WARNING: This review is spoilery. Do not read if you don’t want to know.
I usually take some time to digest a book before writing a review, but I can’t do that with this one. I just finished listening to this audiobook. My eyes are all puffy and red from crying.
“If I Stay” is the story of a girl who goes out on a morning drive with her family and then wakes up to find herself outside her body after being in a major car accident. The book bounces back between the present and memories of her past. My description makes it sound rather cheesy, but it isn’t. It’s so beautiful that it’s heartbreaking and if that wasn’t enough, then it does actually go and break your heart!
I think it’s an emotional book for everyone who reads/listens to it due to Ms. Forman’s gorgeous writing, but it made me fall apart. I know what it feels like to lose both your parents. Sure, it wasn’t due to a car accident like Mia, but I lost them both within 2 years and with my mom, it was completely unexpected. I about lost it while I was listening when Mia goes through realizing what life will be like without her parents. Oh my gosh, I’m about ready to lose it now typing this review. It is so well written that even if you haven’t experienced loss... you will know it after getting to know Mia. You will feel her pain and the weight of the decision that rests before her - should she stay or should she go?
This has to be the most sappy and depressing review I have ever written. However, I hope you can take from it that this book is a masterpiece, full of emotion so strong that it brings a grown woman to tears just thinking about it. If you like emotional books, this one is definitely for you. And if not? Listen to it or read it anyways. The narrator, Kirsten Potter, while having an overly mature voice (lovely, just not a teen!) for the role, does such an amazing job narrating this book. She becomes Mia and does such a wonderful job that you won’t care that she doesn’t sound like a teen. Between her talent and emotional commitment to the role and the gorgeous prose of Ms. Forman, there should be no doubt that this audiobook is top notch and worth a listen.
Do you have a question for the author Gayle Forman? Authors are ROCKSTARS! will be interviewing her along with Nina Lacour and Stephanie Perkins at their Huntington Beach "YA or Bust!" tour stop on Tuesday April 24th. We also will be moderating their panel so be sure to stop by and say hello.
I purchased “If I Stay” via Audible.com. It is published by Penguin. The sequel “Where She Went” is also available.