This week on From Page to Screen I'll be tackling Gayle Forman's critically acclaimed young adult novel turned film, If I Stay.
First Let's Discuss The Book
Here is a bit of back story in case some of you aren't familiar with the novel. If I Stay is a novel written by Author Gayle Forman and was published in 2009 by Dutton Penguin. If I Stay chronicles the story of 17-year-old Mia Hall as she deals with the aftermath of a catastrophic car accident involving her family. Upon release the book was well received by fans and critics alike prompting the announcement of a film produced by Summit entertainment as being in the works barely less than a year after the novels release.
Let's take a look at some characters now, shall we.
Mia Hall - Mia is a quiet, kind and musically gifted girl who above all things, loves her family, her cello and her friends. Mia struggles with belonging as she often feels left out of due to her lack of similarities in musical tastes of that of her boyfriend and family.
Adam Wilde - Mia's boyfriend. He is very handsome, loves music, plays guitar and sings for his band "Shooting Star".
Kim Schein - Mia's best friend. They are said to be very alike and are perceived as "dark and studious"—assumptions that often work to their advantage. Kim is sarcastic, and obedient to her emotional mother. She and Mia are inseparable, which is apparent by lengths she goes to get Adam in to the hospital to visit Mia.
Now Let's Discuss The Movie
In case some of you aren't familiar with the film, here is a bit of back story. If I Stay is a young adult romantic drama directed by R.J. Cutlier. If I Stay was released August 18, 2014 by Warner Bros. Entertainment. If I Stay cost $11 million to produce and has grossed $44 million worldwide since its release. Upon released critics were met with mixed feelings regarding the film although most critics agree that Chloë Grace Moretz casting was a fine choice for that of Mia Hall.
Major Differences Between The Book Film
Kim's mom is shown quite a bit.
Adam is more of a background character to Mia.
Adam has a LOT of character development.
After the crash Mia immediately spots her father and mother lying on the asphalt. She knows right away that the situation is very bad.
Mia becomes easily distracted by the accident around her and doesn't find out until later about her family dying.
Adam only mentions writing a song for Mia but never follows through writing it.
Adam not only writes Mia a song but actually impacts her decision to "stay".
Adam enlists the help of fellow musician Brooke Vega and Mia's best friend Kim to slip by security to see Mia in the ICU.
Only Kim is present and the plot to sneak past security fails fairly quickly.
Kim is a really close friend of Mia, in fact the pair are almost inseparable.
Kim is pushed way behind Adam on the importance ladder. She's a friend but we never really see how much in the film.
We never actually learn if Mia was accepted into Julliard although it is implied in a variety of ways.
Adam rushes to Mia's house to find the letter waiting for her, he brings it back to the hospital and reads it to her.
Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Which do I like better? Eh, I guess the film? Honestly, I never did finish If I Stay (I skimmed, I know, bad me) and I probably never will. It's not that I didn't like Gayle Forman's writing but I absolutely detest flashbacks and flash forwards being overused and the book is sort of the poster child for using them plus it is really,really, sappy. As for the film, it is nothing special. I didn't cry or feel any real emotional pull of the hearstrings while watching it. I think mostly my issue was with the actor who played Adam he was just so blah. If I'm not swooning by a guy who can write music, play guitar and be oh so adorable with just a twitch of a smile then we have a problem. I did like Chloe in the role though she plays naive really well and so was believable as the shy introverted Mia. Overall, you should probably read the book for things to make more sense. The parts I knew I could fill in the blanks better but when it passed the point I had stopped reading and started skimming I quickly became sort of lost in the story. Now on the off chance I do pick up If I Stay again and finish it (properly), I'll certainly revisit this post and see if I can add in any more differences that I found.
Still not convinced? Check out the trailer below!
Well that about wraps up this weeks From Page To Screen. Have a recommendation for an upcoming From Page To Screen, let me know in the comments below!
Have you read the book or watched the film?
Which did you like better? Why?
What is your favorite quote or scene from If I Stay?
Leave your answers in the comments below, I love to read your responses. Like what you see? Please share!