If I Stay is a young-adult novel narrated from the perspective of Mia, a seventeen-year-old girl whose mother, father and brother die in a car crash that puts Mia's body into a coma and her consciousness into an out-of-body state. Starting just before the crash, the novel takes place over a twenty-four-hour period, switching between Mia's present in the intensive-care unit and Mia's memories of her family and boyfriend Adam as she decides whether to stay alive or join her parents in death.
Published in 2009, If I Stay topped the New York Times bestseller list for Young Adult Fiction. Despite its popularity, the novel drew criticism from parents and critics who worried the grisly details and challenging themes would be troublesome for emotionally confused teens. In an article for Time Magazine, Forman defended the dark content of her books, suggesting that parents need not be alarmed because "books don't create behaviors."
In 2011, Forman published Where She Went, a sequel that followed Mia's life after her coma. If I Stay was adapted into a well-received film in 2014. By August of the same year, If I Stay reached number one on Apple iBooks, surpassing other popular young adult novels, including The Hunger Games.
If I Stay has been translated into forty languages.