Book of the Month – If I Stay – Gayle Forman

On August 22nd, one of my favorite books is coming to life on the big screen. To honor that, I’ve chosen If I Stay by Gayle Forman as August’s Book of the Month.

6564365If I Stay by Gayle Forman


“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.”

Jen’s Review

I read If I Stay years ago, and it still makes my heart twist and my stomach drop. Just thinking about it makes me search for a tissue while thanking God I haven’t had to experience what Mia did in this book.

tumblr_mp8lqkavxh1sxy5x9o1_500One of the most important things in my life is my family. If anything happened to them…well, I’m not sure what I’d do. It’s one of those fears that haunts me on a daily basis, just as I’m sure it haunts many of you. To think of having everything you cherish taken away in the blink of an eye…


If I Stay addresses this tragic fear. It makes you live it through the eyes of Mia, a girl whose family is killed in a car accident. She herself is on the brink of death and must decide if she has the strength to stay and live with the pain of knowing when she awakes, her family will be gone; or if she can’t bear their loss and will let go to join them in death.
But, don’t worry. This story isn’t only about making you cry and sob and go through an entire box of tissues. It celebrates life and love, and offers hope when there is no hope to be found.

tumblr_mdg8mwFXNk1rj9ghno1_500As hard as this story is to read, it’s worth it. For me, it made me consider what I’d do if this type of tragedy ever struck in my life. Would I give up? Or would I fight for life? To be honest, I’m still not sure. Like Mia, it’s a choice I can’t make until it I had to.

Jen’s Rating

5 Star

To read more about If I Stay, click here!

And for those of you who’d rather “see” the synopsis, here’s the trailer for If I Stay…I suggest you grab a tissue before you view it 😉

…Just remember: Read the book BEFORE you see the movie!

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A Blogging Reader’s Review: ‘IF I STAY’ by Gayle Forman

Book Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

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Book Review: Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin

17297135Loud Awake and Lost by Adele Griffin


“LOUD. There was an accident. Ember knows at least that much. She was driving. The car was totaled. She suffered back injuries and brain trauma. But she is alive. That’s the only thing left she can cling to.
AWAKE. Eight months later, Ember feels broken. The pieces of her former self no longer fit together. She can’t even remember the six weeks of her life leading up to the accident. Where was she going? Who was she with? And what happened during those six weeks that her friends and family won’t talk about?
LOST. One by one, Ember discovers the answers to these questions, like a twisted game of dominos. And little by little, the person she used to be slips further and further away.
In the wake of her critically praised young adult psychological thrillers,Tighter and All You Never Wanted, National Book Award finalist Adele Griffin has created another triumph. Loud Awake & Lost is an unflinching story of loss and recovery.”

Jen’s Review

I was lucky enough to win a copy of Loud Awake and Lost from And what a book to win!

Now, as many of you know, I’ve been getting most of my books from the library lately due to budget cuts. And, to be honest, most of the time I don’t have a hard time returning a book once I finish it. I think, “Nice read, but not a keeper.”

But then there are the dreaded times I must take a book back that I don’t want to. The times when I feel like I’m abandoning a loved one. Dropping them off on the side of the road and saying, “I’m sorry, but I must let you go. I must! Goodbye, my love…” (sniff, sniff). Loud Awake and Lost would’ve been one of those books. So, thank God I get to keep it! There will be no difficult farewell in our future. I get to proudly display it on my bookshelf.

Adele Griffin’s contemporary young adult novel had me hooked from the first page to the last, and has kept me hooked for days since finishing. It’s a book that has many layers–layers you’re constantly peeling away in hopes of discovering more. More and more and more. And with each layer peeled, there’s a surge of relief and joy, as well as pain and sorrow. I appreciated Adele Griffin’s unique take on the topic of self-discovery. To think of finally figuring out who you are and what you want to do/be in life, only to have it erased, is staggering. And Ember’s rocky path to relocating those lost pieces of her new self and putting them back together is a difficult, yet wonderful one.

Loud Awake and Lost is truly one of the most bittersweet stories I’ve read in a long time–bittersweet in a good way. It’s haunting and mysterious and one hundred percent captivating. And I totally, totally recommend it, especially if you enjoyed books like If I Stay and Where Things Come Backor even The Unbecoming of Mara DyerRead it!

Jen’s Rating

4 Star

Read more about Loud Awake and Lost here!