Thursday, May 5, 2011

If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Release Date: May 2009 (If I Stay); April 2011 (Where She Went)
Rating: 9/10

Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.

These two books are definitely among my favourite young adult books written in the last few years. Or ever. If I'd read these books when I was a teenager, it would have made my I-want-a-boyfriend-that-understands-my-insane-love-for-music so, so much worse. Adam would've had my heart.

I realize now that dying is easy. Living is hard.

Both books are about love, family, loss, death, survival, grief, music, and the passions in life that keep you going. The frank discussion of the process of grief in Where She Went was incredible, like nothing I had ever read before, even in an adult fiction novel. When Adam says "what is competition it is" about grief and when Mia wonders who was there for Adam when Mia lost all that she lost, they were some beautifully poignant moments. I decided to read If I Stay when it was released because the story sounded like it would be an emotional and inspiring read, but luckily I was also given a book about music. Little references throughout it, and to a lesser extent in Where She Went, to all types of music, but particularly the little punk jokes Mia's parents make and Mia's inability to understand nor care about "rock talk" made me happy.
Barrel of the gun, rounds one two three
She says I have to pick: choose you, or choose me
Metal to the temple, the explosion is deafening
Lick the blood that covers me
She’s the last one standing


  1. I didn't realise you had gotten around to reading Where She Went! How OMG AMAZING is it?! <3

  2. Yeah, I read it straight after I re-read If I Stay, haha. I finished If I Stay on Saturday night a couple of weeks ago then bought Where She Went at work the next day because re-reading If I Stay made me want to know ASAP what happened in Where She Went. Just randomly decided tonight that I wanted to post a quick little review about how much I love them! Where She Went was so perfect, omg. <3

  3. i know what you mean about if you had read these as a teen. they are spectacular aren't they? perfect for teens and still amazing for adults!

  4. I've been thinking about that about a lot of YA books lately, Nomes! So many are so brilliant :)

  5. Glad you had a great time reading them :)
    It seems like everyone loves these two books but I haven't read them yet even though I have it. It's just that books that are too hyped scared me a lil' bit.. But I do love books that involve music! I watched Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist recently but sadly the movie was no where as great as the book. Have you read it?

  6. I LOVE Nick & Norah! One of my favourite YA books, too. Yeah, the movie was quite a letdown in comparison. I am the same way with books that are over-hyped, they make me nervous, but I personally think these two are worth the hype. Hopefully you'll like them!

  7. I love each and every one of your reviews! I think I might look through your list :-)

    "Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you" Great quote.

    Hope you have been well Linda :) xoxox

  8. Aw, thanks, K :) Hope you've been well too. Your name at the moment makes me think of Jimmy Eat World's song, The Middle. xo