Books,  Films,  Review,  YA

Book & Movie Review; If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Author: Gayle Forman
Publisher: Random House
Published: 4th Sept 2014
Pages: 240
Format: Paperback
Source:: Library
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD

‘Just listen,’ Adam says with a voice that sounds like shrapnel. I open my eyes wide now. I sit up as much as I can. And I listen.

Stay,’ he says.

Everybody has to make choices.

Some might break you.

For seventeen-year-old Mia, surrounded by a wonderful family, friends and a gorgeous boyfriend decisions might seem tough, but they’re all about a future full of music and love, a future that’s brimming with hope.

But life can change in an instant.

A cold February morning . . . a snowy road . . . and suddenly all of Mia’s choices are gone. Except one.

As alone as she’ll ever be, Mia must make the most difficult choice of all.

Gripping, heartrending and ultimately life-affirming, If I Stay will make you appreciate all that you have, all that you’ve lost – and all that might be.

It Started With

If I Stay is a book that many people have told me to read in the past but one that never got picked up. When the film was announced, I decided to wait until after I watched it before I finally read the book. Thus this review comes from the perspective of someone who saw the film and then read the book. I can now say that I actually preferred the film to the book. (WHAT?) I feel that the film perfected the book in the best way.

A Book

I fell into the story quickly when I started reading the book. Whether this was due to the voice or because of the film, but either way, it worked for me. The book, in my opinion, was more self-reflective than the film. In it Mia reflects on her life and what she has to live for. Which did make for a really lovely and moving story but I didn’t feel as emotional reading the book as I did watching the film. I would still recommend the book but I just felt it fell a little short for me.

Then A Movie

The film, on the other hand, was a lot more humourous than the book. Within minutes you are shown Mia’s eccentric and fun family and it’s hard not to love them. This, for me, meant the film packed the emotional punch harder (but also, this could just be because I watched it first.) I also preferred how the film dealt with the story. It was still Mia’s journey but it was also about the others too, which I liked. There were also a few scenes in the film that weren’t in the book that I just truly loved.

Here It Ends

Essentially I feel that this story was better suited for visual media over written word. While the book was well-written, emotional and gripping, the film made everything feel more together and whole. I really enjoyed that the film brought a fun aspect to the story that didn’t come across so well in the book. But, of course, I can’t help but wonder if things would be different if I’d read the book first!

What did you think about the book/movie? Did you read first? Have you yet to read? Have you yet to watch? Tell me all!



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