Movie Review: If I Stay {2014 Film}

if i stay

To say I was thrilled that If I Stay was going to become a film would be an understatement. If I Stay is one of the YA books closest to my heart and Gayle Forman, the author of the novel, is on the top of my list of beloved authors. I wanted to see and experience her beautiful story, alive before my eyes. I finally did, just last week.

Did I have expectations? Yes. Were those expectations met? Yes. What were my expectations, anyway? I expected to get all the feels and expected there to be sobbing. And trust me, there were definitely feels and quite a river of tears.

Chloe Moretz portrayed Mia Hall well. It was nice to see her diverge from her usually younger role (like in 500 Days of Summer) as she did with Carrie, and also see the way she brings emotion to her acting in this one. As for her love interest in the film, Jamie Blackley also did a good job as Adam Wilde. In case you didn’t know, Adam Wilde is one of my favorite fictional boys because sa-wooon! Truth be told, I was a little disappointed when the casting was announced because I couldn’t see Jamie Blackley as Adam. However, watching the movie convinced me otherwise. Jamie was able to embody the musician that I fell in love with in the book and while some lines turned out sappier than swoony when he said them, I still think he was a great Adam. (He even had Adam’s I’m-heartbroken-so-I’ll-be-a-douchebag side down. I didn’t think I’d see that here since it was mostly prominent in the second book. I kinda wanted to wack the guy on the head when he was fighting with Mia.)

However, my favorite aspects of the If I Stay movie weren’t really the main characters or their romance (surprise, surprise) but the way the movie portrayed Mia’s closely-knit family, the way it incorporated music and the way it packed an emotional punch. The supporting actors were amazing. Honestly, I probably loved Mia’s parents more than everyone else in the movie, save for her Grandpa who still made me cry a bucket. Mia’s parents made the movie comical and just adorable and through Mia’s memories with them, you see why staying would leave her broken. But at the same time, the movie was able to show how precious music was to her and why staying might be worth it. Those parts really gripped at my heart. Not to mention that I just absolutely love it whenever the soundtrack plays. I’m so happy I got to hear Willamette Stone’s songs and see them (mostly Adam) perform these in the movie.

Everything allowed the film to stay very much true to the book. Whether it was because of Gayle’s enthusiastic involvement with the production, or the talented abilities of the screenwriter and director in transforming the novel to a movie, If I Stay was a lovely adaptation.

Based on my own experience, I believe that those who’ve read the book will be able to really appreciate the movie. That said, whether you were a fan of the novel or just the usual movie-goer, I think If I Stay is worth seeing on the big screen!

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Hazel @ Stay Bookish

Hazel Ureta is an advocate of stories. She is the blogger and Editor-In-Chief of Stay Bookish because she loves talking about books. She enjoys reading Young Adult novels the most and writes them too.
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  1. Celine on September 11, 2014 at 3:57 am

    Glad to hear you liked the movie. I still have to read the book, which I figured I’d best read first :D

  2. Mary on September 11, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Yay! I’m so glad that it turned out well. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but hopefully they make Where She Went into a movie too! I personally enjoyed Adam’s perspective more than Mia’s.
    But anyway, I’m still glad that it did well! :D It’s such a good book.

  3. Nikki Wang on September 11, 2014 at 10:39 pm

    EEEEEEEEK YAY! I’M SO GLAD. I’ve been a bit scared since I wasn’t sure if it’d live up to my expectations or not. @_@ BUT APPARENTLY IT WILL YAY!!!!!!

  4. Audrey | Brunch at Audrey's on September 13, 2014 at 3:08 pm


  5. Taylor Lynn on September 14, 2014 at 4:42 pm

    I haven’t seen the If I Stay movie yet, but I’m definitely looking forward to it–just based on the trailer alone, it looks like the actors and producers have done a wonderful job crafting a rich and emotional adaptation, and I think it will be a fantastic movie! So glad you enjoyed it!

  6. Megan Roberts on September 19, 2014 at 2:47 pm

    I loved this film and reading your view has made me desperately want to read the book now.
    I have become obsessed with your blog now! So glad I have found it!
    This was my review on the movie but I knew nothing about the film when I went to see it.

    • Hazel @ Stay Bookish on September 20, 2014 at 6:50 am

      I’m glad you found the blog too and that you like it! Also so happy to hear that my review has convinced you to check out the book. I also recommend checking out the sequel, Where She Went! :D

      • Megan Roberts on September 22, 2014 at 1:56 pm

        Sounds good, i’ll look for it! Thanks :D

  7. Zed on September 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I loved this movie too and have just started reading the book. I know, I know, I’m doing this the wrong way around but I didn’t expect to enjoy the movie so much!

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