Thursday, November 3, 2011

If I Stay by Gayle Forman (And A Giveaway!)

Gayle Forman's If I Stay had been on my to-read list since it came out so many years ago. I feel as if I missed the wave and now I'm wading in the ocean whispering, You out there. Did you read it? Can we talk?

It does seem appropriate, as misguided as I was to put it off for so long, that I managed to buy the book twice. At my local bookstore early last week. And then, without realizing it, tucked inside a too-large online shipment. So you, my friends, can benefit from my absentmindness and win the book! Because I don't need two of anything (except double ice cream scoops.)

There is much to say about this book. Most of it has already been said because I showed up so very late and emptyhanded to the party.

I will say that I was struck by the sheer goodness at the heart of this story and I found it refreshing.

Forman writes a main character, a seventeen year old girl, who is not brooding or sarcastic, who sits on the narrowest edge between life and death and, despite darkness, sees the light of her past, the possibility of her future. Parents who are fully present, quirky, wise and daring in their love for their daughter. A love story that is full of passion but not complicated by a third party, a series of cliched misunderstandings, or wild insecurities. Instead, these young, ambitious lovers are so sure of themselves and their love that it is their bold aspirations and dreams that threaten to tear them apart.

And despite some comparisons to Alice Sebold's The Lovely Bones and Lauren Oliver's Before I Fall, I thought this book stood on its own. It is not about standing in purgatory to right past wrongs. It is about looking back on all of the quiet beautiful moments of the past and choosing to see love.

To win a copy of If I Stay please leave a comment below. If you feel like it, share a recent happy moment in the comments because my heart is full and happy after reading this book and I want to ride the wave for as long as I can ;) I will announce the winner November 10th.


  1. I've had If I Stay on my TBR list FOREVER.

    Recent happy moment: my younger bro and I introducing my mom to the cult classic Troll 2 (best worst movie ever!). She kept asking, "I'm not going to be scared, am I?" b/c she doesn't like scary. We kept saying, "No, just wait for it." And when she saw the goblins for the first time, she burst out laughing.

  2. This is such a wonderful book! I've been meaning to read Where She Went for a while now--need to pick that one up! (And oddly, enough, I'm giving away this same book on my blog right now, too!)

  3. I dug out a picture of my son from when he was little and I made his Halloween costumes. He was a Power Ranger four years in a row. Each year that show would change the costumes and I would drag out the sewing machine and get a different pattern. I hated it then, but now I look back at how THRILLED he was to BE a Power Ranger. Good times.

  4. Recent happy moment - a publisher who had read a few things from me asked if I'd be willing to try a specific kind of story cause she wanted to see how I did with it.
    Made me feel pretty awesome.
    And then I jumped in :D

  5. My most recent happiest moment - today at lunch when I drank too much and stumbled home through the sunny but chilly streets of NYC to read a memoir by a younger and talent writer I met last night. I W ANT TO WIN!

  6. I've never even heard of the is book. How is that possible?

    Recent happy moment: I fixed dinner last night and not one of my three children complained. The is a miracle!

  7. i wanna win it!!!!

    recent happy moment: my puppies are now able to catch the frisbee- air born!!! it is SO exciting! my little champs! ;)

  8. I have If I Stay on my TBB (to be bought) list for a long time. I'm glad you liked it.

    My recent happy moment was last night when my teenage daughter gave me a hug...after I went to parent teacher conferences and met all her teachers. (So proud of all her grades and the comments from the teachers.)

  9. I have this book, but haven't read it yet. Maybe this will be the motivation to pick it up next. Thanks!

  10. I loved this book. Her writing is nearly perfect and so seamless. Don't enter me in the giveaway bc I already have it. But I just wanted to say I am right there with you.

  11. First of all, I think that any book should stand on its own, otherwise, it is like comparing children in a class (always a mistake) so I echo your thoughts there.

    And, I am to be an 'abuela' again as our elder daughter is expecting her first child in April. And, you will love the poem I have chosen as a Sunday Snippet, to end a wonderful weekend for you.

  12. I hadn't heard of this title, but your review makes me want to read it. Also, I think it's a sign from the reading gods that you've ended up with two copies.

    Many moons ago, I was in Book of the Month Club, and I had signed up my then-husband and our two cats so that I could get lots of freebies for joining "people." All I had to do was keep up with the mailings and send in my no-thank-you (X4) for the latest Book of the Month.

    Well... I was living in Brooklyn at the time, and our mail carrier was a bit scattered. One month, I didn't receive the BOMC mailings, and so I missed (X4) the opportunity to decline that month's offer. Which means that, several weeks later, FOUR HARDBACK COPIES of "A Prayer for Owen Meany" were left on my doorstep. And you wanna know something? It's one of my all-time favorites. So, not only did I have a copy for myself, but I had three gifts for others!

    I guess that created a lot of happy moments...

  13. If I Stay is a very good read.Your attention is hooked from the beginnig and you never want to put it down. This book is a fast read. I really enjoyed how the plot was flashback of the characters life. The ending is a surprise and left me hanging.