If I Stay is about a girl whose musically-enriched life is forever changed in the blink of an eye. Precariously balanced between life & death, she reflects upon her life and all that she has lost versus what she will still have to live for. A simple story, eloquently and beautifully written.
To be honest, I hadn’t heard of If I Stay until the sequel, Where She Went, won Best Young Adult Fiction on Goodreads for 2011. I picked this first book up at The Strand Bookstore in NYC (for a ridiculously good price) and thought I’d give it a shot. Although the book (pleasantly) surprised me, it was nothing like what I was expecting. Based on a slightly different synopsis on this Goodreads page, it led me to believe that she had amnesia about the accident and couldn’t remember anything about it. Based on the quote by USA Today right on the cover that this book “will appeal to fans of Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT” was equally misleading. Other than the fact that her consciousness is floating around, contemplating whether she should stay or go – there really is no other “paranormal” aspect about the book. No vampires, no werewolves, no real connection between Twilight fans and those who would like If I Stay.
Initial impressions aside, I flew through this book. It’s an easy read, jumping back and forth from pre- & post- accident. Flashes of her life are reflected on and have moments that will make you tear up, tug at your heart strings, and appreciate what you have.
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ (4/5 stars)