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Set aside a regular time for reading in your family, independent of schoolwork, the 20 minutes before lights out, just... More

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Author: Gayle Forman

Reserve at the Library

Publisher: Viking Childrens Books, 2014

Material: hard cover

Summary: Mia (17) has a passion for playing the cello. In fact, her life is all about music. Her parents are former punk rockers (who gave up that lifestyle when her little brother, Teddy, was born). Mia's boyfriend Adam is part of a very popular local band. Julliard has invited her to visit and audition to attend school. That's a big decision: stay in Oregon with Adam and her family, or head to New York. Before she gets a chance to decide what to do, her family is killed in a tragic car accident. Only Mia survives, but she is in a coma. Mia has an out-of-body experience where she not only relives memories, but has a look into her future, including seeing Teddy grow up. Mia comes to realize that she has to make a decision - and quickly: will she awake and live as an orphan or die so that she can be with her family. This young adult novel about strength, courage, heartbreak, and love. Lower reading level makes this accessible to older, struggling readers.

Type of Reading: independent reading

Recommended Age: read together: 13 and Up; read yourself: 12 and Up

Interest Level: 13 and Up

Reading Level: 5.3

Age of Child: Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™

Young Reader Reaction: I honestly don’t think I can put into words how much I enjoyed this book. If I Stay brought waves of sadness and happiness all at the same time. The author did such a great job not giving everything away as soon as the book started. Even at the end I felt like things were still very mysterious. If I Stay left me speechless, emotional, and almost numb. I definitely recommend watching the movie based on this book.

Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.

Pros: Young adult and adult readers won't be able to put down this unique, tear-jerker.

Cons: None.

Borrow or Buy: Buy! This is a book that would make a great gift for teens and young adults, or adults who love sophisticated YA fiction.

If You Liked This Book, Try: Where She Went or Just One Year by Gayle Forman; Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher ALL WE KNOW OF HEAVEN   RACING IN THE RAIN; MY LIFE AS A DOG   PARASITE (Parasitology)

Educational Themes: There are several themes in the story, most of them centered on family and personal decisions. Mia is also a relatable character with lots to "study" (in a book club type setting).

Notes: A Reading Tub® volunteer submitted this review. She borrowed the book from their local library.

Literary Categories: Fiction - family, coming of age, young adult

Date(s) Reviewed: September 2015

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at and


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