The Messenger Reviews

Obviously, this is a book review blog. I mostly read Young Adult books, but I try to branch out every once and a while as well!

If I Stay (If I Stay #1)

If I Stay - Gayle Forman

Like City of Bones, this was a book I chose to read after seeing a movie preview. Maybe that's a poor choice to make, but whenever I see a movie, I can't help but think "It must be pretty good if they're making a movie adaptation." The problem is that this creates a pretty high bar, and it's difficult for any book to measure up with that. Honestly, if I hadn't started this book expecting it to be something amazing, I would have liked it a lot more.
Even though I thought the flashbacks were, for the most part, handled well, I did have a bit of an issue with the timing. Rarely any context was given, and it was often difficult for me to figure out when everything was happening. It bounced around so often, and I couldn't be sure if a day, a week, or a year had passed. Eventually, I was able to figure out what was going on, but it made for a confusing plot. Additionally, almost all the flashbacks were either to a time that was incredibly awkward, or a time when they were arguing. I understand that flashing back to times when everything was perfect and happy might not be interesting, but it made me dislike the characters, and I sort of got sick of them arguing.
My second pseudo-issue was Adam. I can see how other people might like him, but we just didn't click until the very, very end (last few pages). Mostly, I blame the fact that I pretty much only saw him when he was arguing with Mia, but I felt like the way he dealt with things annoyed me as well. But his soliloquy at the end made me melt. He hit all the right chords. His speech was selfless, and I knew he meant what he said. I just wish that I had seen a bit more of that Adam throughout the rest of the book.
Despite the high standard, I still found this book quite enjoyable. It wasn't exactly what I thought it would be, but it didn't fall too flat of my high expectations, which is quite an accomplishment. I would have preferred to see a bit more of Adam's and Mia's actual relationship, when they weren't arguing, but was still pleased with what was presented. While I didn't find this book extraordinary, I still enjoyed it.
Three Point Five out of Five Stars

Source: http://themessengerreviews.blogspot.com/2014/09/if-i-stay-if-i-stay-1.html