If I Stay


Mia (17) has a passion for playing the cello. In fact, her life is all about music. Her parents are former punk rockers (who gave up that lifestyle when her little brother, Teddy, was born). Mia's boyfriend Adam is part of a very popular local band. Julliard has invited her to visit and audition to attend school. That's a big decision: stay in Oregon with Adam and her family, or head to New York. Before she gets a chance to decide what to do, her family is killed in a tragic car accident. Only Mia survives, but she is in a coma. Mia has an out-of-body experience where she not only relives memories, but has a look into her future, including seeing Teddy grow up. Mia comes to realize that she has to make a decision - and quickly: will she awake and live as an orphan or die so that she can be with her family.

Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Young adult and adult readers won't be able to put down this unique, tear-jerker.

Content Awareness Factors:


Young Reader Reaction

I honestly don’t think I can put into words how much I enjoyed this book. If I Stay brought waves of sadness and happiness all at the same time. The author did such a great job not giving everything away as soon as the book started. Even at the end I felt like things were still very mysterious. If I Stay left me speechless, emotional, and almost numb. I definitely recommend watching the movie based on this book.

Type of Book:
This young adult novel about strength, courage, heartbreak, and love. Lower reading level makes this accessible to older, struggling readers.
Educational Themes:

There are several themes in the story, most of them centered on family and personal decisions. Mia is also a relatable character with lots to "study" (in a book club type setting).

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
12 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
13 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™
Purchase Recommendation:
Buy! This is a book that would make a great gift for teens and young adults, or adults who love sophisticated YA fiction.

Title If I Stay
Author Gayle Forman
Publisher Viking Books for Young Readers © 2014
ISBN 9780451474643
Material Hard Cover
Genres Family, Coming of Age
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Other Reviews:

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