#BookReview: If I Stay


Just imagine if you can see, listen and feel everything but there is absolutely nothing else you can do. Even a thought of this sends chills down your spine, right?

The plot of the book If I Stay is very similar to the above mentioned story-line. The book is a novel by Gayle Forman published in 2009. The story follows 17-year-old Mia Hall as she deals with the aftermath of a catastrophic car accident involving her family. Mia is the only member of her family to survive, and she finds herself in a coma. Through this coma, however, Mia has an out-of-body experience. She is able to watch the actions around her, as friends and family gather at the hospital where she is being treated. The book follows Mia’s stories and the unfolding of her life through a series of flashbacks. Mia finds herself stuck between two worlds; the world of the living, and the world of those who have moved on. Mia realizes that she must use her past and her relationships to make a decision for her future. Her options are to stay with her grandparents and the love of her life, Adam, or to move on and avoid the pain of living without her mother, father, and little brother. Mia needs to decide whether she wants to survive or die, and she finds herself in a battle with herself as contemplates on what to do next.


This novel gained a lot of popularity among teenagers and the readers of thrill-genre. If I Stay came as a unique and intriguing concept and the story shows two worlds of a girl’s life, one that is happening and the other that has been happening. The plot is complex, shuddering and filled with twists and turns. This book strikes the reader’s curiosity because of the suspense element of what is going to happen in the end.

The protagonist of the novel, Mia, is portrayed as a teen cello playing girl who is beautiful and talented. She has a pretty and quirky best-friend, Kim. Mia falls for the school heart-throb, Adam, and after a point they both find each other completely in love. One fateful Sunday morning, Mia heads to her grandparents place along with her family and the unexpected fate lands Mia’s car in a tragic accident. The after episodes are followed by tragedy, emotional encounters regarding her grandparents, Adam and Kim and the compulsion to make a decision between life and death.

This book inspired a movie by the same name and triggered the attention of a large audience. You can catch the movie’s trailer here:

According to the Thuy On, “The title refers to the battle between fate and self-will.” The reviewer also agreed that the novel addressed “the tug of familial and sexual love and the bonds between friends as well as the passion for music.”


This book is a must read for all and recommended especially for the avid readers.

Akanksha Sharma

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The Viewspaper