If I Stay – Gayle Forman

‘I realise now dying is easy. Living is hard.’

After a fatal car crash that leaves 17 year old Mia barely alive If I Stay lets us follow her through her as she questions whether to comeback, after being certain she has lost both of her parents. Mia has a choice to make. As she watches her family and friends come to terms with the disaster she has to decide will she stay? Or will she let go into the unknown…

As with many other people I because aware of this novel because of its film release (due later this year), I’s heard good things about the novel and the film looked brilliant. We’re guided through the novel by Mia herself as she struggles to watch the rest of the day unfold. All she can do is watch and listen. Her family, friends and boyfriend are all willing her to come back and it’s up to Mia to decide if that’s enough.

Although I like the idea, the novel didn’t particularly stand out to me. The novel is fairly short and sways between the present and past and gives us a good insight into Mia’s life before the accident. I found it hard to connect to the story, of course it made me sad but I didn’t feel a deep rooted connection to Mia or the characters around her. That said, I did feel an incredible connection in relation to how she felt about her music and the prospect of being a musician and this added to the sense of tragedy. If anything I would have loved more insight into her love of music and her hopes and dreams, although maybe this was intentional.

Forman has ventured into a question that few of us will even consider answering, if I could chose would I live or die? For many of us we would instantly say I’d live, but would we? This is not the first novel of its kind, however, it is the first for young adult readers, it makes them think. I makes the reader consider a life without their loved ones and the choices and sacrifices that are made every day. I wouldn’t say that the novel is morbid in that respect but it deals with death in quite a straight forward way, for Mia it appears to be more of an escape. It also raises the question of life after, we have no idea how Mia will be affected by her injurys if she decides to survive. Will she play Cello again? Will her dream of going to Julliard be snatched away from her as her parents were? Is her younger brother Teddy, who she adores, still alive? As I said it is a novel full of questions and what if situations.

If anything I’d say that the book could have been longer. Although well written, there was so much crammed into the book that at times I felt rushed through. I wanted to know the smaller details, memories and possibly more about more minor characters in the novel to give them a bit more life within the novel. Also what about afterwards? If she decides to die, does she meet her family? If she lives do her dreams come true? I guess to an extent this leaves us to make up our own minds but I wish this was included in the novel. 

 I give this novel 3 stars ***. I liked the idea and found Mia to be a nice character but failed to interact with her as a person. I also found that I was hungry for more at the end of the novel and felt that it could have had a better ending or more to it maybe? If you’re looking for a shorter read that raises questions then If I Stay may well be for you.

 

Review by Chloe Metzger 

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Top 25 on my iTunes

I saw this on someone elses and thought this might reflect who I am (although I’m not too sure looking at the list!). As a musician my influences are everything so here we go! 

  1. Hello Cold World – Paramore Whe this song came out at frist I wasn’t keen the I loved it. This was what I thought would be the new Paramore and honestly I was dissapointed with their new album. THIS is a great tune though! 
  2. The A Team – Ed Sheeran  Who hasn’t heard this song? I listen to quite a lot of Ed Sheeran at night before I go to sleep because it soothing. I also done this song for a college assesment. Beautiful, absolutely beautiful. 
  3. Small Bump – Ed Sheeran When I first listened to this song the ending shocked me. I got upset the first time but I love this song so much. I think it’s because its about a mans perspective of becomign a father and losing the child. Ed Sheeran really does know how to write beautiful songs! 
  4. Skinny Love – Birdy I don’t know why this song is so high up? I do like it but it’s not a total favourite. 
  5. Wake Up Alone – Amy Winehouse Amy Winehouse? What can I say what a voice, what a talent! I really loved Amy she was incredible and this song is just so powerful! 
  6. Hold On – Don Broco – Aha I think I like this song because its a bit naughty and a bit cheeky! I performed this for my final music performance and oh it was so much fun! Don Broco are really a band to watch great album!! 
  7. Lego House – Ed Sheeran Again what can I say about the lovely Mr Sheeran! Simple but lovely love song 🙂  
  8. The Lady is a Tramp – Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga This was a beautiful song! You wouldn’t think that these two would come together but it was a corker! I just want to be Gaga! She shows she’s not just a pop girl! Amazing.
  9. Wake me up – Ed Sheeran And again! 
  10. Somebody That I Used to Know – Gotye This song really gets in you head, again I don’t know why it’s so high but I’m not going to complain. 
  11. Rehab – Amy Winehouse  Who didn’t love this song. I love how Amy is so blunt in her music, she says what she want to say regardless of anyone else. 
  12. Some Unholy War – Amy Winehouse This is a real bittersweet lovesong when you know Amy’s story. Still incredible, that voice!! 
  13. Addicted – Amy Winehouse I feel a bit off about this song because although it’s funny in another its really sad because we know she died of a relapse. For entertainment though a quite funny song. 
  14. In The Mourning – Paramore Another song which would have made Paramore amazing. It has a country feel and I could personally just relate to the lyrics. I think thats why I loved Paramore so much I could always relate to the lyrics.
  15. Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy – Queen Oh this song is brilliant and hillarious. I think it’s camp as hell but brilliant. I love Queen, I love Freddie and this to me is just brilliant and shows the randomness of his mind! 
  16. Never Grow Up – Talyor Swift  This is the sweetest song and it relates to three/ four different parts of my life. The first part whe nshe sings about a little girl, innocent and with the whole world in her hands reminds me of my beautiful little cousin Lola as well as my Goddaughter Lexi. I dont want them to ever grow up, I want to protect those little girls forever. The second part about the young teenage reminds me of my sister shes nearly 12, again I want to look after her and want her to be a baby forever (a baby would not have her attitude haha!). The last part makes me think about myself as Im moving out and how I’ve been each of those little girls. Such an emotional song! 
  17. Both Sides of the Story – We Are The In Crowd  Aha Love this song! The video is brilliant and so,so funny. I love W.A.T.I.C Can’t wait to see them Friday night!! 
  18. Take It All – Adele I saw a friend perform this and ever since I’ve been hooked I think it just the amount of passion in Adeles voice.
  19. Tears Dry On Their Own – Amy Winehouse Another brilliant Amy song and again mixed emotions. I’m addicted to her voice!
  20.  Sex On The Radio – Good Charlotte  This is just a really fun song and I’d love to play it to a big crowd it would be so fun! This is one where I imagine playing to Wembly in my head 
  21. Love is a Losing Game – Amy Winehouse This was the song playing on the TV when I heard of her death. Although it fitted it just seemed so,so sad. R.I.P Amy.
  22. Muppet Show Theme Song – The Fray  A great cover, so funny but brilliant! 
  23. Walk – Foo Fighters What can I say about this beaut of a song! The Foos always pull it off and this is my personal highlight of the album.
  24. Lights Out – We Are The In Crowd  – Again just love WATIC
  25. The Past Six Years – Deaf Havana I love, love, love Deaf Havana! This was one of my absolute favorties off of the Fools and Worthless Liars album. I think as a band they guys are getting the aire time they deserve! GREAT British talent with album 3 on the way….omnomnom!