Everything changes for Mia Hall when she's in a car accident that puts her into a coma. The accident forces her spirit out of her body and she must wander through her memories to decide whether to die and leave the pain behind or live.
I must admit that I've never read the YA book If I Stay. I've heard about it, but I never really got around to reading it. As a non-book fan I was interested in the trailer for this movie so I decided to go and see it and spoiler alert, I really liked it.
Firstly, the acting is really quite good. Chloe Grace Moretz is the standout as Mia Hall. She's able to capture Mia and really show the emotional turmoil that her character goes through (which is a lot). I thought most of the cast was really good, but, for me, the other stand out was Stacy Keach as Gramps. There's a scene in the movie which is so heart retching that I couldn't help but cry. In the scene Gramps is sitting by Mia's bed and, as he cries, he tells her that it's okay if she dies. You can see in his eyes how hard it is for him to say that, but it's also so relieving, as if those words set Mia free to make her own choice. Some of you might want to know about Jamie Blackley as Adam. I thought he was good, especially the scenes where he plays with his band, but I thought that that his character needed to be built up a bit more for me to really connect with his performance. Also, Adam should always wear eyeliner. Always.
The movie itself is really good. For the most part it switches between Mia's life before the accident and Mia's life after the accident, which is mainly in the hospital. The pre-accident scenes are so good that, at first, the fact that this is happening in the past was pushed into the back of my mind until it switched back to the hospital scenes. Over the course of the movie this constant switching built up tension and really pushed home how painful the present is for Mia. One minute you see her happy and smiling in her past and the next she's watching her unconscious father being wheeled in on a stretcher. It really packs a punch and by the end I was really emotional.
I think I should also mention Mia and Adams relationship. I liked how it developed, but I just wish we were given I bit more time to get to know them. I'm okay with this as I understand that if the movie was longer it might have stretched the story out and made it tedious. Anyway, I liked that their relationship had it's problems, that Adam wasn't perfect. I mean, we don't need another YA relationship depicted as this perfect insta-love thing. This was real, they had problems and Adam was a bit of a shit sometimes but it was okay once things were sorted out between them.
I also liked that it sort of didn't matter if they ended up together because ultimately, it was about Mia's life and it didn't really matter. What mattered was that she made her own choices and that she was happy with those choices.
I won't spoil the ending for you but I was happy when Mia chose whether to live or die because it was about her and what she wanted.
Overall, I really enjoyed this movie and I'd recommend it to fans of YA (especially if you liked the book and/or if you like stuff similar to John Green books) and of romance movies.
Just so you guys know I've put up another story on wattpad. This one is called Seven Stars so read it and let me know when you think. You can either read it there or you can follow the link on the sidebar as it's already up in the Short Stories section of my site.
Oh, if you've seen If I Stay let me know on here or on any of my sites what you think or if I've totally missed the whole point of this movie. Also, is this a good book? Should I read it? Let me know.
Anjulie Te Pohe
Founder of Koru Mag | Mookychick contributor | Avid reader and writer of YA | Takatapui (Maori & bi/queer) | She/Them | Contact: email@example.com