Audiobook Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

ifistayTitle: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: YA fiction
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Source: Audiobook from the public library
Audiobook reader: Kirsten Potter
First line: Everyone thinks it was because of the snow.

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a small but powerful book. I listened to the audio version, and it was only four discs long, but it was riveting.

Mia is a seventeen-year-old high school senior. She has a relationship with her parents that is without the usual teenage angst, a seven-year-old brother who adores her, a fantastic boyfriend that she is completely head over heels for, a best friend who “gets” her in the best way, and an incredible talent. She is a cellist and on her way to study at Juilliard.

All of these things – her whole life – hangs in the balance after a devastating car accident. Mia is left with a choice, a choice that is almost impossible to understand, let alone make.

This YA novel is a celebration of life and love and family. In flashbacks, Mia’s life unfolds for the reader, demonstrating just how full her life is. One of the best things about this book is that Mia’s family isn’t dysfunctional. Her parents aren’t perfect, but the family is loving and healthy – something you don’t see too often in YA fiction.

The only negative I have is the flashback Mia has of the first time that she and her boyfriend become intimate. I think this book would be appropriate for grades 7 and up without that scene, but with it, I think it’s probably best for high school readers. Not only was the scene unnecessary, but it was a bit cheesy.

In spite of that scene, though, I truly loved this book, and highly recommend it.

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15 Responses to Audiobook Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

  1. Sandy
    Twitter: youvegottaread

    Well, that definitely means this is not a kid listen! I like the short ones – they are great to listen to with the kids in the car. But I have heard alot about this book. Someone said it was the next Twilight…not sure about that. At this point, anything under 10 discs is short for me!

  2. Deanna says:

    Have heard much about this book. It is on my TBR list. Look forward to the read seeing that you like it. 🙂

  3. Kathy says:

    I can’t understand why they include so much about sex in YA books these days. I guess I need to crawl out from under my rock. The book sounds great.

  4. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Sandy – Not sure where the comparison to Twilight is coming from – these are very different books. And it doesn’t really call for a sequel, in my opinion. Definitely not a kid listen, but very good nonetheless.

    Deanna – I’m glad my library had it on audio – it was a great listen.

    Kathy – I don’t understand that either – it bugs me, cause I have a 12year old daughter who would love a lot of the YA stuff I’ve read, but sometimes the content is too grown up.

  5. S. Krishna
    Twitter: skrishna

    I definitely want to read this one. Thanks for the review.

  6. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Swapna – you’re welcome. You could probably kick this book out in 1/2 an hour – it’s so short!

  7. Lazygal says:

    I agree about not needing a sequel: this is definitely a stand-alone book! The messages about life,family, love and friendship are so powerful that trying to replicate that could fail miserably.

    As for the sex, I think it’s in response to the perception that 1. everyone is “doing it” earlier and 2. if they’re not, their friends are or they’re seeing it on tv. Neither are necessarily true, but that’s what seems to be driving this trend. Sigh.

  8. Jennifer, Snapshot says:

    Great review! This sounds interesting.

  9. CarrieK
    Twitter: booksandmovies

    Lazygal – I think you’re right. It’s just unfortunate.

    Jennifer – thanks!

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  12. I’m an author of a fantasy audio book for the YA genre, so, basing from your review, this book sounds interesting and worth time spending. Good review CarrieK!.

  13. Sarah says:

    Ya i had to read this book with a book blub with moms. CAN U SAY AWKWARD?!?!?!?!?!?!? I thought the sex screne was a little un needed though. And also the language….no comment

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