Book vs. Movie: If I Stay (spoiler free!)

I’m starting a series over here on One Letter L, because a good series always brings the people back for more, right? (At least I hope so…). The real reason I wanted to do this whole book vs. movie thing is because I truly love a good movie adaptation. I mean who wasn’t in tears (at the age of 15) while watching A Walk to Remember? It had it’s flaws, as did the book…a lot of them. Now that I’m an adult and have read some really good books and seen some really awesome movies based on them in the last decade or so, my tastes have changed, but the feeling of connecting details from a book to it’s film counterpart has most definitely not. My friends and family hate seeing them with me, I’m that person in the dark theater leaning over whispering “Yea but it happened like this in the book…”, or audibly sniffling like a fool before the sad scene even happens. In fact, this happened last week with my fiance…two nights in a row. Luckily the second time was in the privacy of our own home, because there were sobs, and snot marks on the collar of my pajama shirt (ew!). 

I finally got the chance to see (aka dragged the man with me) If I Stay on Tuesday. We do movie date night on Tuesdays because our local theater has $5 tickets that day. Only way I could get this guy to see a chick flick of this proportion.

I read the book last month after owning it for a while. I’ll be honest, Chloe Grace Moretz was the reason I bought the book. I saw her beautiful (#womancrushwednesday status) face on the cover while perusing the books section at the grocery store and sneaked it into the basket before J could see. The book was pretty amazing. I have a weakness for young adult contemporary fiction, all the feels, there is nothing else like it. Gayle Forman definitely knows how to make you feel things. The book is about Mia, an extremely gifted cellist who meets the love of her life in a practice room at school. Adam is also a gifted a guitarist in a local up and coming band. You get to know her family, her cool parents (her dad was in a band, mom was a groupie), sweet grandparents, quirky ex-bandmates/best friends of her parents and her little brother Teddy. On a snowy school day (they live right outside of Portland, Oregon) school gets cancelled, so her mom calls in to work and the family plans a day out to visit family friends and her dad’s parents. There is an accident and Mia finds herself in a coma…literally. She has an out of body experience, and has to watch the repercussions of the accident and decide whether or not it’s worth it for her to stay in her life or pass on to the afterlife. As the story progresses, through a series of flashbacks, the reader gets to know Mia’s family, hang out with her best friend and fall in love with Adam.

I will say the movie stayed true to the book for the most part. There were some minor details that were not in sync, but it wasn’t enough to distract from the connection I formed with the book and the connection I had with the characters from the start. The casting was on point, every character that I had formed in my head looked like the characters they cast for the movie. The only real problem I had with the book that I was ok with in the movie was the ending. It was VERY abrupt in the book, I mean I was pissed at the end (come to find out there is a second book in the series, all worked up over nothing…) but somehow the movie pulled it off. Kudos R.J. Cutler! All in all, I gave the book a 5/5 stars on Goodreads (oh yea, did I mention I have an account? Let’s be friends! The link is in the side bar *shameless plug* :)), and I would definitely give the movie 5/5 as well. I don’t think this is Oscar material, but it was a very accurate and beautiful adaptation of a great novel.