Friday, March 1, 2013

Stay With Me

"And that's just it, isn't it?
That's how we manage to survive the loss.
Because love, it never dies,
it never goes away, it never fades,
so long as you hang on to it."
--Gayle Forman, If I Stay

Genre: YA Contemporary
Publisher: Dutton Juvenille, 201 pages
Publication Date: April 2nd, 2009
Source: Library...then bought my own copy...
Goodreads Description

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck...

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

My Thoughts

Wow. I cannot really get my thoughts together on this one so I'm gonna do my best. This is one of those books that I'm not sure I can do justice to solely by this review. This book. This book is raw. Emotionally gutting. Heart-wrenching. Agonizing. Devastating. But real. So very real. I work as a nurse. I get trauma patients all the time. I have one this week actually who was in a horrific car crash and this book made real life so much more palpable. As much as we may not want to realize this, this story happens in real life. Families are demolished. People die every day from one cause or accident. Life sucks. Mia, aka Forman, gets it right when she says "I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard." (Gayle Forman, If I Stay.) This entire story just broke my heart. I am so incredibly close with my family that the thought of this happening broke something inside me. It is just so.sad. 

The entire novel's character development is just...amazing. You feel Mia, you get to know her and understand her in such a unique way that you feel like you're fighting right along with her. Her memory flashbacks were just perfect. Her family dynamic is beautiful. True love does not only exist between Mia and Adam...true love is so totally present in the love you can see she has with her family. Too much. Just too many emotions and feelings, I have to stop there or I'm gonna start crying all over again. 

Adam. Where do I begin. Their relationship is beyond what you would expect of two teenagers, they don't have a 'high-school relationship.' They have a fully adult and mature understanding of one another that makes your heart ache and soar all at the same time. Their love for music is so cool to me. The fact that they came together and bonded over something to special and private and unique is just...I don't know, I can't describe it. It's special. That's all I can think of. The development of their feelings and the stories we read about them are phenomenal. We really see their bond grow and how deeply they care for one another. Their love is unique and those who have read this know what I'm talking about :)

The writing. Oh my word. We go between these fantastic stories of Mia's life that have you laughing and smiling to these haunting inner monologues that discuss life and death and love and everything in between. These moments that Mia has wondering about what she should do take the story up to just a whole other level of writing. I wanted to tear out multiple pages and paste them on my wall because of how beautiful and poignant some of her passages were. I may be the stupid one here but until the verbatim title came up in the writing of the story I hadn't connected it. When I finally put the two together (like an idiot) it was like an "ah ha!" moment. Beautiful.

I loved this book. It is beautiful. It is real. It is agonizingly amazing. I have the next book right next to me that I'm starting now and I've been told by my blogging friends that the next one is even more tear-worthy...yikes...I don't know if I'm ready for this... 


  1. so well put! you are going to adore Where She Went. it is even better. the writing is even more raw and just incredibly real. the bridge is one of the best scenes i've read in any book. can't wait for you to read it!!

    i connected deeply to If I Stay, but can't even imagine how YOU must have connected between not only your love for your family, but your profession on top of it. your heart must have been destroyed!

    oh and i gotta tell u.... i generally skim reviews that are written in paragraph form, but never yours. I read every word. You know how to express emotion so ridiculously well. <3

    1. LOVED Where She Went!! The bridge?!!? I die...die die die!!! Recreate me :) And it was a difficult read for me, hit home on a lot of things but in a way I loved it. I felt more connected to the characters and stories. Um and you probably just said the best/nicest/most amazing thing ever! That means oh so much to me that you really read my thoughts. You are just the best Betty :) And just so you know I read all your reviews too :) Except Indigo Spell...gotta read the others first lol

  2. aaah, this book made me cry so much the monologues were beautiful and I really think you will enjoy Where She Went which is in Adam's POV. I have been wanting to read Just One Day too, Forman's writing is just gorgeous.

    Kristin @ Young Adult Book Haven

    1. TOTALLY AGREE!! Her writing is just out of this world!

  3. I had the same reaction to this book. It just gripped me and shattered my heart into a million pieces and then sort-of patched it up again. I haven't read Where She Went yet, but I'm looking forward to it.

    1. Agreed! Go read Where She Went, it is even better if you can believe that! :)

  4. When a blogger can't even form coherent sentences about a book. I know it is a good book. I'm am going to have to read this one really really soon.

  5. I loved this book, too! To be honest, it kind of snuck up on me. I was enjoying it from the beginning, but I was so sucked into the story by the end. And Where She Went is even better! I'm so excited to hear what you think about it because I thought was even more emotional and gripping, although in a slightly different way.

    1. Yes! Where She Went was so much more broad and focused at the same time and so emotional and raw it killed me at points reading it. Adam is just...I don't even know. Amazing. Him and Mia make me wanna smile and cry all at the same time!


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