Narrator: Kristen Potter
Series: If I Stay #1
Published by Penguin Audio, Speak on April 23, 2009
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Length: 5 hours 2 minutes
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.
My Initial Reaction…
If I Stay is such a devastating story! I never did actually cry – but my eyes watered several times. I think I expected the sadness, so it didn’t hit me quite as hard.
The narration was really good – Kirsten Potter did a fantastic job with the voice. What I really liked about the audio, though, was the integration of music. Music has a big role in If I Stay and they did an excellent job with the timing and feel with their selections. I’ve seen music added that has a pretty corny effect, but this was not that at all.
I think what makes If I Stay so powerful is that it’s so incredibly REAL. A car accident that changes you and your family’s life forever is more than possible, it happens all the time. And when it’s so believable, it’s so easy to put yourself in the character’s place and think about how you would feel and respond. I think that was what made me almost cry each time – I saw my own parents and most especially, my own little brother – and it was devastating.
And as much as I could substitute my own family – these characters are complete and complex. They have their quirks and I loved getting to know them through Mia’s flashbacks. I was surprised by how many characters – not just family members but best friend and grandparents and so on that we got to know and care for from Mia’s perspective.
My only complaint probably isn’t a fair one and probably wouldn’t bother most people. I got frustrated by how uncertain Mia was about what she wanted to do. I guess for me, the decision would have been simple and I know exactly what it would have depended on. But I’m older than Mia and at her age, I probably would have been less certain too.
I read this super fast and was really happy that I already had Where She Went waiting for me, because there’s no way you can wait!