If I Stay

By: Gayle Forman


If I Stay is a young adult novel about a 17 year old girl named Mia. She has a great life, a loving family and a handsome boyfriend but that all changed when she was in a life changing car accident. In Mia's paralyzed state, she must chose should she stay? or should she go?

Character Analysis

Mia is a quiet, quick witted girl who is a prodigy at the cello. Mia faces a lot of challenges throughout the story. She has many choices, from keeping a relationship or going with her cello career or choosing to live or die. Mia also changes a lot throughout the story. She starts out as a very quiet, keeps to herself kind of girl, "I spent mine in the sound-proof booths of the music wing" (Forman 32) and "I was quiet in class. I didn't raise my hand a lot..."(Forman 34). When she meets Adam she actually becomes more or less anxious. For example, "I could not eat the next day, could not wipe the smile off my face. I realized that the kiss was a door I had walked through" (Forman 110). We can conclude though, that when Mia met Adam she became overall a happier person.


The theme and characterization in If I Stay advance the plot of the story by helping develop the stories effect on the reader. The theme is go with your heart. Mia demonstrates throughout the story how hard it is to choose, and choose what your heart wants. For example, "What am I going to do?" I lamented. "I feel like I'm caught in a tug of war" (Forman 211). This demonstrates Mia's constant feeling throughout the book. It makes the reader feel sympathy towards Mia. The characterization throughout the story is a mix of direct and indirect. Since it's a mix of the two, it makes the reader feel more attached to the characters. Which makes it even more devastating when they are caught in a horrible car crash. In conclusion, the theme and characterization in If I Stay advance the plot and help develop the after effect on the reader.


If I Stay was a great book overall! From its compelling plot to its heart wrenching moments, If I Stay kept the reader hooked throughout the story. Forman wrote it in a way the reader wouldn't really expect it to be, but it was enjoyable. This story was an emotional roller coaster. It went from happy little memories to deep realizations. "I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard" (175). In the end, I would recommend this book. I really enjoyed it. Also there is a sequel called Where She Went, since I loved the first book I am definitely going to try this one out.