Tag Archives: If I Stay

If I Stay/Gayle Forman Read Along – Week 1

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It’s week ONE of the IF I STAY read along, part of the five-month long Gayle Forman Read Along! Candice at The Grown-Up YA is hosting this leg of the Gayle Forman read along. Missed the post for week one’s questions? Find it here!

Haven’t signed up for the read along yet? Don’t worry! You can still join us for IF I STAY or any of the other three books left on the GFRA!

QUESTIONS: WEEK 1

What was your initial reaction to the accident? Did you have an OMG moment?
Well, I’m re-reading IF I STAY, so it wasn’t a total OMG moment, but WOW. I forgot how graphic it really was! I mean, I consider IIS a contemporary book that’s mildly sci-fi with the out of body experience Mia has, but man. I forgot how intense that accident scene really is.

Adam and Mia are about as opposite as can be. Based on what you’ve read so far, what do you feel makes them such an intense couple?
I think their relationship is adorable. Obviously Adam has that rocker-guy-sex-appeal, but he just has some flat out amazing charisma and attitude about him that just makes everyone love him. It’s so cute that Mia keeps thinking, “Why me?” like she’s not special enough. I feel like their relationship is intense because they both share a passion of music which I always feel really fuels emotions — happy songs make me happier and I revel in sad songs, etc — but also they both FEEL like they’re opposites. Sometimes Mia feels like she has to hold onto Adam to make sure he doesn’t slip away from her.

Mia is watching what is happening to her in the hospital. How do you think she is handling it? Do you think her reactions to everything is natural or is it something else?
I guess since she can’t really feel it happening, it doesn’t really quite sink in. I think she’s grasped that this is real, this is happening, and it’s not just some kind of dream. I think she’s handling it better than I probably would (which I’m assuming would be crying and running around the hospital trying to make people hear me or see me).

We’re introduced to Mia’s family before and after the accident, who is a group of varied individuals. Have you developed a favorite yet? If so, why? What makes that person special to you?
I always loved Mia’s dad. I love how he’s such a rocker dude, but he’s converting into English teacher so I keep picturing him looking basically hipster. He’s got such a fun personality — funny, happy, proud of his kids, in love with his wife. He just seems like a wonderful person. So really learning about him and what his life was like before the accident is just so bittersweet. It really makes me sad! I really think that’s what I take away from the whole book… (Okay, I may be jumping the gun by a few weeks here, but still) I love Mia’s whole family and to get to know them AFTER the accident… It just really rips my heart out!

We ended this week’s reading on one of the sexiest scenes ever. What was your reaction to this? Cigarette? Cold shower? Sneaking ahead to read more?
Haha! Not quite, but it was interesting to read it the second time around. The first time I read IF I STAY, I had really just started blogging and barely knew anyone yet. I didn’t get to talk to people about this scene. Maybe I’m being naïve or maybe Gayle Forman meant to keep it a little vague, but I’m not 100% sure what exactly went down with Adam & Mia! Playing each other like instruments…….. I actually still don’t quite get it. Maybe that would be easier to understand by seeing it (although that might be a little TOO intense of a scene?) but I just didn’t a visual and I kept picturing them strumming each other all goofy-like. It actually wasn’t quite the scene for me, but maybe I’m just not picturing it right! *shrugs* It feels good to be honest though!

Great questions for week one! I’m loving re-reading IF I STAY and really, it’s hard to put down!
If you haven’t linked up yet, head on over to The Grown-Up YA and link up your posts! 

Gayle Forman Read Along: If I Stay

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Howdy, read alongers! We’ve officially started the IF I STAY leg of the Gayle Forman Read Along!

Well, we finished SISTERS IN SANITY and I had a blast!! It was so interesting to read a new and yet old book of Gayle’s! Now the time has come to start the leg for IF I STAY! Candice at The Grown-Up YA is hosting the read along for IIS and you can check the page breakdown of this book on her post here.

You can start posting your answers to week one’s questions tomorrow or any time thereafter! I’ve already finished the first week’s pages and it’s been great to re-read. It’s just going to be hard to stop each week!

Hope to see you all continue on with the read along! Looking forward to seeing everyone’s answers and discussing IF I STAY with you tomorrow!

Here’s a refresher of the schedule for each of the books and each host will have the official breakdown of which pages/chapters correspond to each week.

SISTERS IN SANITY: June – July, hosted by Judith at Paper Riot
June 12th: Questions week 1
June 19th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
June 26th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
July 3rd: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
July 10th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

Wrapped up! Thanks again to Judith for doing an awesome job hosting and coming up with some great questions!

IF I STAY: July – August, hosted by Candice at The Grown Up YA
July 17th: Questions week one
July 24th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
July 31st: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
August 7th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
August 14th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

WHERE SHE WENT: August – Sept, hosted by Alexa at Alexa Loves Books
August 15th: Questions week 1
August 21st: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
August 28th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
September 4th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
September 11th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

JUST ONE DAY: September – October, hosted by Jenna at Jenna Does Books
September 18th: Questions week 1
September 25th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 2nd: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
October 9th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
October 16th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

JUST ONE YEAR: Oct – Nov, hosted by Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide
October 18th: Questions week 1
October 23rd: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 30th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
November 6th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
November 13th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

Once again, read along participants are not obligated to read ALL of the books — You can pick and choose if you don’t have time for all of them.

Haven’t signed up yet? It’s not too late to join! Check out the sign-up post here and spread the word to your friends!

Gayle Forman Read Along: Are You Ready??

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Hey, Read Along-ers! Get your copies of SISTERS IN SANITY ready: The Gayle Forman read along officially starts next week!

I just wanted to check in to make sure everyone’s ready and refresh everyone’s memory of the schedule. We’re kicking off the read along with the first book, SISTERS IN SANITY and all of the posts and official reading schedule for this book will be over at PAPER RIOT, hosted by Judith. You can start reading at any time, but the official start is on June 12th. Judith will have the questions posted then for the first week of the reading schedule. As always, if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Here’s a refresher of the schedule for each of the books and each host will have the official breakdown of which pages/chapters correspond to each week.

SISTERS IN SANITY: June – July, hosted by Judith at Paper Riot
June 12th: Questions week 1
June 19th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
June 26th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
July 3rd: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
July 10th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

IF I STAY: July – August, hosted by Candice at The Grown Up YA
July 17th: Questions week one
July 24th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
July 31st: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
August 7th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
August 14th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

WHERE SHE WENT: August – Sept, hosted by Alexa at Alexa Loves Books
August 15th: Questions week 1
August 21st: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
August 28th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
September 4th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
September 11th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

JUST ONE DAY: September – October, hosted by Jenna at Jenna Does Books
September 18th: Questions week 1
September 25th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 2nd: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
October 9th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
October 16th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

JUST ONE YEAR: Oct – Nov, hosted by Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide
October 18th: Questions week 1
October 23rd: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 30th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
November 6th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
November 13th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

Once again, read along participants are not obligated to read ALL of the books — You can pick and choose if you don’t have time for all of them.

Haven’t signed up yet? It’s not too late to join! Check out the sign-up post here and spread the word to your friends!

Gayle Forman Read Along: Sign-Ups!!

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If you read my blog, I’m sure you know that I may be borderline obsessed with Gayle Forman’s books. She’s easily one of my favorite authors and I’ve been meaning to re-read her books for a long time… The only problem was that I kept pushing off the re-reads for newer books but they’ve always sat there in the back of my mind. As I’m sure you know, JUST ONE YEAR is coming out in October (OMG) and I thought it would be a fun opportunity to do a read along for Gayle’s books leading up to the release of Just One Year in October!

I’ve also really been meaning to read Sisters in Sanity which is one of Gayle Forman’s lesser-known books and from the feedback I’ve received on Twitter, it seems like other people are interested as well! I wanted to include this one in the read along as well.

Read Along Guidelines:

  • Each book will be in traditional read along form and each week we’ll have a schedule of which chapters to read. We’ll have the typical questions and extra fun things for each week too!
  • Since this is quite a number of books to take on for a read along, if you sign up for the read along you are not obligated to read all of the books! While of course we would love for you to be there as we sob and swoon our way through all of Gayle’s books, if you want to skip the first or just come on for the last, that is totally okay!
  • Have FUN!

Since Just One Year doesn’t come out until the 15th of October, I’ll have each book span a month, but from mid-month to mid-month, if that makes sense. Here’s a tentative schedule of how I’d like to run it with the help of my wonderful co-hosts!

SISTERS IN SANITY: June – July, hosted by Judith at Paper Riot
June 12th: Questions week 1
June 19th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
June 26th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
July 3rd: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
July 10th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

IF I STAY: July – August, hosted by Candice at The Grown Up YA
July 17th: Questions week one
July 24th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
July 31st: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
August 7th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
August 14th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

WHERE SHE WENT: August – Sept, hosted by Alexa at Alexa Loves Books
August 15th: Questions week 1
August 21st: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
August 28th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
September 4th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
September 11th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

JUST ONE DAY: September – October, hosted by Jenna at Jenna Does Books
September 18th: Questions week 1
September 25th: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 2nd: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
October 9th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
October 16th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

JUST ONE YEAR: Oct – Nov, hosted by Brittany at The Book Addict’s Guide
October 18th: Questions week 1
October 23rd: Answers week 1, week 2 questions
October 30th: Answers week 2, week 3 questions
November 6th: Answers week 3, week 4 questions
November 13th: Answers week 4, wrap-up

I hope you’ll sign up for this exciting read along and please remember that signing up for the read along does not automatically commit you to ALL THE BOOKS! (Although we’d like you to read all of them with us!!) You can pick one book, or three books or all of them — Just let me know in the comments which books you’re intending to read so we can kind of have an idea who’s going to be involved in which month.

I hope everyone has fun with this and I can’t wait to see who joins in!! I’m really looking forward to reading through these books again, and better yet, sharing them with all the read along participants as we go through them together!!

Casting Call [9] – If I Stay


Welcome to Casting Call, hosted by Tee @ YA Crush, Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks, Candice @ The Grown-Up YA, Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan, and of course, me too! Each Friday we’ll take a couple characters from our favorite books and discuss who we’d think would be perfect for the roles! And of course this gives us the opportunity as well to rehash our favorite parts of the story and swoon over all those dream literary crushes of ours.
Casting Call is now a weekly meme for you to join in on the fun! Just check out the schedule at any one of the host blogs and join us on Fridays!

First up this week, we’re casting for If I Stay by Gayle Forman. If you haven’t read the book, here’s a quick summary from Goodreads:

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen-year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck…

A sophisticated, layered, and heart-achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make, and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

My review: If I Stay 5/4/12
My Review: Where She Went 6/26/12

Guys, this casting is SUPER important to me!! These two novels (If I Stay and Where She Went) are two of my ALL TIME favorites. They skyrocketed Gayle Forman to the top of my favorite authors list. I felt so many emotions while reading them! Casting is kind of hard. I feel for Mia. I love Adam. The actors to play them have to be perfect!

Now, apparently there is a movie adaptation in the works (go Gayle!!!) BUT from what is says in this Wikipedia article (though I don’t know how truthful it is), I don’t like any of their possible Mias so far. Yikes!

Emma Roberts as Mia Hall

Mia: Okay, my turn to use Emma Roberts! I needed someone who I felt could play a quieter side. Serious about the cello, more bookish than punk rock yet tough enough to decide how to handle the loss of her family. I love Emma Roberts for Mia (and I think she looks kind of like the girl on the cover).

Ethan Peck as Adam

Adam: Dear Adam. I love you. I did my research on Adam. I toiled through my brain and through the interwebs scouring for an actor I could see being my Adam. And then I saw Ethan Peck and I thought YES! He’s a little broody, a little nerdy, and I could totally see him as a guy in a punk band who’s in love with a nerdy cello player. Yes, yes, and yes. Love him. 

Teddy: For Mia’s little brother Teddy, I chose CJ Adams who was most recently in The Odd Life of Timothy Green. I think he could be a great little brother to someone like Emma Roberts as well as being an adorable little kid that your heart just goes out to.

Mia’s father: I was perusing through actors who I thought would make a good Mr. Hall and I came across Ethan Hawke and was like, “Yeah… he could totally be perfect!” Mia’s Dad used to be a punk rocker and is now turned almost hipster professor, complete with elbow patches on his tweet jacket and all. I could definitely see Ethan Hawke going back and forth between a rock star and a professor-type role so that was who I stuck with!

 

Do you agree with my choices? Who would you have put in these roles? And as for every week, be sure to check out everyone else’s choices! Catch who they picked and show them some comment love too!

And don’t forget, this is a bi-weekly meme for you to participate in too, so link up over at Teen Lit Rocks so we can see who your choices are!

Sandie @ Teen Lit Rocks
Candice @ The Grown-Up YA
Tee @ YA Crush
Dixie & Maggie @ Gone Pecan

*Disclaimer: In our development of this feature, we discovered that the book blog Lit Snit featured “Casting Call Fridays” back in 2010. Our Casting Call feature is in no way purposefully copying or stealing this idea and any similarities in  format, casting choices, etc are purely coincidental.

Top Ten Tuesday – November 13, 2012: Top Ten Books I’d Want On A Deserted Island

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

This Week’s Topic is: Top Ten Books  I’d Want On A Deserted Island

So these books will be my bread & butter – The books I could read over and over and over and over again. Easy peasy.

MY TOP TEN DESERT ISLAND CHOICES
(in no particular order)

There you have it! 

Honorable mention: The Princess Bride (but I know the movie by heart)
Wow, this was actually really hard! I went through my Goodreads favorites list and came up with these top 10 books that I could read forever. I’m actually surprised that so many were contemporary! Way to go, contemp for becoming more abundant in my life 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday – September 11, 2012: Top Ten Books That Make You Think

It’s Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the wonderful blog at The Broke and the Bookish!

This Week’s Topic is: Top Ten Books That Make You Think (About The World, People, Life, etc.)

Ooh thought-provoking… Well, I do have to say that I’ve been going for quite a few not-so-serious books within the past few months because well, I’ve just been having fun with reading! Although I do like to read a good, meaningful book every once in a while.

And before we even start, I’m not putting The Fault In Our Stars on my list. Even though I mentioned it. And therefore probably negated leaving it off the list.

Life Issues:

1. The Help by Kathryn Stockett – This one was an easy choice for me! Sometimes I just can’t believe how different things were back then, and at the same time, how it still hasn’t changed in some places. I really loved this story and although it was hard for me to get into at first, I really enjoyed it a lot!

 

 

2. The Stone Girl by Alyssa B. Sheinmel – I actually wasn’t as impressed with this book as I had hoped, but I really did like the overall message and the way everything wrapped up. I also thought it was pretty thought-provoking (for me at least) at how we define eating disorders and how much we may not realize what’s going on with the people around us.

 

 

The “Real” World:

3. The Giver by Lois Lowry – I’ll promote it forever. The Giver is still one of my favorite books of all time. It’s the book that made me question the future, society, the people around us, and so much more at a young age. And of course what fueled my current love for dystopians, but that’s another topic…

 

 

4. Running Out of Time by Margaret Peterson Haddix – Similar to The Giver, this was another book from my childhood that really got me thinking. Things are not always as they seem! What else don’t I know about the world around me?

 

 

Loss:

5. The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson – Oh boy. This book made me cry a little. How would I feel if I was Lennie? If my best friend – my older sister – died out of nowhere? Gosh, it’s just a scary, scary thought!

 

 

 

6. If I Stay by Gayle Forman – Same as The Sky Is Everywhere. It’s an intense story and really made me look at my family and realize you have to make the most of your relationships because you never know when they’re going to get swept away from you.

 

 

7. One Moment by Kristina McBride – Same as above!

 

 

 

 

What if I had powers…?

8. The Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling – Let’s face it. Ever since reading Harry Potter, being a witch has had a way more positive connotation. And honestly, who DOESN’T want magical powers?? If only I weren’t a Muggle… Sigh.

 

9. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – How sweet would that be? I would love to be a Grisha! Wielding all sorts of powers…

 

 

 

 

Without Love…

10. Delirium by Lauren Oliver – Still one of my favorite books, and how creepy at the same time. I think I’d be with Lena!

 

 

TGIF – August 24, 2012

It’s time for TGIF again, thanks to Ginger at GReads!

So this week’s TGIF topic is:
Back to School Reading: Which books would you like to see in today’s high school Literature classrooms?

I actually just briefly touched on this in my rant discussion post from August 1st (Are Books Back?).

My high school (albiet almost 10 years later) reads awesome books. Well, NOW they do. When I was there, it was all classics. Here are some books that would have been nice to read in high school (2001-2005):
A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray (2003)
Looking For Alaska by John Green (2005)
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky (1999)
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card (1985)

And here are some books that I’ve read lately that I think high schoolers now would enjoy and would even fit well in classrooms:
Such A Rush by Jennifer Echols
The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
If I Stay by Gayle Forman
The Maze Runner by James Dashner
The Help by Kathyrn Stockett

What do you guys think? Agree with any of these? Know what’s going on in your (old) high school?

TGIF – August 17, 2012

It’s time for TGIF again, thanks to Ginger at GReads!

So this week’s TGIF topic is:
Pimp Your Review: Feature a favorite book review you’ve written in the past that you feel deserves more love!

Okay, so here are a couple of my favorite reviews! In case you haven’t seen them, here’s your chance to fangirl with me 🙂

Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins – Posted 8/6/12
Where She Went by Gayle Forman – Posted 6/26/12
Wither by Lauren DeStefano – Posted 6/1/12

Okay, I think that’ll do it for some of my favorite reviews. Hope you like ’em!

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle Forman

If I Stay (If I Stay #1) – Gayle FormanTitle: If I Stay (If I Stay #1) by Gayle Forman
Publishing Info: April 2, 2009 by Penguin
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Find it on the web: Buy from Amazon // GoodreadsDate Completed: May 4, 2012
Related Posts: Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Sisters in Sanity, If I Stay (If I Stay #1), Where She Went (If I Stay #2), Just One Day (Just One Day #1), Just One Night (Just One Day #2.5), I Was Here, Leave Me, I Have Lost My Way

In a single moment, everything changes. Seventeen year-old Mia has no memory of the accident; she can only recall riding along the snow-wet Oregon road with her family. Then, in a blink, she finds herself watching as her own damaged body is taken from the wreck... A sophisticated, layered, and heartachingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands.

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Ho. Ly. Cow. This book was phenomenal. First I have to say bravo to Gayle Forman for such beautiful writing – I read a lot of cheesy books and yes, they’re fun, but nothing is better than a flat out wonderfully written story. Although this is dubbed YA fiction, Mia’s narration throughout the novel does not feel juvenile at all. I feel like any age can read this book and appreciate it in its entirety. Every character in this book has a story and I felt such connection, like this was the story of a real family, real friends, and not just characters on pages. I connected with everything Mia was feeling throughout her struggle to fight to stay alive or decide if it was her time to go. Wow, it just really moved me, as cheesy as that sounds. There’s just no other way to put it. So mature, so emotional, so gripping. I laughed, I smiled, and most of all I cried. Just read the book. It’s so worth it!

For a more in-depth review, check out my thoughts of my re-read of IF I STAY!

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5/5 stars
Love love loved it!

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If You Liked This, You Might Like…
One Day by David Nicholls — I actually read this because the movie was coming out… And then I never saw the movie (oops). This was another story that I was captivated with – The 20 year love story of Emma and Dexter, struggling to decide whether they’re supposed to be together or end up apart. It actually took me just a little bit to get into the story, but this was another one that when I finished, I just had this inexplicable feeling leftover and it stuck with me for days. Really moving story, lots of pull on the emotions of the characters, and a bittersweet ending.
…OR…
The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold —  Susie Salmon’s story takes place after she is already dead, observing her family move along with their life after her disappearance as she hopes they’ll solve the mystery of her murder – I actually think If I Stay is WAY better than The Lovely Bones. If I Stay is so touching and I feel like it connects much more with the reader and brings them in to the book, gets them involved with the characters. While The Lovely Bones is a similar-type story, I actually found it a little too long and dragged on.

You can also check out my post “12 Books to Read If You Liked IF I STAY” for more recommendations!