Mia, a 17-year-old girl living in Oregon, has a bright future ahead of her, a boyfriend who adores her and a supportive and loving family. In an instant her whole life changes following a car accident that kills both of her parents and leaves Mia and her brother Teddy clinging to life. Following the accident, Mia realizes that she is watching herself being pulled from the scene, flown to the hospital and moved into surgery. She knows she’s not dead, but understands that she’s not exactly alive either. Mia observes everything after the accident and watches as her boyfriend, extended family and best friend visit her in the hospital. If I Stay follows Mia’s thoughts as she realizes that she has a choice: Does she stay on earth and live her life, or decide to leave her life behind?
My Review (With Spoilers)
When I first bought If I Stay and a quote from USA Today on the cover said that the novel would “appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight,” I assumed this meant the main female character would be a lot like Bella, who frustrated me like crazy. Thankfully Mia, the 17-year-old girl who narrates If I Stay is nothing like Bella. Mia is deeply in love, but has goals and dreams that are important to her. (I haven’t read the sequel to If I Stay Yet, but I’m really hoping she goes to New York!) She’s an accomplished cellist and bonds with her boyfriend initially over their love of music. Music plays a big role in If I Stay and I found this theme really unique and beautiful.
The author immediately made me fall in love with Mia’s family. Her quirky father, stubborn and passionate mother and adorable little brother, Teddy. Within the first 20 pages, I already adored the family and mourned for Mia when her parents were killed in the car accident. I rooted for Teddy to pull through. But for as much as I loved these characters, I never felt that emotionally invested in this novel.
To me, If I Stay fell a little flat in some ways. I felt like I was reading the words on the pages, willing myself to feel more, and while my heart broke for Mia, I wish I could say I felt more invested in the characters. The book is really short, so perhaps more character development would’ve helped? I read it in two days and it kept me entertained, but it left me wanting more.
I liked the way the author switched back and forth between scenes at the hospital and flashbacks to Mia’s life before the accident and enjoyed getting to know the characters more and learning more about Mia’s relationship with Adam. I enjoyed the second half of this book more than the first and found myself more interested in the story toward the end. As for the ending itself, I really, really liked it. Though I know there’s a sequel, I’m not sure I will read it because I like the way the author ended this book in a way that allowed me to know that Mia would live, but let me form my own conclusions about the direction her life would take after the accident.
Blogger Link Up
You can find additional reviews of If I Stay on the following blogs:
- Just A One Girl Revolution
- Chilli Chocolate Love
- Life, Fitness and Me
- For Love and Travel
- Kristina Masten
- Ready. Set. Breathe: A Balancing Act
- Steph’s Miles
- Run, Eat, Play
- Sprouts ‘n’ Squats
- Chelsea Eats Treats
- Hungry Healthy Girl
- Ashley Unfiltered
- Sugar Coated Sheridan
- PNW Runner
- Sarah’s Book Shelves
- Quarter Life Love
- Run With Perseverance
- I Like Big Books
- Were you rooting for Mia to stay or to go? How did you feel about the ending?
- Did you find yourself more interested in the present-day scenes where Mia is in the hospital or the flashback scenes that reveal more about Mia’s life before the accident?
- How did you feel about Mia and Adam’s relationship?