Gwen & Kate's Library

Two sisters' reviews of Young Adult and Middle Grade books, inspired by their lovely library.

Gwen’s Summer Challenge: If I Stay by Gayle Forman (Contemporary Romance)

Boy this book was surprisingly good! Surprisingly because this is not a genre I normally enjoy. And good because I could not put it down (well, I could not press stop — I listened to the audiobook version).


Series: If I Stay, Book 1

Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Realistic Fiction, Death, Music

Rating: 5 Stars


Just listen, Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel.
I open my eyes wide now.
I sit up as much as I can.
And I listen.
Stay, he says.

Choices. Seventeen-year-old Mia is faced with some tough ones: Stay true to her first love—music—even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind? Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters. If I Stay is a heartachingly beautiful book about the power of love, the true meaning of family, and the choices we all make.

Book Review:

Boy this book was surprisingly good! Surprisingly because this is not a genre I normally enjoy. And good because I could not put it down (well, I could not press stop — I listened to the audiobook version).

I loved this book from the first paragraph — because the characters, plot, and small flash-back stories all combining into one stunning book were expertly written, keeping me hooked the entire time. My favorite part was definitely the characters – Teddy, Adam, Mia, and her mom and dad were wonderful, well-developed characters I wish I could meet (unfortunately that is not possible on multiple levels).

It follows a familiar The Fault in our Stars balance of love and death and sorrow, but with the addition of a breath of fresh air: music. I was quite disappointed that the book was only 201 pages long, but I assume it was a good decision on Gayle Forman’s part to not make the story become stale or too dragged out. I however could have kept reading much longer than that, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading Where She Went, the second book in the duology.

I admit that I read this book for the same reason I picked up The Maze Runner: because of the upcoming movie. Having read the book, I know the trailer looks quite accurate and I am very excited to see the entire thing in theaters. I also can’t wait to read the second book in the series, Where She Went and find out what happens to Mia and Adam!

Genre Review: Contemporary Romance

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again — I don’t like contemporary romance. However, this seems to be a rule of thumb I’ve been breaking a lot lately. I suppose my new phrase should be “I don’t like contemporary romance expect for The Fault in Our Stars by John Green and If I Stay by Gayle Forman and any other well-written and attention-keeping realistic novel.”

Although there is one thing I haven’t been enjoying very much about these books — why are all the good ones centered around death and dying? Or maybe the better question is why I only enjoy those sorts of realistic fiction books…


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This entry was posted on August 14, 2014 by in Author: Gwen, Favorites, Gwen's Summer 2014 Genre Challenge, Review, Young Adult and tagged , .
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