Saturday, January 10, 2015

If I Stay Book Review

2015 Reading Challenge

Once again, the list for it is at: or on an older blog post of mine at:

2. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
    Reading Challenge Theme/Topic: Book that became a movie

     Firstly, I decided to read this book after seeing previews for the movie. I'm one of those people who believe that the book is always better than the movie and let's face it, that's true. Saying that, I have to read the book before seeing the movie - or I try to anyway.

     Gayle Forman seems like the kind of author who writes about things that no one really likes to write about. She reminds me of Jodi Picoult or even some of what Mitch Albom writes. I know there are people out there who think that those who write about death or deciding to live or die in a comatose state only write about those things because it sells. I'm not quite sure. Yes, all three authors that I have mentioned have become very successful published authors and all three have had books that were made into movies. I think maybe they write about these issues to breach the gap. Most people fear death and don't even want to think about the aspect of death and dying. The thing is, death exists and there's no escaping it. I think writing about it like these authors have can show us that maybe we don't have anything to fear and even though no one really knows what happens after we die, or for the purpose of this book what happens when someone's in a comatose state, it gives us hope in a way.

     If you haven't figured it out by now, If I Stay is about a teen who has an out of body experience while in a coma and has to decide whether to live or die. No one really knows if someone in a coma can hear other people talking to them or know what's going on around them. Who is to say that they don't? In fact, doctors and nurses encourage loved ones to talk to people in that state to see if it helps. I believe that it can help, even though I've never had to experience talking to a loved one/friend that way. There were two things that I liked the most about this book. The first is that the story drives on the passion of music for basically each main character. Music does indeed drive the soul and everyone has something that they are passionate about or have a talent for. Honestly, I don't know where I would be if music didn't exist because some artists have helped me through the most difficult times of my life without them even knowing about it. So I can see how much music impacted Mia and Adam and how playing their respective instruments helped them through their lives. The second thing I liked is how Gayle went back and forth between the reality of what Mia was going through in the hospital and the past, her backstory. It added a dimension to the story that I really haven't read or seen before.

     I personally have never lost everything that I love like Mia did, but tragedy is the one thing that strikes everyone at some point or another. It's said that it takes one to lose everything to realize what they have and to make it out on top, better than before. I guess it may be true, may be not. I may not know what it's like to lose everything or for the purpose of this book, my whole family in a car accident, but I do know what it's like to have to start all over. I will talk more about this later on, but when I was 14, I was diagnosed with a heart condition that would change my life around in a way that I never knew would ever happen to me. My journey with that actually started when I was 11, but it took two years to come to a diagnosis. At the time, I had thought everything was going great in my life. After going through everything that I did, life had changed completely, had been turned upside down for me and I had no clue how to come out on top, you know, not to let it get the best of me. It took years for me to gain control. It's something that isn't always easy, but eventually I realized if I hadn't gone through that, I wouldn't be where I am today.

More info about the book:

Gayle Forman's website:

Happy Reading and Keep On Writing!


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