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If I Stay
Cover of If I Stay
If I Stay
If I Stay Series, Book 1
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The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year. Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz! In the blink of an...
The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year. Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz! In the blink of an...
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  • The critically acclaimed, bestselling novel from Gayle Forman, author of Where She Went, Just One Day, and Just One Year.

    Soon to be a major motion picture, starring Chloe Moretz!

    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. Heartwrenchingly beautiful, this will change the way you look at life, love, and family. Now a major motion picture starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Mia's story will stay with you for a long, long time.




  • From the book 7:09 A.M.

    Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that's true.

    I wake up this morning to a thin blanket of white covering our front lawn. It isn't even an inch, but in this part of Oregon a slight dusting brings everything to a standstill as the one snowplow in the county gets busy clearing the roads. It is wet water that drops from the sky—and drops and drops and drops—not the frozen kind.

    It is enough snow to cancel school. My little brother, Teddy, lets out a war whoop when Mom's AM radio announces the closures. "Snow day!" he bellows. "Dad, let's go make a snowman."

    My dad smiles and taps on his pipe. He started smoking one recently as part of this whole 1950s, Father Knows Best retro kick he is on. He also wears bow ties. I am never quite clear on whether all this is sartorial or sardonic—Dad's way of announcing that he used to be a punker but is now a middle-school English teacher, or if becoming a teacher has actually turned my dad into this genuine throwback. But I like the smell of the pipe tobacco. It is sweet and smoky, and reminds me of winters and woodstoves.

    "You can make a valiant try," Dad tells Teddy. "But it's hardly sticking to the roads. Maybe you should consider a snow amoeba."

    I can tell Dad is happy. Barely an inch of snow means that all the schools in the county are closed, including my high school and the middle school where Dad works, so it's an unexpected day off for him, too. My mother, who works for a travel agent in town, clicks off the radio and pours herself a second cup of coffee. "Well, if you lot are playing hooky today, no way I'm going to work. It's simply not right." She picks up the telephone to call in. When she's done, she looks at us. "Should I make breakfast?"

    Dad and I guffaw at the same time. Mom makes cereal and toast. Dad's the cook in the family.

    Pretending not to hear us, she reaches into the cabinet for a box of Bisquick. "Please. How hard can it be? Who wants pancakes?"

    "I do! I do!" Teddy yells. "Can we have chocolate chips in them?"

    "I don't see why not," Mom replies.

    "Woo hoo!" Teddy yelps, waving his arms in the air.

    "You have far too much energy for this early in the morning," I tease. I turn to Mom. "Maybe you shouldn't let Teddy drink so much coffee."

    "I've switched him to decaf," Mom volleys back. "He's just naturally exuberant."

    "As long as you're not switching me to decaf," I say.

    "That would be child abuse," Dad says.

    Mom hands me a steaming mug and the newspaper.

    "There's a nice picture of your young man in there," she says.

    "Really? A picture?"

    "Yep. It's about the most we've seen of him since summer," Mom says, giving me a sidelong glance with her eyebrow arched, her version of a soul-searching stare.

    "I know," I say, and then without meaning to, I sigh. Adam's band, Shooting Star, is on an upward spiral, which, is a great thing—mostly.

    "Ah, fame, wasted on the youth," Dad says, but he's smiling. I know he's excited for Adam. Proud even.

    I leaf through the newspaper to the calendar section. There's a small blurb about Shooting Star, with an even smaller picture of the four of them, next to a big article about Bikini and a huge picture of the band's lead singer: punk-rock diva Brooke Vega. The bit about them basically says that local band Shooting Star is opening for Bikini on the Portland leg of Bikini's national tour. It doesn't mention the even-bigger-to-me news that last night Shooting Star headlined at a club in Seattle and, according to the text Adam sent me at midnight, sold out the place.

    "Are you...


  • DOGO Books xxpish - Meet Mia—a passionate cellist with a crazy awesome family and an amazing boyfriend. That was her old life. A snow day off from school and a drive to see family for a day. That’s all it takes for her whole life to change. Meet Mia—sad, lost and unable to decide. This is her new life. After the car accident, Mia is in critical condition. Her family is dead, and waking up will mean being an orphan. Even though she’ll still have Adam, will it be too hard? If I Stay is a story of love and loss, past and present, sadness and happiness. Gayle Forman writes a wonderful novel that shows you just how life can change in an instance. My thoughts: If I Stay was an enjoyable read. The narrative is fabulous—it switches from present to past and you totally forget that it is a flashback and not just happening then. I LOVED Mia’s crazy family—they are just super cool. I thought this was a GREAT concept and it was well executed. All in all, If I Stay was an awesome book for anyone looking for a cool concept that they have probably never seen before. Movie: Ok. The Movie. Woah. It BLEW me away. It was SO good. Like, the trailer almost made me cry. Yeah, so I obviously cried in the movie. It’s just a tear-provoking story. “I wrote you a song, Mia.” *bursts into tears* The acting was AMAZING, the crazy parents were A+ and it was just a PERFECT movie. It was as good as the book definitely. This is THE best book to movie adaptation I have seen. (Sorry Catching Fire) PLEASE do yourself a favor and watch the movie. It doesn’t disappoint!
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from March 2, 2009
    The last normal moment that Mia, a talented cellist, can remember is being in the car with her family. Then she is standing outside her body beside their mangled Buick and her parents’ corpses, watching herself and her little brother being tended by paramedics. As she ponders her state (“Am I dead?
    I actually have to ask myself this”), Mia is whisked away to a hospital, where, her body in a coma, she reflects on the past and tries to decide whether to fight to live. Via Mia’s thoughts and flashbacks, Forman (Sisters in Sanity
    ) expertly explores the teenager’s life, her passion for classical music and her strong relationships with her family, friends and boyfriend, Adam. Mia’s singular perspective (which will recall Alice Sebold’s adult novel, The Lovely Bones
    ) also allows for powerful portraits of her friends and family as they cope: “Please don’t die. If you die, there’s going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school,” prays Mia’s friend Kim. “I know you’d hate that kind of thing.” Intensely moving, the novel will force readers to take stock of their lives and the people and things that make them worth living. Ages 14–up.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from May 1, 2009
    Gr 9 Up-Forman creates a cast of captivating characters and pulls readers into a compelling story that will cause them to laugh, cry, and question the boundaries of family and love. While out on a drive with her family, 17-year-old Mia is suddenly separated from her body and forced to watch the aftermath of the accident that kills her parents and gravely injures her and her younger brother. Far from supernatural, this shift in perspective will be readily accepted by readers as Mia reminisces about significant events and people in her life while her body lies in a coma. Alternating between the past and the present, she reveals the details and complexities of her relationships with family and friends, including the unlikely romance with her punk-rock boyfriend, Adam. An accomplished musician herself, Mia is torn between pursuing her love for music at Julliard and a future with Adam in Oregon. However, she must first choose between fighting to survive and giving in to the resulting sadness and despair over all she has lost. Readers will find themselves engrossed in Mia's struggles and will race to the satisfying yet realistic conclusion. Teens will identify with Mia's honest discussion of her own insecurities and doubts. Both brutal and beautiful, this thought-provoking story will stay with readers long after the last page is turned."Lynn Rashid, Marriotts Ridge High School, Marriottsville, MD"

    Copyright 2009 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    June 22, 2009
    The Lovely Bones meets It's a Wonderful Life. Mia has a big decision to make. One snowy day, her family is killed in a catastrophic accident, while she is thrown from the car and left in a coma. Now it's up to her. Should she stay here or move on, leaving the pain and struggle of life as an orphan? Mia's spirit hovers in the critical care unit as she sorts through her feelings about her family, her music, her boyfriend, and her best friend, Kim. Death would mean the end of hard decisions but also the end of love. Why It Is for Us: Mia's decision is not an easy one. If she moves on, she will join her loving family in whatever comes after but will miss out on life. If she stays, there's so much to enjoy, but she'll face grief and an uncertain future. This honest yet affirming story confronts the truth that all life is a struggle. Every reader who's ever wanted to avoid a painful decision will be compelled by the choice Mia must make.-Angelina Benedetti, King Cty. Lib. Syst., WA

    Copyright 2009 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

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    Penguin Young Readers Group
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If I Stay Series, Book 1
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