Monday, February 25, 2013

If I Stay

I read If I Stay by Gayle Forman and really liked it.

There were some things I loved about it, some things I had mixed feelings about, and no hate for nuthin'.

I loved the cover. It was an easy buy at the book store. No League Of Shadows invisibility skills needed for the purchase.

I had no idea what the story was about before I started reading. When I go into a book blind, multiple things can happen. Sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised. Sometimes I'm like, "Oh, hell...vampires?" And other times the unexpected is so powerful it's as if the author somehow reached an invisible hand out of the book and grabbed me by the balls.

So yeah, Gayle Forman grabbed me by the balls (Can I say that?) right from the start.

As the story went on, though, I began to have mixed feelings about the pace. That initial attention-demanding, ball-grabbing was wearing off as the story dipped into the main character's (Mia) past. It was necessary and important in getting to know the characters, but I found myself not caring about the characters as much, and just wanting to see how the ending would play out.

I did like the characters, though. I found them to be authentic and interesting. I liked Adam (the boy). He was good to Mia and I liked watching them struggle with the idea of Mia having to leave for school. That's an issue most "young lovers" have to deal with at some point, so I'm glad Gayle Forman wrote about it in a realistic way.

One area I feel differently about than the peeps that LOVE this story, is the intensity of emotion I felt. Or, rather, I didn't feel any intense emotions while reading this story.

When I eat a reheated Chipotle's really good. I eat it and enjoy it.

When I eat a fresh Chipotle burrito, with a side of guacamole and a's freakin' glory. (My friend accuses me of "making out" with the burrito. I personally don't think there's anything wrong with holding the burrito close to your lips and taking in the aroma before slowly sinking your teeth in.)

If I Stay was sort of a reheated burrito for me. I knew what choice Mia was going to make in the end (because there's a second book), so I missed feeling those intense emotions.

Seriously, the entire story hinges on Mia's big decision.  If you already know what she's gonna decide, it takes the suspense away.  Know what I mean?

With that said, I still give If I Stay 4 out of 5 reheated burritos. And, I'm definitely gonna read the second book: Where She Went.

The writing is excellent and the storytelling is unique.

I'm gonna go ice my balls now.


  1. I really liked If I Stay, and I get that it might be a little less intriguing when you already know that there is a second book. I really hope you'll be reading the sequel though! It's told from Adam's point of view and I loved it so much more.

  2. So interesting; I didn't really think about that aspect because I read IF I STAY before I knew WHERE SHE WENT would exist, but I suspect I would've felt the very same way.

  3. ^ I feel the same as Dahlia. I read it before there was a 2nd book so I liked the cliffhanger-y ending. But I can see how it would bother people if they knew about the 2nd book :) Great review overall!

  4. If you like Gayle Forman you should give her newer book, Just One Day, a try. Its written from the girls perspective, and the second one coming out in October, Just One Year will be more from the guys point of view.
    Fresh burritos and reheated burritos is a perfect way to describe it. I've had a lot of both lately.

  5. You know, I read this one and I liked it. I thought it was pretty darn good. I read it when I started reading contemporary and thought to myself that if this is how contemporary is, I can certainly handle it. Bring it on.

    But then I began to see more and more over time that people began to mention that they SOBBED at this book, and I was like WHAT? WHY? Because I really liked it, but I never felt the need to sob.

    I have Where She Went and I'll be reading it for a contemporary event I have coming up on my blog and I'll probably re-read If I Stay too. I like to re-read before sequels although I may listen to it via audiobook. I've heard Where She Went is even better. I don't know. We'll see. But I'm glad I'm not the only person that felt that it was good but didn't sob.

    I wish I would've been eating a burrito while I was reading If I Stay. That would've been awesome.

    1. Yeah, I know what you mean. I saw a lot of "sobbing" reviews, but I didn't feel that way. I'm looking forward to reading Where She Went, too. I've also heard that it's even better.

  6. Where She Went is from Adam's point of view, and there aren't any "life or death" decisions, but there's plenty of angst. I think you'll like it. I just read Just One Day, which was good - I was very emotionally invested on the plot - but I did have a few logical problems with the semantics of the novel. I am, however, looking forward to Just One Year, which is from the male main character's perspective. Forman does male characters very well.

  7. Where She Went is 983048248X better than If I Stay. thats all. and Adam is AWESOME.

  8. I just recently read this book as well, and I think we feel very similarly (about the book and about the sensuality of eating a fresh burrito). Good Review! I'm looking forward to reading Where She Went.