"If I Stay" by Gale Forman

Emma Garmoe, realistic fiction, 234 pages

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Major Characters- Mia and Adam are the major characters. Mia, the voice of this novel, is a 17 year old girl who goes through numerous hard decisions throughout the book and loves the cello. Adam is Mai's girlfriend. Adam is in a band called "Shooting Star", as the main singer and guitarist. Mia and Adam have an infinite love for each other, that stays strong throughout all the hardships.

Minor Characters- Some of the minor characters are: her grandparents, her parents, Teddy, and Kim. Mia's grandparent are important throughout the book. They take Mia places and are her guardians when her parents died. Mia's parents are crazy "rockers". Who both die in a tragic car accident. Along with Mia's brother, Teddy. Mia loved Teddy so much and even said that he's like her son. They had a really close bond.


Oregon and Portland are the main settings in this book. Oregon is where Mia's home town. Many events happen here, it's the main setting in the story. Although, Portland is where the hospital is. Mia is in a coma at this hospital after her family was in a car crash. It's set during present day, and the past. The book has flashbacks almost every other chapter, then goes back to present day.
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Main conflicts

  • The first conflict- The first conflict is person VS self. Mia can't decide to stay alive or give up after a tragic car accident, that killed her family. Many people visit Mia and tell her to stay strong. Her grandfather though, said that it's okay to let go. Along with her friend Kim. But Adam, on the other hand, says he wants her to stay and that he would do anything if she stayed. Even quit the band.
  • The second conflict- The second conflict is person VS self also. Mia can't decide to go to Julliard or not. Julliard is a college for talented musicians, dancers, or drama. It is very difficult to get accepted into. After 3 different auditions, Mia learns she was accepted, while she was still in a coma. If Mia did go to Julliard, she wouldn't see Adam because Julliard is all the way across the world. While Mia was in a coma, Adam stated that if she would stay, he would quit the band and/or move with her.
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In "If I Stay" by Gale Foreman, Mia a 17 year old must decide to stay strong or let go after a tragic car accident that killed her mother, father, and brother. Throughout the book Mia has flashbacks to help decide what to do. One of the hardest things she doesn't want to let go of is her boyfriend, Adam. Adam and Mia met through the love for music. Adam loved Mia so much he broke into the ICU (intensive care unit) just to see her. Through the struggle of deciding what to do, Mia wakes up at the end of the book, because of Adam.
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To never give up, or immortality is the theme of this novel. It's developed through Mia deciding to live her life further or give up everything. Either way she would still have a family. But, depending on if she stayed or gave up there would would be pros and cons. Throughout the novel flashbacks are given to explain what would be lost and what would be kept. For instance, If Mia didn't stay she would get not get to go to college, but if she did stay for college she would still have to decide to go to Julliard or not (if she was accepted).


I would definitely recommend this book to anyone. Most books are way better than the movie, and that is very true for this book. The movie for "If I Stay" was actually not very well thought out and put together. If you read "If I Stay", it goes more into depth and you understand what's happening, and who people are. This novel was very attention grabbing, and emotional. But the ending made me really mad. I will definitely read the second book.


If I Stay