Book/Movie Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Posted August 28, 2014 by lockhartbecca in Uncategorized / 6 Comments

If I Stay

Author: Gayle Forman
Series: If I Stay #1
Publisher: Speak
Genre: YA Contemporary
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 6, 2010
Source: Bought
Rating: 4 Stars
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from Goodreads:
On a day that started
like any other,
 Mia had everything: a loving
family, a gorgeous, admiring boyfriend, and a bright future full of music and
full of choices. In an instant, almost all of that is taken from her. Caught
between life and death, between a happy past and an unknowable future, Mia
spends one critical day contemplating the only decision she has left. It is the
most important decision she’ll ever make.

Simultaneously tragic and hopeful, this is a romantic, riveting, and ultimately
uplifting story about memory, music, living, dying, loving.

I really enjoyed this
book, but I didn’t quite fall in love with it like everyone else did. Maybe it’s
because I was rushing to read it before the movie. Or maybe I just wasn’t in
the right frame of my mind. Because honestly, there wasn’t anything I could
find “wrong” with the book. Nothing that I disliked. I just didn’t fall in
That being said, I
still really enjoyed the story. It was quite moving and it did make me tear up
at times. We all know how much I love books that can make me cry. I really
loved the main character Mia. I loved how passionate she was about the cello. I
loved that she was quiet and kind of socially awkward. She was very concerned
with what people thought of her and I really connected to her on that level
because I was the same way in high school.
I loved how much music
was a part of this story. It was everything really. The book revolved around
the music just as the character’s lives revolved around their music. Adam’s
band, Mia’s cello, Mia’s dad’s band. It just played such an important role.
Coming from a pretty musical family myself, I was definitely able to relate.
I loved Mia’s family. Her
parents were seriously the coolest ever and her little brother Teddy was
precious. They seemed so happy together. It’s like Adam said at one point that
they were a “real family”. They were. So many books these days have broken
homes. Parents that up and left, etc. I loved seeing a functional, healthy
family dynamic. Of course that whole car accident thing really screwed that up…
damn it.
So I finished the book
and felt satisfied. Happy with the way the story played out, eyes slightly damp
from certain parts. But also a little deflated because I didn’t love it like
everyone else. But I shook it off, bought my ticket to see the movie and headed
out with the husband Sunday afternoon.
The movie made me want
to reread the book. I don’t know what it was, but I legit cried during the
movie. Not sniffled. Not teared up. Cried. Maybe it was seeing it come to life?
Maybe, like I said before, I rushed the book. But I felt all the feels. Most
importantly I felt the relationship and the love between Adam and Mia. I didn’t
feel it all that much in the book. I thought they were sweet, but after seeing
the movie, I could see how strong their relationship was and how much they
really did love each other.
I think the movie was
perfectly cast. Adam was perfect. The dark, curly punk rock hair. Mia had that
pretty, reserved look which was just perfect. Her parents looked a little
different from how I pictured them, but it worked. I think that all the actors
did a great job. They were believable and it never felt cheesy.

All in all, I was quite
pleased with the movie. It seriously made me want to run home and reread the
book. Which is great. I highly recommend both the book and the movie. I think
that fans of the book will be happy. They stayed true to the movie. Of course
they changed some stuff, but for the most part it was spot on. Happy
reading/movie-going all!  
Have you read this book? Seen the movie? What did you think of both? Did you connect more to the book or to the movie? 

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6 responses to “Book/Movie Review: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

  1. I sobbed reading the book…and sobbed during the movie haha. I found a spot to sit and cry by myself (yup I went by myself). I loved the movie. Thought Adam was perfect and I just loved all the music coming to life! It made me want to go home and reread where she went right away. Which I actually am right now haha. You should read where she went!! It wasn't sad to me like if I stay but very…emotional all the same.

    • haha I almost went by myself but then I decided to torture my husband by dragging him along with me. lol. Adam was so perfectly cast. He was exactly how I pictured him while reading the book. Maybe that's because I had already seen the actor's face tho? Whatever the case, he was perfect. I really want to read Where She Went!! I want to know what happens next and how she's going to get through everything.

  2. I really liked the book too, but same as you, for some reason I didn't emotionally connect to the characters so I wasn't feeling all the feels. Hopefully I'll get to see the movie soon and then I'll read Where She Went. ~Pam

    • I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who wasn't like sobbing reading the book. I thought there was something wrong with me. Lol. I definitely want to read Where She Went soon because I'm dying to know what happens and were Mia goes.

  3. I’m pretty sure fans of Adam and Mia both love the novel and the movie. I believe it’s easier to feel the love and other emotions when you can see the characters in motion pictures, than imagining them while reading the book. On the other hand, it’s nice to know that you enjoyed watching the movie as well as reading the novel. Have you read the next book? That is also a heart-warming novel that you shouldn’t miss. Thanks for sharing that! 🙂

    Simon Walker @ The ViewLorium

    • Yes, I definitely agree. A movie adaptation done right can be so amazing, really bringing the characters to life in front of you. And I definitely felt the emotion watching this one. I haven't read the next book yet, but it's definitely on my list! I've heard it's even more amazing than the first one.

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