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Review: "If I Stay"

Official movie poster
Official movie poster

Books have the power to capture a moment so poignantly it is almost impossible to produce in any other form, especially when you are trying to adapt it for a full-length feature. In recent years it seems as though Hollywood is up in arms about adapting young adult novels into feature films and unfortunately they don’t always do the book justice. There are, however, a select few movies that stay true to the beauty of the books because frankly it’s incredibly hard to do. This causes problems among the fans that fell in love with the book and hoped to also fall in love with the movie version. It is tragic when this doesn’t happen; luckily this was not the case for the latest movie adaptation, If I Stay, based on the bestseller by Gayle Forman.

The film depicts the same incredibly inspirational and sad story that the book version depicts. In the film Chloe Grace Moretz plays our heroine Mia Hall who loses her entire family to a terrible car accident and now must decide whether she will go with her family to the afterlife or stay with her hotter than hot rocker boyfriend, Adam Wilde played by Jamie Blackley. The film follows the book perfectly, with your typical movie changes of course, but still carries that same depth and emotion that the book does.

Earlier this week I went to see the movie, after finishing both If I Stay and its sequel, Where She Went, and I was honestly terrified. I fell completely in love with the book and the touching story inside it. It wasn't just about life and death it is about embracing the life we have when it's in front of us and not living with regrets. This is a concept that everyone can relate too. Then, of course, there were the incredible characters including Mia Hall (our heroine) who showed a strength that I'm not sure we all have as she fought with the unbearable choice of staying or leaving with her family. In such a tear-jerking movie it is crucial to have something uplifting that can make us smile and for me that was the steaminess of Adam Wilde. He was the perfect boyfriend written beautifully and practically forced the reader to fall in love with him. He cared about Mia unconditionally even though they were complete opposites and she loved him just the same. It was the ultimate love story and the movie got it absolutely right. The actors picked for their roles were superb. You couldn’t have picked better actors if you pulled them straight from the books themselves.

This movie proved that books can be turned into full length features and be done with some integrity and of course keeping in line with why fans loved the stories in the first place. Obviously there were changes made and pieces left out, it is Hollywood after all, but none of the changes effected the beauty of this incredible story.

I highly recommend seeing this film even if you’ve never read the book, just bring a lot of tissues with you!