Title: If I Stay
Author: Gayle Forman
Genre: Young Adult > contemporary
This novel should be read in one sitting because the first 170 pages are rather tedious. Putting it down before getting through them will allow you to slip into a reading slump. After that, though, it does become quite good, and you will realise why you picked it up in the first place: it is in fact a wonderful story.
I'll try and explain why, to me, the beginning was tough. Firstly, this book was hyped up so much, I expected a master piece. It certainly was not. The writing, although clearly not bad, was not too interesting, nor was the story. The characters seemed underdeveloped, which resulted in me not caring about what happened either. The flashbacks, I supposed engineered to give the characters depth, were too arbitrary and uninteresting - if I even were to finish this novel, I would only care for the main story line.
Throughout reading, I kept thinking about putting it down for the time being, and definitely not picking up the sequel. I kept reading 10 pages or so, and quiting which did not at all help in me liking the novel. Now, you have clearly seen I've rated it three stars, so it cannot all have been bad, I hear you think. And it surely wasn't. The last 100 or so pages I read in a night before I went to bed. I couldn't stop reading because all of a sudden I felt the emotion the author meant to put in it. I understood what Mia was thinking and why. Even the other characters started to make sense to me and the flashbacks became interesting and related to the main story line. I shed some tears in that final half of the novel, something I couldn't imagine happening yesterday.
I am thus proud to say I pushed through this novel, ending up loving the ending - and liking it as a whole. I will definitely be picking up the sequel.
Sidenote: I picked up this novel because it is going to be made into a film, which will be out somewhere around September. It will star Chloe Moretz as Mia. Check out the trailer here. (Do not watch if you've not yet read the book - it's full of spoilers.