of those rare times where I read the book after I had seen the film adaptation. The movie was great and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when I stumbled across the book at Dymocks, I just had to buy it, I had to experience the story in its original format.

If I Stay is a powerful novel that is more about life than it is about death. More about taking the time to notice the special little moments in life and how they can change you without you even realising. It’s about the pause between heartbeats and those moments that just take your breath away. The things that can keep you going, keep you fighting, even when all odds have been stacked against you.

“I realise now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”

Gayle Forman is incredibly talented. She has this way of drawing you in, flawlessly introducing characters, which feel like real people, like they could be living down the street. They are incredibly well written, with realistic flaws and imperfections. It’s quite a refreshing change from other characters represented in the Young Adult genre.

However, if you’re looking for a book that is fast paced, then this is probably not for you, because Mia’s story slowly unfolds between her flashbacks and her time in the hospital. Like I said, it’s about acknowledging the little moments, and the weight you don’t realise they have until you take a step back. When she’s doing the dishes with her mum, having coffee with her best friend or spending time with her grandfather.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I laughed and cried, which was to be expected from this book. It also left me pondering life and my own defining moments and wondering what path I’m are heading down. And now when I compare it to the film, the screenwriters, director and producers did a phenomenal job at choosing the actors who perfectly encompassed their characters and the whole story stayed truer to the book than I have seen in a very long time.

Overall, I implore you to go out and read this or watch the film because this is a story that needs to be experienced. I will definitely be seeking out the sequel to read how the story continues. So stay tuned for that.

Watch the film trailer for If I Stay below. Read my review for the sequel Where She Went here.

2 comments on “If I Stay by Gayle Forman | Review

  1. I loved the book, but didn’t really enjoy the movie!

    • I agree the book was better, as is the norm, and I have yet to rewatch the film since reading the book. But overall I think they did well at portraying the story and characters. I mean I have seen film adaptations that butchered the book and so when comparing to that, I feel like they should at least be commended. However, maybe I will feel differently when I rewatch the film.

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