Earlier this week I was given to opportunity to attend a special screening of If I Stay thanks to Penguin Canada. Already being a fan of Chloe Grace Moretz and director R.J Cutler (He directed The September Issue, one of my favourite documentaries ever) I was excited to go see a favourite book of so many adapted to screen.
Admittedly, I am probably one of few who didn’t cry while reading If I Stay. While I read the book and loved it’s themes of family and love; it was it’s sequel Where She Went that had me balling like a baby. That being said, I always considered If I Stay as a more family orientated book. I always saw it as a story about Mia and her family more so than just the romance between Mia and Adam (Of course, Mia and Adam’s relationship was super important but I never saw it as the main focus). So going into the movie I was looking forward to how the Hall’s family dynamic was going to be portrayed on screen.
What really impressed me about If I Stay was how true to the book the script was. Fans of the beloved book are definitely going to enjoy this adaption. Favourite scenes all found their way into the movie and the relationship between Mia and her parents, Mia and Teddy and Mia and Adam were all properly developed and utilized. My favourite aspect of the movie was diffently the music scenes. When Mia played the cello or Adam was on stage playing with his band I actually felt myself getting lost in their music and seeing how their characters did, too.
While If I Stay managed to remain a faithful adaption and I can see fans of the book being pleased with it I really wish some characters and relationships had been explored more throughout the movie. Also, I think the ending with Adam’s speech (one of my favourite parts of the book) could have been handled differently in the movie and been more effective. That being said I think anyone who really loved the book is going to love this adaption.