If I Stay by Gayle Forman

While out for a drive with her family during an unexpected day off, Mia’s entire world comes crashing down around her. The family’s car is hit by a pickup truck, killing her mother and father instantly. Mia and her younger brother are rushed to the hospital, barely alive. Mia witnesses the fight to save her life from outside her body and must decide: stay, though it means a world without those she loved most, or let go. Through a series of flashbacks and bedside visits, Mia’s choice becomes increasingly painful. But there is no middle ground, and Mia is the only one who can decide.

Though I found parts of the novel to be unrealistic, overall this was a great read. It’s super short, but packed with emotion and suspense. Not all of the characters are easy to relate to, and you may not even like some of them, but Mia alone is enough to make you keep reading until you find out what she decides. If you’re in the mood for a tear-jerker, this might be the book for you. And, if you have to know what happens after the cliff-hanger ending (I do!), pick up the sequel, Where She Went. Also, this one was recently made into a movie! Here are the links to the IMDB page and the movie trailer. Remember, it’s short enough to read before you watch the move, so give it a shot!

Rating: 4.5/5

*YALSA Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers, 2010

*South Carolina Book Award Nominee for Young Adult Book Award, 2011

*YALSA Teens’ Top Ten, 2010; Abraham Lincoln Award Nominee, 2012

*NAIBA Book of the Year for Children’s Literature, 2009

For full analysis (including flags and SPOILERS) click here.

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