Audiobook Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Posted on 02/13/2014 in Book Review / 4 Comments

Audiobook Review: If I Stay by Gayle FormanIf I Stay by Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Published by Penguin Audio on 4/2/2009
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
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The last thing Mia remembers is the music. After the accident, she can still hear it. And she can see her damaged body being taken from the wreck of her parents' car - even though she doesn't feel a thing.\r\n\r\nAll she can do is watch as doctors rush to save her life, as her friends and relatives gather outside her room, as the boy she loves struggles to be near her.\r\n\r\nAs the next twenty-four hours unfold, Mia must come to terms with what came before the crash - and what would come after. And she knows she must make the most difficult choice of all. If she stays...

This is the kind of book that leaves you in shambles when it’s over. Mia is a gifted musician with plans to go to Julliard.  She has wacky but lovable parents who are reformed hippies/musicians themselves and a hipster rocker boyfriend who is paving his way to stardom.  She has everything going for her – until she doesn’t. I spent a good portion of If I Stay waiting for the “good parts” e.g. the part where she wakes up and everyone hugs it out.   What I didn’t realize is that it wasn’t necessarily about that.  Oh, it was technically about that, but it was more about the means and not the ends. If I Stay is told in befores and afters.  There is no real sequential order to the events in the Befores and it took me some time (possibly because I’m slow like that) to realize, it wasn’t her remembering anything, but literally her life was flashing before her eyes.  And that’s when I fell in love with this book.  What we think can take moments before death or near-death took her a day, and it’s hard to believe this entire book only progresses over a day when we get to see Mia’s lifetime.  We experience her acceptance into Julliard, her first kiss with Adam, her first time in a mosh pit even though she’s a classical musician, the day her baby brother Teddy was born.  Meanwhile in the Nows, we experience her realization that her family may have been killed in the collision and she must come to terms while she is in her coma with whether or not she even wants to live.  Her experience is truly spine-tingling. All of the characters were great.  I don’t know what else to say about them, except that I wish I had them in my life LOL.  They made me laugh, they made me cry, and they felt real to me. If I Stay is raw emotion.  I ripped my heart out and stomped all over it, and left me wanting more.  I can’t wait to read the next book in Mia’s story and have my heart broken all over again.

Narrator 4-1-1

Kirsten Potter was a pretty good narrator.  She was on point with voices and inflections and I enjoyed the book told from her perspective.  I’ll definitely be looking for more audios by her.  

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Jennifer is both a book nerd and professional photographer. That means she lives in the fantasy world all the time, whether of her making, or someone else's. She collects books like the Duggar family collects kids, and began waiting for her Hogwarts letter at the tender age of 33.

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