If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

Mia:

Mia is the protagonist in the story. She is a very dedicated musician. One of the other characters in the story said about her cello, "It just seems like that thing is part of who you are. I can't imagine you without that thing between your legs." (Forman 70) She comes from a family of musicians, but her taste in music is different from her family's. She is different from them in other ways too, though. "Dad sometimes joked that the hospital where I was born must have accidentally swapped babies cause I look nothing like the rest of my family. They are all blond and fair and I'm like their negative image, brown hair and dark eyes." (Forman 18) She's also described as an easygoing , laid back girl. Her grandmother said, "You were such a breeze. Never gave us any trouble. Never the kind of girl to make my heart race in fear." (Forman 64)

The Plot:

The book If I Stay tells the heartwarming, tragic, and romantic story of a seventeen year old girl, Mia, who must decide between life and death. In this book, the setting and theme help advance the plot.


The book takes place in a small town in Oregon on a snowy day. This advances the plot of the story because the snow is why Mia wasn't in school and was able to be in the car with her family, it was also why the other car swerved and hit them. For example, the text says, "Everyone thinks it was because of the snow. And in a way, I suppose that's true," (Forman 3) The setting is what puts Mia in the situation that she's in.


The theme of the story is love. This advances the plot because Mia loves her parents and brother, who died in the car accident, but she also loves her boyfriend, her best friend, and her grandparents, who are all still alive. It is who she loves more that will influence her decision. The text says, "How am I supposed to decide this? How could I possibly stay without Mom and Dad? How could I leave without Teddy? Or Adam?" (Forman 88) In the end, love makes Mia's decision for her. After all, "Love can make you immortal," (Forman 243)

My Review:

I personally loved this book. I thought it was touching and beautifully written. I loved how it would go from the sad events at the hospital to the happy flashbacks on Mia's life. It made you feel almost every emotion. This book is not for everyone, though. Some people might find it boring or depressing depending on what genre they're into. If this is the type of book you like, though, I would strongly recommend this book.