Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

7 Feb 2012

Title: If I Stay (If I Stay #1)
Author: Gayle Forman 
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile 
Release Date: April 9th, 2009
Format: Paperback

In the blink of an eye everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall what happened afterwards, watching her own damaged body being taken from the wreck. Little by little she struggles to put together the pieces - to figure out what she has lost, what she has left, and the very difficult choice she must make. .

If I Stay was a beautiful, devastatingly heart-breaking and emotionally draining read for me. Even though I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary books, this one will forever have a special place in my heart <3

Told through Mia's perspective, while in a comatose state, we watch as her human form struggles to survive after the tragic car accident, while also learning about the important events from her life. There is a switch between present time and the past, from her memories, in which Mia reminiscences her love with Adam, the loving family she had, her valuable relationship with her best friend, and of course, the passion she had for music.

Watching Adam and Kim struggling to come to terms with what has happened to their loved one, was so heartbreaking yet heartwarming as well. From the moment they entered the hospital, you could feel their intense emotions of distraught and fear but most of all, love. How can someone write such a raw and gritting story, where I, as the reader felt exactly the same powerful feelings of desperation and loss as the characters themselves?

If I Stay is quite a fast-paced book, and I devoured it in one sitting. The prose was so beautiful, managing to successfully capture and convey the emotions from deep inside the character's heart. For me, it was definitely a flawless piece of work, and I could not have asked for anything better!

Forman has written a powerfully emotional story, filled with heart-break, love and the ultimate choice of whether to let go. This will take you on heart-wrenching journey, where it's impossible to not be affected in some way after reading this. Please don't give this up (like I did a few years back!); it is truly worth your time! But be prepared to shed some tears and have some tissues at hand. Highly recommended to EVERYONE!


  1. I haven't read this one yet either- but I think I really need to ASAP! I'm hoping to get to it soon because I've been putting it off for far too long!

    Brenna from Esther's Ever After

  2. Awesome review Shirley. <3 All the reviews I've read about this have said it was amazing and sooo emotional. I'll have to make sure I read this book somewhere private and not while I'm on the train. ;) Can't really afford to be crying my eyes out in public haha.

  3. OH MY GOSH, WHAT A PERFECT REVIEW, Shirley! ♥ I totally loved If I Stay! It was a very emotional ride for me and I really enjoyed reading this. It's one of the best contemporary YA novels I've ever read! So glad you enjoyed it & Adam totally rocks! ♥

  4. Awwww..thank you Alice <3333 Hahaa you should lock yourself in your room and make sure no one interrupts you!!! :D I read it in bed so no one saw me cry! (thank goodness!) hahaa

  5. THANK YOU CELINEEE <3333 You really like Contemporary novels yeah? OMG. And Where She Went was FANTASTIC as well! I swear I went through like 50000 emotional phases when I read it & I couldn't even concentrate on school work :S *sigh* hahaaa I KNOW! ADAM<3 I want someone like him in my life <3 hahaaaa *Begs God*

  6. I like your review, but I still don't know whether I should buy the book or not.

    P.S. Could you please comment on this post:

    It would mean a lot to me. Thanks!

  7. ADAM! <3 Oh my gosh, Shirley, you don't know how INSANELY happy I am that you loved this book!! It was everything that you described in your review: heartbreaking and emotional and powerful and tear-jerking -- I knew it was prone to cause tears, but I didn't expect to cry SO MUCH! It was definitely one of the best contemporaries out there!

    This was such a beautiful BEAUTIFUL review, Shirley! <3 You make me want to go back and read my own copy all over again! I can't wait to read your review for Where She Went too! :)

  8. DAMNIT, Shirley! You're making me want to reread this all over again! I read it a few years ago and recently got Where She Went (why haven't I read that yet? WHY?!). Everyone says WSW is even MORE emotionally moving than this.... so you have now inspired me to hurry up and get onto that. Although I do wish I had time to squeeze in a reread of this because... sigh. You've reminded me all the reasons why I loved it and had the sniffles <3 Amazing review, you talented thing! :D

  9. AHHHHHHHHH OMG I agree with you 100%! Honestly I really couldn't agree more and because of your amazing review I realized that I really need to re-read this book like now!!!! If I hadn't already read this book I would have picked it up now because your review is just amazing. I agree that the story was just so emotional and gosh the writing really is lyrical. I love the incorporation of music to the writing!!! And the flashbacks...basically everything...and EVERONE!!! Yes I'm talking about Adam lol :) Awesome review Shirley!!! Now hurry up and read Where She Went. It's even better!!!!


  10. Eeeee! Shirley! I've somehow still not read this one, so my reaction to your review is something like 'but whyyyyyyy!' *cries*
    It sounds AMAZING! OK, so step one: order book. Step two: do grocery shopping and buy tissues.
    So excited for it now! <3


Hey there,
Thank you so much for stopping by my blog :) Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section; I appreciate all comments left here!
If you have a blog, I'll be sure to visit it and comment back(I love finding new blogs so feel free to leave a link!)
Thank you & have a nice day