Books being made into movies is one of those things I both love and fear. I am stuck in the middle you see because I was addicted to movies before I rediscovered my love for books so now loving them both in equal measure I sometimes am conflicted. Book to movie adaptations, I'm going to see them no question about it. So over the years I have developed this method of looking at them independently. If the movie is on point with the book, book nerd me is super excited. If it veers from it or becomes something that is nothing like the book then I think about the movie as a movie only and decide if I like it from there. Case in point with some, I liked the movies as free entities but as adaptations they kinda sucked.
I saw this as I have If I Stay the book by Gayle Forman and movie to review. Now this movie came out a few weeks back and I just managed to watch it today. My good friend (Thank you Ninja) took me out for my birthday (yesterday whoohoo) and I got to see it. The first week it came out I had just picked up the book and wanted to wait until after, of course, then my work schedule did a flip around from days to swings and 11 days straight when meant the next weekend was only there in theory and the next one I spent catching up on my house chores. I wish my local theatre opened before 3pm during the week, if they opened at say noonish I'd be able to squeeze in movies before work but working 3:30pm to midnight kinda limits movie options. So I was thrilled to have my plans for this birthday weekend include finally getting to see If I Stay.
For those of you who don't know it's the story is about Mia (in the movie played beautifully by Chloe Grace Moretz), and how life can change in an instant; and about choice. After a car accident her body is in a coma type state and Mia is in an out of body type experience and she must decide to wake up and live a life changed or give up. The book and the movie stayed pretty close to one another. Of course some things were changes for better imagery in the movie, as you would expect, and some scenes added in there to show something better than narration/internal dialog that may be in the book explaining something but I enjoyed it. There was one little thing that got me and it was pretty much at the very end part of the movie, so I won't be spoiling it but anyone who read the book will understand. The cast did a great job bringing the characters to life sure but then we have music, which is like a character all in itself. The main characters, pretty much everyone is a musician of some sort and that was an important part of their story and that stayed true. Also keeping with the book the movie ends just as abruptly as the book did. The book which as I finished…my kindle said complete I felt I must be missing more. The story is complete, yes but I'm not accustomed to that abrupt an ending. It is strange for me but still it felt right after the initial shock. I do know there is a sequel book Where She Went that I look forward to picking up soon.
If it isn't clear, this story is told mostly through flash back/memories. I know some people don't like reading those type of books that they can get confusing, I understand. I didn’t have that problem with this book, it seemed the only way to tell this type of story and make the readers/watchers feel for the characters. And there are some serious feels in this. When I first saw the trailer I got teary eyed, then with the second trailer I was flat out in tears. A+ to whoever made that trailer because it explains the plot, the feel, and the song was key on and hit at the right points. Beautiful. I cried my eyes out at parts of the book and movie. I knew I would and brought tissues, this just tugs at the heart strings and makes you wonder if you had that choice to make, would you stay?
I'm older that Mia and don't live at home but I'm still close to my family. I felt conflicted and heartbroken right along with Mia as I devoured the story and tried to piece things together to figure out what is the right answer. Because honestly everyone is different but it makes you think about the fragility of life and how you could easily lose someone you love. So I guess the take away from this book/movie is to always live in the moment and make sure to cherish the ones you love and enjoy your family both the one you were born into as well as the one you picked.
I give the book and the movie 5 Stars. Have you read If I Stay or watched the movie? Tell me below your thoughts and if it was you in Mia's place, would you stay?