Book to Movie Review – If I Stay


Today was the release for the popular book-to-movie adaptation of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. The book made me cry, the trailer made me cry, and the movie made me cry so much I thought I was the one teetering on the edge of death. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I know I’m not the only one that slightly feels this way.

R.J. Cutler directed this tear jerking masterpiece, and along with Chloë Grace Moretz as Mia and Jamie Blackley as Adam, this book was done some serious justice. I first read this book a little over a year ago now, and while I wasn’t head over heels in love with it I still enjoyed it. I do have to say, and booklovers don’t hate me for it, but I did enjoy this movie more than I did the book. And I think I have a pretty legitimate argument as to why.

So if you’ve read the book you know how it goes, car accident right off the bat, lots of flashbacks, lots of Mia listening to what her loved ones have to say while she figures out if she wants to live and be an orphan or die and be with her family. Personally I felt like some of the flashback scenes in the book were dry and drawn out. I though it was all written beautifully, Gayle Forman has such a way with words, but I just felt like things were a bit ‘blah’ at times. Since movies tend to cut things out for time I noticed that a lot of those slow moving parts in the book were dropped for a film adaptation. That made me enjoy it thoroughly. I loved this film and I encourage everyone to see it!

Now for the burning questions that all serious booklovers want to know when deciding to see a beloved book turned film: What’s different?

(Spoiler warning!)

Like I said, it had been a year since I had actually read the book. So some details I may have missed, but for the most part there aren’t that many changes in the first place, at least that’s how I felt. One change that was pretty huge, but I absolutely ADORED, was that Adam’s band was renamed Wilamette Stone as apposed to Shooting Star in the book. Sorry Gayle, but for the genre of music that Adam and his band of emo misfits plays I think Wilamette Stone fits a whole lot more. And boy did they rock! They songs were really great and catchy too! Jamie Blackley has some background in music, and it shows through in the movie. I loved what they did with the band.

Something that I didn’t totally love was how Adam was on screen. Maybe I didn’t notice it in the book because I was in denial and the words weren’t totally getting through, but watching the way he would react to Mia wanting to make a future for herself with Julliard was upsetting. He’s kind of a jerk. He redeems himself of course in the end, and they still have that whirlwind romance that you just cheer for, but I don’t exactly know how to describe it, he was just a little rougher than I remembered.

The last major thing I noticed was that at the end when Adam is pleading Mia to stay he opens up her letter to Julliard. I thought what he said to her in the book was just beautiful and that it was enough, but I kind of get why they would add in Julliard. In a way it’s kind of nice because then she’s staying not solely for Adam, but she’s also staying for her future. And of course as we all know, she stays. The movie ends on Mia’s opened eyes, much like the ending to Breaking Dawn pt. 1 (and I have a feeling stuck up critics are going to compare it) but that’s just how it’s supposed to end! I’ve heard some people make remarks like “that’s it” and “are you kidding me” but my question to that is “what more do you want?” She stayed. It’s over. You want more, read the sequel. Although if your heart is fragile like mine, and you are over emotional like I am, then proceed with caution if you have not read Where She Went because it was a roller coaster of mostly rage, more tears, and then happiness.

I recommend If I Stay to anyone who just loves. That’s honestly all you need *insert Beatles music*. This is going down as one of my all time favorite adaptations, and I can’t wait to see it again… but when it comes out on DVD so that way I can ugly cry all I want without getting funny looks. Seriously guys, pack tissues.

Go see If I stay. You won’t regret it.

Also don’t miss our quick Twitter giveaway for a full sized If I Stay movie poster! (US only. Sorry) Follow us on Twitter: @Truly_Dauntless & @PolishedPage for more details!

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