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If I Stay by: Gayle Forman Book vs. Movie

Picture is movie poster
Picture is movie poster

by Alicia Massey, Staff Reporter

*BEWARE THERE ARE SPOILERS*

One February morning, Mia Hall, her mother, father, and younger brother decide to take a drive since the schools in Oregon declared a snow day. While driving, a pickup truck going 60 miles per hour slams into the passenger side, causing the car to flip over repeatedly. Mia, somehow ends up outside of her body while her physical body is unconscious. Her parents were DOA (dead on arrival) and her brother wasn’t far behind. Mia is left with the decision to stay or go.

“It is my favorite book and I loved it so much. I made my mom read the book and we both cried.”, eighth grader Jules Kapovic said.

Typically, most people will say that the book version is always better than the movie – no matter the book. With a book, people use their imagination in order to envision what is going on and what scene is taking place. In a movie, the producer/ director decides how they would like a scene to be perceived. Whoever is writing the scripts decides how a certain part of the book is understood or what concept to include.

Unlike a book, the movie has a limited time to fit in hundreds of pages of writing. The filmmakers have to do their best to decide what parts of the book are important and what can be left out. A majority of people say the book is better than the movie.

“You can’t mess with perfection. I didn’t like the movie. It was too corny and I didn’t make me feel the emotions I felt when reading the book.”,  junior Molly Strauss said.

The book and movie did have quite a few differences. Mia was given her cello after her first recital not shortly after discovering she loved the cello. In the book, the first person Mia finds after the car crash is her dad’s dead body with chunks of his brain on the ground. In the movie, she sees her own body first. Also her dad wasn’t taken to the hospital in the book, they put the sheet over his body at the scene. Unlike the movie, Teddy was not conscious and given a cat scan before he passed. In the book, the name of Adam’s band is Shooting Star but in the movie they were known as Willamette Stone.

Some obvious differences were, when Mia’s grandma who proposes the idea of Mia applying to Juilliard but in the movie it was Mia’s grandpa who proposed it. In the book, Adam never went to Mia’s house to get the letter from Juilliard to bring to Mia’s bedside in the hospital. Also in the book, he never wrote her a song and performed it. The list goes on and on.

The movie did have some really good parts. They were sure to include the flashbacks like how the book is written. Some important events included in the movie were Mia and Adam’s first date, the Halloween party, Mia and Adam playing together at the labor day weekend BBQ, and Mia’s audition into Juilliard. I think the cast they chose to tell this story was absolutely excellent.

“I thought it was a brilliant movie that took a lot of twist and turns. It was really good overall.” , sophomore Caitlyn Reid said.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. They had a good cast, they kept most of the major details, and it was very entertaining. I loved the cast they used in the movie. I however really did enjoy the book. The author was just so phenomenal that it would be hard trying to make this book into a movie. The visual presentation was a wonderful experience but the book had it beat.

“I think it was really good overall but it ended with a cliffhanger which I didn’t like” , freshmen Emily Perez said.

I really liked If I Stay, the book version so much that it propelled me to read the sequel Where She Went. The sequel is definitely worth reading and there are rumors that they might actually turn the sequel into a film but nothing has been confirmed.

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