If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

Mia, the main character and protagonist of Gayle Forman's If I Stay, has to make a choice when she gets into a car accident with her family. Does she stay or does she go, like the rest of her family? Mia is a 17 year old girl that comes from a family of music. Mia's mom, dad, boyfriend, and brother, Teddy, played rock music. On the other hand, Mia enjoyed playing the cello and listening to classical music. For example, "As if to seal the deal, instead of learning to play the electric guitar, I'd gone and chosen the cello" (23). When Mia and her family gets into a car accident, Mia has to decide whether she would stay and live or choose to die like the rest of her family. For instance, "I hear the nurse's words again. I am running the show. Everyone is waiting on me. I decide" (88).


Setting and theme both advance the plot of the story by showing how Mia considers whether to stay or go. For example, "Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that's true" (3). This shows that the setting played a role in the challenge Mia faces and the decision she makes. The theme of the story is love. For instance, "And suddenly I just need to hold his hand more than I've ever needed anything in this world" (234). This shows that Mia chose to stay and needed all the love her family, Kim, and Adam had given her.


I would recommend If I Stay because it shows that choices are not easy especially when it comes down to your loved ones. The author shows flashbacks on Mia's life that help her realize why she needs to stay or why she needs to go. The flashbacks are of memories from when she was a kid to now as a teenager. The memories make it hard for her to decide because she doesn't want to stay without her family but does not want to go and leave her boyfriend and best friend behind without her. Love helps Mia chose life or death.