If I Stay- Will you?

Allie Z.

Staff Writer

Known by practically everyone, the book If I Stay by Gayle Forman is about Mia Hall, a 17-year-old girl, who is involved in a horrible car crash. The story is set in the hospital where Mia is being cared for in Portland, Oregon.  If I Stay takes place in the span of 24 hours, the 24 hours directly following the collision; during this time, Mia has flashbacks of significant moments from her past.

Mia had grown up with a rocker family, so when she decides to play the cello at a young age, her parents are shocked. Everyone around Mia is involved in rock music, even Mia’s boyfriend, Adam Wilde, who is a singer in a rock band. Adam and Mia are two completely different people, yet they love one other. Mia is filled with self-conflict throughout the story; Freshman Regan Childree said that sometimes throughout the book she felt as if “Mia wasn’t thinking clearly.” Mia has many friends and family who love and care for her, and this book shows that friends and family can come together for someone no matter what the situation is.

Before the car crash had ever happened, all Mia had cared about was Julliard, Adam, and her family. Day after day Mia would practice her cello for her Julliard audition. Mia thought her audition went really well, and that she played better than she ever had. Freshman Emma Cook thought Mia would end up going to Julliard because “she lives for music, and music is her life.” None of this mattered while Mia was in a coma. While in the coma, Mia goes through an out of body experience from the car accident. Mrs. Pati Olton, media specialist, said that she liked “the rules of Mia’s out of body existence and how Gayle Foreman stuck to them.” She thought the characters were well developed in the story.   Mia’s rules of existence were that she couldn’t walk through walls like any normal ghost, she still had to follow the rules just like her human self would.

During Mia’s experience, she goes through this inner self conflict. Mia must decide whether she should stay with her friends and Adam, who is the closest thing she has to a family, or leave to be with her immediate family. Cook did feel that Mia and Adam belonged together because “they both have a strong love for each other, and music is a huge part of that love.” Being out of her body and watching over everyone who has visited her in the hospital helps Mia decide little by little whether she should stay or not.

While Mia is in the hospital, she has flashbacks that come and go of her life, from Adam and Mia’s first kiss to when Teddy, Mia’s brother, was born. All of these flashbacks are important to Mia for specific reasons. Freshman Chrisy Celestin noted that her favorite flashback was “the campfire scene because it showed Mia’s close relationship with her friends and family.” Even though important people in Mia’s life have passed away, she knows she will have people there for her if she does stay. Childree liked the flashback “where Adam dressed as a classical composer and Mia dressed like a punk rock girl for Halloween. Mia had asked Adam if he liked her better if she was a punk girl, but Adam replied, ‘This is the you I like. But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow.’” This flashback is one of Mia’s most important. Mia realizes that Adam does love her that and she would do anything for him.

Along with Adam, Mia’s best friend also has an important role in the book. Mia and her best friend Kim Schein are very similar. Kim is sarcastic and always listens to her emotional mother. Kim and Mia could never be separated, even though Kim and Adam had never gotten along easily; however, Kim tried and went lengths to get Adam into the hospital to see Mia. In many flashbacks, it was said that Kim and Adam had never gotten along with each other, but Mia’s accident had brought them closer together in their friendship. This friendship is a step closer to Mia’s decision of staying or not. Adam and Mia will have to decide whether or not they would stay together if Mia wakes up.  If Mia wakes up, Mrs. Olton said, “She grows so much, and she should elect to stay with Adam, but I think the fact that she has grown so much during her experience will tear them apart.” This experience will change Mia’s life forever.

On August 22, 2014, the movie adaptation of the book was released, Chloë Grace Moretz plays Mia, and Jamie Blackley plays Adam. The movie was the book brought to life; the director did an incredible job keeping all the details from the book in the movie. Celestin said she would watch the movie because she loves the book and “would like to see how it compares to the book.” Mia has a big decision, and so do you. Will you read If I Stay?

[JB1]This does not fit in this paragraph.



  1. fangirl24/7 says:

    This was such a good book!!

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