If I Stay
|If I Stay|
|Followed by||Where She Went|
If I Stay is a young adult novel and thriller by Gayle Forman published in 2009. The story follows 17-year-old Mia as she deals with the aftermath of a catastrophic car accident involving her family. In a coma, Mia has an out-of-body experience, and watches as friends and family gather at the hospital where she is being treated. Mia watches as her memories flash before her eyes as she comes to realize that she must decide if she is to wake up and lead a life far more difficult than she ever anticipated, or to slip away and die. It has received widely positive reviews. A sequel hit shelves in April 2011, entitled Where She Went.
Mia Hall: the protagonist of the story. Mia is quiet, kind and very musically gifted. Above all things, she loves her family, her cello and her friends. Mia struggles with belonging, often feeling like she is out of place next to her rock and roll, rebellious family and boyfriend. She recently begins to view her heritage with a tiny degree of doubt, pertaining to the lack of similarities in character and demeanor.
Adam Wilde: Adam is Mia's boyfriend. He is said to be very handsome, and loves music. He plays guitar and sings for his band "Shooting Star". Adam adores Mia and Mia's family and goes through a considerable amount of grief after the accident. Adam was from Oregon.
Kim Schein: Kim is 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 becomes apparent by the amount of devotion she shows to getting Adam in to see Mia, though they have never liked each other, as is seen countless times in flashbacks.
Teddy Hall: Teddy is Mia's little brother. Mia is extremely fond of Teddy, saying he is like her own kid. Teddy admires Mia and the two are very close. Throughout the book, Mia worries the most about Teddy, as it is unclear at first to whether or not he has died alongside her parents in the accident.
Kat Hall: Mia's mother is a "tough as nails, tender as kittens." She loves rock and her family. She is sometimes protective and is fiercely loyal. She has previously had issues with Mia's love for classical music, but accepts it as part of Mia's life. She is not the cook of the family.
Denny Hall: Mia's father is quite rebellious but is also mature. He steps up to be father and eventually gives up his band in favor of teaching. He is hesitant to admit that he still likes the thought of the band. Both of Mia's parents approve and even love Mia's boyfriend Adam.
Lynn Rashid of the School Library Journal explained that the novel has "captivating characters" that "will cause [readers] to laugh, cry, and love" and "question the boundaries of family and love." Mia has a "compelling story" said Rashid.
In terms of thematic interpretations, Elle Wolterbeek of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy explained that "[m]usic is an extremely important aspect of the story."
According to the Thuy On, "The title refers to the battle between fate and self-will." The reviewer also agreed that the novel addressed "the tug of familial and sexual love and the bonds between friends as well as the passion for music."
A film version of the book is in the works at Summit Entertainment. Chloë Grace Moretz was selected to play Mia. Catherine Hardwicke was once attached to direct, but has been replaced by Brazilian filmmaker Heitor Dhalia, who also left the production. On January 24, 2013, Moretz was chosen to play the part, and R.J. Cutler was announced as the new director. The film is set for an August 22, 2014 release by Warner Brothers
- Siegel, Robert (3 January 2011). "'If I Stay': Trapped Between Life and Death". All Things Considered (National Public Radio).
- "If I Stay reviews". Amazon.com. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- Staskiewicz, Keith (24 August 2010). "EW Exclusive: Cover peek for 'Where She Went,' the sequel to 'If I Stay'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- Rashid, Lynn (May 2009). "Forman, Gail. If I Stay. (Young Adult Review)". School Library Journal (Marriottsville, MD): 106.
- Wolterbeek, Elle. "If I Stay". Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy (Tempe, AZ: Arizona State University) 53 (7): 616–617.
- On, Thuy. Young adult fiction. pp. A2, p. 28.
- Kroll, Justin (20 October 2010). "Summit asks Dakota Fanning to 'Stay'". Variety. Retrieved 12 March 2011.
- "Chloe Moretz to Lead Young Adult Adaptation 'If I Stay' from R.J. Cutler". Firstshowing.net. 24 January 2013. Retrieved 25 January 2013.
- "Warner Bros., MGM Partner on YA Pic 'If I Stay,' Set 2014 Release". hollywoodreporter.com. 9 January 2013. Retrieved 10 January 2013.