Review | If I Stay – Gayle Forman – 2009

if i stau boek voorkantSince the first time I saw the film trailer of If I Stay I was impressed. The first minute however, I was like: “Not again a film about two teenagers in love with their music and each other.” But later on I was really heartbroken by it. When I saw this film is a book adaptation written by Gayle Forman, I went to my local library and start reading it.

Now I’ve read the book and I can’t wait to see how the film is like! I already saw some things in the trailer that is not in the book but that’s fine with me. Book adaptations are always a bit different. This also counts for the description of the characters. While reading the book I visualized some of the persons differently from how they will be shown in the film. So first of all, the book is written for young teenagers what you can really sence while reading. It’s very easy to read but not really written in an annoying childish way! The book has a time period of approximately one day and consists of a lot flashbacks/memories which makes you understand the main character better.

The story begins on a snowy school day. Mia, her brother Teddy and their parents all have a day off because of the snow and decide to make a trip. Then on the slippery road the family get involved with a very horrible car accident. Mia’s parents dies instantly and Teddy is seriously injured. First Mia understands they were in a car accident but doesn’t think it’s that bad. She still hears the radio and she’s on both feet. Then suddenly she sees her parents, who are dead, and then herself and thinks she’s a ghost. From this moment on there are a lot of flashbacks which explain the relationships Mia has with her best friend Kim, her family and her boyfriend Adam. Besides these flashbacks, Mia’s family, Kim and Adam comes to visit her in the hospital and Mia seeks through the hospital for her brother. With the help of her flashbacks, which are actual memories Mia describes, and the support of her family, friends and a few doctors, Mia has to decide whether to stay in this live and become an orphan or follows her parents…

I thought this book was really beautiful and sometimes very sad. The moment when Mia is heartbroken, when she hears something about her brother, was really emotional. An other moment from the book which almost got me in tears, was the final page. This moment also occurs in the trailer. It’s when Adam sits at Mia’s bed and begs her to stay. All the flashbacks or Mia’s memories explains a lot about herself, her relationships and the other characters. I found this very interesting and important for the story. Mia is a gifted cellist who wants to go Julliard and already did an audition. Her boyfriend on the other hand plays the guitar in a almost famous rock band. Mia’s music also helps her with the impossible decision she has to make.

For those of you who hasn’t read the book yet, you should! It’s also readable for adults 🙂 And in case you haven’t seen the film trailer for this one: You can watch it below.


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