If I Stay passes from book to movie


When 17-year-old Mia Hall wakes up to an unexpected snowy morning, her family makes plans to go hang out with her relatives and listen to music. This turns into a catastrophic car accident, and the aftermath isn’t so pleasant. If I Stay, written by Gayle Forman in 2011, opens with a tragedy but morphs into a realm of possibilities regarding one’s beliefs about death and how to cope with it.

Mia is in her senior year of high school and has a big future in her amazing career with music. She’s quiet and makes pretty good grades. Her parents are two ex-punk rockers who have a bit of a “classical” side, and she has an adorable little brother, Teddy, who can act bratty but  adores his older sister. Mia is a bit different from her family as she hold different views about music and style.

She experiences a horrible car accident that snowy morning in which she falls into a coma. During her coma, she has an out-of-body experience. At first, she believes she’s dead. Her body is on the snowy concrete, turning red from the blood. Her mother and father are both dead. Teddy has a little bit of life left in him. Paramedics take her body and transfer her to the ICU with a collapsed lung, ruptured spleen, internal bleeding, and brain damage. Later, Mia finds out that Teddy dies from his conditions. She listens and learns information from her relatives, along with the loss of her mother, father, and brother. Her relatives, the doctors, her best friend, and her boyfriend, Adam, don’t know if Mia will make it.

If I Stay transitions from Mia’s out-of-body experience to flashbacks of before the accident. The flashbacks consist of hanging out with her family, going to concerts with Adam, and playing at concerts with her cello. From the flashbacks, Mia has one big decision to make: to live or pass on. She knows that if she lives, she will be an orphan. If she passes on, she will see her family again but lose her future with Adam, her music, and her relatives.

The movie came out on August 22 and is still available to see in theaters. Gayle Forman also wrote the sequel in April 2013, Where She Went. It takes place about three years after the accident and focuses on the futures of Adam and Mia. If I Stay is a great book to read. I can say that this is my personal favorite book. It is a tearjerker and has parts that will invoke laughter.