Gayle_Forman_If_I_StayMy bestie Gayle Forman’s amazing Young Adult novel, If I Stay, is on Publisher’s Weekly’s list of the best children’s books of the year!

Are you going to read it? You better. Don’t make me come over there.

I read a lot of my friends’ books in draft. As I’m reading, I think hard about what to say, what to praise, what to suggest (gently). As I read Gayle’s book, I didn’t think. I got completely lost in the story. I fell completely in love with the characters. I forgot I was supposed to be offering input. Josie (then seven) wandered in and got as glued to my computer screen as I was. I hated to tear my eyes away to muscle her out of the room as she peppered me with questions about head injury.

“THIS IS INAPPROPRIATE FOR YOU” I told her, attempting to slam the door in her face.


When I got to the end of If I Stay, I was sobbing. (The book is not a total downer, btw. It’s hilarious and page-turner-y. But it is really moving and really life-affirming. Don’t let the fact that I was a blotchy heaving mess catharting all over the place deter you.) I called Gayle and got her voicemail. When she picked up the message, she told me she had an initial stab of terror: I was crying so hard she thought something horrible had happened to my family. Not so much. Something wonderful had happened to my brain! A totally kickass book! WHOO! It is great to have the awesomeness confirmed by readers, award-givers, film producers.

And like Gayle, I am in love with two of the other nominated novels: The Evolution of Calpurnia Tate (my Goodreads review is here) and When You Reach Me (my Goodreads review is here).

And Gayle just IM’d me to say she also made Amazon’s list of top 10 YA novels of 2009! Yay!

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