‘If I Stay’: is the book or movie better?


Chloe Moretz as Mia and Jamie Blackley as her boyfriend, Adam. The two share an out-of-body moment after Mia’s accident.

Sabrina Brons, Reporter

Books have been written, years have passed, and movies have been created, but the age old question still lives: which is better: the book or the movie?

“If I Stay” by Gayle Forman is the story of a gifted cello player named Mia whose whole life changes in a split second. “If I Stay”, directed by R.J. Cutler, is also the story of a gifted cello player named Mia whose whole life changes in a split second. Both stories follow Mia while she makes a life or death decision after her family got killed in a car accident. If she stays, she wakes up an orphan, but if she leaves, she won’t know if she got into Juilliard and won’t be with her boyfriend, Adam, anymore.

Both stories are equally compelling, however, the movie is never the same quality as the book.

The big differences for me that make the book better than the movie are the small details. Of course a movie could never capture the images running through your mind when you first read the book, but they could accurately use the writers’ descriptions to try.

Now the movie was great, don’t get me wrong, the way they started, ended, and everything in between was perfect. However, there were two details which I really thought could have been more accurate in regards to the book.

First off, Teddy, Mia’s brother, was perfectly fine in the movie and then had a rare brain problem and ended up passing away later. Whereas in the book, he dies at a different hospital and the readers are never really told what specifically happened. I personally like the book version better because I felt that killing him after being perceived as fine was a bit too harsh.

The next part I disliked about the movie was the ending. At the end of the movie Adam sings Mia a song, while in the book he tells her that as long as she stays he would do whatever she wanted him to do. I felt that the movie made it too cheesy as well as contradicting towards earlier information about what it would take for Adam to write Mia a song.

Despite my preference for the book, I was pleasantly surprised by the addition of whether or not Mia is accepted into Julliard. In the book, we never find out if Mia made into Julliard, but I’m the movie we do; Adam breaks into Mia’s house and gets her letter from Julliard.

In both plot lines, “If I Stay” is a compelling story that is sure to warm the heart of many. I encourage everyone to read the book before going to the movies, but if you absolutely despise reading then I would still recommend going to watch the movie to see this amazing book come to life. In addition to reading/watching “If I Stay”, I would also recommend reading Gayle Froman’s sequel “Where She Went.”