15 Young Adult Novels for Fans of IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

Looking for books to read after finishing If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman, or looking for books to read after seeing the If I Stay movie? This is the list of young adult fiction I think will resonate with fans of this moving and emotionally intense story. The books on this list have the simliar well-drawn characters, explore grief and loss, focus on music, explore family dynamics, have a great love story, or are about characters somewhere between life and death.

Young Adult novels for fans of If I Stay

The Beginning of After by Jennifer Castle // Goodreads | Amazon

Like Mia in IF I STAY, Laurel must learn how to live after losing her family in a car accident. This story is also a tear-jerker without being melodramatic.

The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg // Goodreads | Amazon

Like IF I STAY, this novel has a hint of the surreal. When Brie dies of a broken heart, she goes through the stages of grief in the afterlife.

The Sharp Time by Mary O’Connell // Goodreads | Amazon| My Review

Sandinista Jones is dealing with grief over the loss of her mother and struggling to live on her own, but her new friends from the Pale Circus vintage clothing store help her learn that vengeance is not the solution.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver // Goodreads |Amazon

Samantha, like Mia from IF I STAY, narrates this story from a state of between life and death. Lauren Oliver’s lyrical writing that will also appeal to fans of Gayle Forman.

Heartbeat by Elizabeth Scott // GoodreadsAmazon | My Review

This story of loss will pull on readers’ heartstrings, but the possibility of romance adds hope to this emotionally intense novel.

Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin // Goodreads | Amazon

In IF I STAY, Mia is in a car accident, and must decide to live or die after losing all her family and narrates the novel from a coma; in ELSEWHERE, Liz is hit by a car and dies but finds herself in a place that is not like the same, but not all different from the world she left. Both are moving stories where the characters reflect on their lives.

The Book of Broken Hearts by Sarah Ockler // Goodreads | Amazon| My Review

Jude’s father isn’t dying, but she’s losing him just the same, as his memory is deteriorating because he suffers from early onset Alzheimer’s. In order to help her dad, she enlists the help of a motorcycle mechanic, who just happens to be related to the boys who broke the hearts of both her sisters. This story is as much about family as it is about the romance, and the character-driven writing will appeal to Gayle Forman fans.

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen // Goodreads | Amazon

This heartfelt story of grief would be the first Dessen book I’d recommend to readers who loved IF I STAY but haven’t read any of Dessen’s books.

How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr // Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

This novel is told from two viewpoints of girls whose lives are unexpectedly thrown together– one is dealing with the death of her father, the other, a girl who has never had a supportive family and is about to become a mother. Fans of emotionally intense stories with strong characters will enjoy this book.

The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson // Goodreads | Amazon

Lennie, like Mia from IF I STAY, is dealing with loss and unsure of what to do about love.

Personal Effects by E. M. Kokie // Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

This story is told from the perspective of a young man who lost his brother in the Iraq War. When he finds a letter in his belongings, he sets out to see that the person his brother addressed it to receives it, and on the journey, discovers his brother’s secrets. This novel has a strong voice and great character development.

One Moment by Kristina McBride // Goodreads | Amazon

In this emotional novel, Maggie grieves for her boyfriend who died in an accident. Like IF I STAY, it’s the kind of book you can read in one day.

Being Friends with Boys by Terra Elan McVoy // Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

While not as emotionally intense as IF I STAY, this novel features a new relationship for a girl in a band who has strong bonds with her family.

Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller // Goodreads | Amazon | My Review

Though this novel isn’t about death, it’s still a very emotional story. A rich family story in addition to a swoon-worthy romance, this novel will definitely appeal to fans of Gayle Forman.

A Map of the Known World by Lisa Ann Sandell // Goodreads | Amazon

Themes of loss, love, and the power of art to redeem make this book a good fit for fans of IF I STAY.


I’ve included even more books for fans of If I Stay on this list in Bibliocommons, and Epic Reads also compiled a crowd-sourced list.

3 thoughts on “15 Young Adult Novels for Fans of IF I STAY by Gayle Forman

  1. Hi I was just wondering you would be able to help me find the best series or book to read I really enjoy books like pretty little liars , the lying game and other mystery,drama,murder and discovering can you please help me I love books I want a book that you feel yourself get lost into more more each word that you read it’s like Alice in wonderland with the rabbit then cat once she’s in wonderland she can’t help but discover more

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