“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman

If I Stay by Gayle Forman was the first book I read for my 2015 Summer Reading List. It’s a well-written book full of real emotions and from the very first chapter I instantly recognized why it’s touched the hearts of readers all over the world. This is a Tearjerker with a capital “T.”

The premise is that a young classical musician by the name of Mia loses her entire family to a deadly car crash that leaves Mia fighting for life and wondering if she should live or die. A big theme of If I Stay is how parents transform their lives for their children, and how children need the wisdom of their parents.

If I had read If I Stay at another time in my life I would have enjoyed working my way through a box of tissues. But right now I’m dealing with a loved one entering hospice care, so I approached Mia’s story with a good deal of emotional detachment. I felt like a clinician analyzing how a fictional family dealt with death. If I Stay served a useful purpose in adding to my numbness.

At some point I want to see the movie, which is by all accounts extremely well done, but I don’t think I’m ready for it at the moment. Here’s a look at the trailer:


  1. I’d have to say that the movie would be extremely hard on you at this point. There are a few scenes in particular that had me nearly sobbing in the theater, and I could see how they would be especially heartbreaking for you. I will say that the movie is extremely well done though. I went to see it with my best friend (also a fan of the book), and we both loved it. We did have a funny moment in the theater involving the “playing Adam like a cello” scene. A dad had brought his daughter and a few of her friends, and during that scene was frantically trying to cover his daughter’s eyes. The scene itself was very tastefully done, but I could definitely see where he was uncomfortable watching it with his (probably 12 year old) daughter.


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