Friday, September 23, 2011

Review: If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

     Initially, this post was going to be about the foreign covers for If I Stay, but I went overboard.

     If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman are heart-wrenching stories.  Forman's tight, spare writing style allows Mia and Adam's story to unfold uncluttered, allowing the raw emotion to propel the story forward.  Beautifully written, these stories are about love, loss, forgiveness and hope.
     I just recently finished these books; how If I Stay managed to slip beneath my radar for so long, I don't know.  I found out about Where She Went purely by accident through an NPR article discussing the cover art,  and how the cover model captured the feel of the second book while staying true to the first.  This discussion piqued my curiosity, and I had to read them.  I had no idea what I was getting myself into.

If I Stay is a perfect example of how a book can hijack your life.  Once I picked it up, I was hooked and read it in two days.  It was all I thought about.

Mia and her family are in a terrible car accident, and as she lays comatose teetering between life and death, she remembers important snapshots of her life, and it's through these vignettes that readers truly learn who she is and what's important to her.  It's tissue worthy, but it's skillfully balanced so the book doesn't become a giant depressing sobfest.  Adam, Mia's boyfriend, compliments her perfectly; his guitar and rockstar swoon factor compliments her cello and classical demeanor.   Their relationship grows slowly and tenderly.  You can't help but fall in love with them...

and it will own you.

Where She Went is told from Adam's point of view, and Forman does a great job depicting his voice and character.  Adam, lonely and broken,  is completely believable.  It opens with him trying to move on with his life, but it's clear that Mia was the rhythm in his rockstar heart. 

"It's my turn to see you through," she whispers, coming back to me and wrapping me in her blanket as I lose my shit all over again.  She holds me until I recover my Y chromosome."  This is such a great line.

Each book is:
And check out these beautiful covers!
Please don't shoot me!  I can never get my covers to align sided by side.  How I managed the one is beyond me.

                   UK                                                                        Chech Republic

                                                                    Portuguese Hardback

Portuguese paperback

UK Hardback


Where She Went foreign covers:



I do like the US covers, but the Chech cover with the cello is pretty, as is the Portuguese cover.  What do you think of the covers?  Have you read the books?


  1. I think all of these covers are very beautiful. It's hard to pick a favorite of the bunch, but I'm going to go with the UK hardcover of If I Stay.

    I think the US covers really hold their own against the competition this time.

  2. I love book covers! I like the UK covers, they are very beautiful and interesting. New follower from blogaholic, have a great weekend! You can find me at
    Stop by mu blog when you get the chance :)

  3. Hey thanks for the comment on my Blogaholic post :) I just got If I Stay last week, so I'm looking forward to reading it :) Awesome review, makes me want to read it even more!

  4. New follower. I love that you manage to get to show all the Foreign Covers. Some of those covers are just awesome. Come visit me over at Livre De Amour-Books of Love Blog.

  5. Those two books gutted me. So beautiful.
    I like the Chech Republic cover. I think it captures Mia.

  6. I have a feeling that If I Stay may be one of those books that sells millions of copies, wins numerous awards, and inspires people to pick up a pen and tell a story of their own.


Thanks for the feedback. Be well, and happy reading!

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