IF I STAY is a young adult novel written by American author, very popular in YA genre, Gayle Forman. If I Stay has been recently adapted to a film and the film version is due to be showed in the cinemas by the end of August (UK - our neighbours across the pond are treated to it earlier.).
If I Stay and its story quickly became popular and found its place on best-selling lists across the world.
"Read it and weep." DAILY MAIL
"Moving and heartwarming." GUARDIAN
"Haunting and heartbreaking." Bookseller
"Gripping and wise." Carmen Reid
Of course, because it's due to be released pretty soon, I must have made time in my Summer Reading Challenge, to make sure that I read the book before I see the film version. I didn't want to repeat the mistake with The Fault In Our Stars when I saw the film before I read the book. That caused that when reading the book I couldn't help but to compare ... So read on I did.
And I have been pleasantly surprised! All the praise for this book has been true!!!
Firstly, I really like the format of the novel. It wasn't divided to the usual chapters. It was a continuous story, which included memories and inserts from Mia's life. These memories and inserts then explained how she got where she is and helped her to make a decision at the end.
Mia's story is so different. For the first time I am reading a story of a girl who lost her whole family in a tragic accident and is left alone to fight for her life. Mia's soul is walking around hospital and she sees what is happening to her body and around her. And she is left with very important decision : Will she leave her body and everyone else behind to join her family? Or will she stay and live her life knowing what has happened?
This book is the heart-shattering, you-will-definitely-cry, it-will-leave-you-sad-and-heartbroken kind of book. You will feel so sorry for Mia while reading through the book. Her story is one of a kind. And the worst thing? Throughout reading the book you can understand if she makes the choice to leave everything here and joins her family. It makes you think, what would you do in her situation and the answer is: "I don't know... I don't know what my choice would be. " I do not know if Adam's love would be enough to make me stay...
Adam.. Oh Adam... He is the perfect boyfriend and him and Mia share such a wonderful, very special, love between them. Their love story was so normal and so serious and perfect at the same time. Up until now...
I couldn't put the book down. It caught me between its pages and wouldn't let go. I was mesmerised by the story and couldn't help, but to read on. It also helped that it was very relate able and easy to read. At the same time though, it was so unique to other YA novels. I don't remember any other author writing a story about making a choice to decide to live or to die.
I am now really looking forward to see the film adaptation of the book in the cinema. The trailer itself made me to read the book and it looks very good. Although there are signs that I might need to bring a box of Kleenex with me. It will be a tear jacker.
But as for the story and the book goes... It was brilliantly heartbreaking and fantastic to read. I will definitely come back to it in the future. Now, I just need to find the time to read the sequel WHERE SHE WENT. Well done Ms Forman, you have written a one-hell-of-a-story.
Here are some thoughtful quotes from the book :
“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”
“I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.”
“Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal”
“Don't be scared...Women can handle the worst kind of pain. You'll find out one day.”
“Fake it 'till you make it.”
“People believe what they want to believe.”
“Sleep would be so welcome. A warm blanket of black to erase everything else. Sleep without dreams. I've heard people talk about the sleep of the dead. Is that what death would feel like? The nicest, warmest, heaviest never-ending nap? If that's what it's like, I wouldn't mind. If that's what dying is like, I wouldn't mind that at all.”
“You can have your wishes, your plans, but at the end of the day, it's out of your control.”