Thursday, July 7, 2011

Review: If I Stay

If I Stay (If I Stay, #1)If I Stay

Series: If I Stay, #1
Author: Gayle Forman
Reading Level and Genre(s): YA PNR, Contemporary
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: January 1, 2009
Source: Purchased
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In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-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.
My feelings for this book were definitely mixed. I had heard and read so many rave reviews on it, and I felt that I just couldn't not read this one. (One thing I have to mention that really bothers me: "Will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer's TWILIGHT." That's on the front of the cover. And that is not going to get me to read the book at all. I mean, I barely saw any similarities between the two books anyways. I just had to say that. Not great marketing there.)


The book itself was written beautifully. It was dramatic, it was haunting, it was melancholy. And yet, I kind of found myself bored. The beginning felt a little slow to me. This entire book takes a time span of what, twenty-four hours? There just didn't seem to be enough action. And I think that's a personal problem. I need more conflict, more villainous creatures, more quests and adventures. This wasn't really my type of book. 


Adam impressed me, but I didn't fall in love in love with him. And I liked Mia. The way she relayed her memories, thoughts, and feelings made me really like her as a character and a person. She voiced her worries, and didn't sound like the lovesick girl with a perfect boyfriend. Otherwise her friend Kim would shoot her.


Despite the fact that I didn't find the novel exciting, it definitely felt like a kind of uplifting book. Not because it's about a girl contemplating her life and whether she's ready to go off and die, but because of all her memories. I smiled at all those happy family moments, laughed at those jokes and antics of her parents, cried at the sadder parts of her life. I was quite a bit forewarned about the amount of emotion (mostly tears) that this book puts you through, but I didn't cry as much as I expected. It could have been the many warnings, I don't know. In fact, I actually found myself mentally screaming "WHAT??" at the end, because the way it was going was totally not how I wanted it to go. I was angry, not sad. But Mia's family and friends made me want to jump into the book and relive all those memories with her.


All in all, this book is definitely the emotional roller coaster, and it kind of gives you a new perspective in life. Forman's writing style is different and new, but I enjoyed how half the book was flashbacks. There was also plenty of wit and humor, and I found myself laughing way more than I cried- always a good thing. The ending made me glad again, so I will definitely pick up Where She Went soon. I was feeling more hopeful. 


I'm not so sure about recommending this book to Twilight fans, but it's definitely a good book for contemporary fans. It emphasizes life and love; makes you feel happy, angry, and sad; and is something I can picture one reading while sitting on a window seat on a rainy day. With a box of tissues next to them.

Beginning Excerpt:

Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that's true.

Favorite/Teaser Quotes/Excerpts:
"Please Mia," he implores. "Don't make me write a song." (First line that made me cry.)


"If you stay, I'll do whatever you want. I'll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I'll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would be too painful, that maybe it'd be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I'd do it. I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay."


Bribes are the glue that's kept teenagers and parents connected for generations.


She didn't care that people called her a bitch. "It's just another word for feminist," she told me with pride.
Disclaimers: Per the FTC regulations, please note that iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does receive books for review for free by publishers or authors. For every book reviewed – whether sent by publisher, author or books purchased, it will be graded with a clean and open mind. A free book received will not influence any opinion of the contents of the book.
Spoilers may or may not have been present in this review. While iLive, iLaugh, iLove Books does review honestly, reviews are not specifically checked for spoilers. Attempts at avoiding spoilers are made, but not all are removed or fixed. This disclaimer is a general statement placed on all reviews as a warning to those who read them.

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