Home / Books / If I Stay Movie Review – Spoiler Free

If I Stay Movie Review – Spoiler Free

I’m happy to tell you that the If I Stay movie is GOOD, you guys.

Plus, I’m not sure who decided to start offering day-before movie premieres at 8 p.m. (instead of midnight), but this old 20-something lady is thankful. Even though I loved midnight premieres in their heyday, I need an earlier bedtime these days.

If I Stay Movie Review – Spoiler Free

I read If I Stay with my book club a few months ago.

It’s a quick and emotional read, and I was excited to see how Hollywood depicted Mia and her family.

if i stay movie review gayle forman

As a Book Adaption

If I Stay as a book adaption was fantastic. They stayed so close to the book, with only a few minor changes.

I absolutely loved who they cast for Mia’s parents (who a friend pointed out are never named in the book!). They so perfectly fit their book counterparts and gave such life to their characters.

Although I liked Chloe Moretz (Mia), she wasn’t the one who stole the show for me. Despite some cheesy lines, Jamie Blackley (Adam) was GREAT. Despite my initial skepticism, he did a great job playing the part of the rock star boyfriend who’s going places.

And, like I said, only a few things were changed. It seemed like a little more drama was added into the movie, as the book is very, very straightforward, giving away a crucial part of the story almost immediately.

Also, I think they sexed up Mia and Adam’s relationship WAY more than in the book. It was like make-out central. Yeesh!

Unlike the early reports of The Giver (which I haven’t seen yet), I think fans will appreciate the trueness of this book adaption.

As a Movie

Had I not gone into the movie prepared to be emotionally wrung out, I think I would have received a nasty shock. This movie is BRUTAL.

In the book, though, the harshness of reality is softened by the author’s lovely writing and storytelling. The movie obviously loses that subtlety, which is a disadvantage.

Also, I wonder how satisfied the average movie-goer will be with the whole story. It’s very direct and there’s one decision that has to be made, which is the ENTIRE point of the movie.

To be very honest, I think only readers of the book will fully appreciate the film. It’s a lot to go through for potentially little pay-off.


Although I enjoyed how true the If I Stay movie stayed to the book, I think some of the magic of the written word was lost in the film adaption. And, I’m unsure whether most movie watchers will enjoy the story, divorced from the excellent writing and deeper characterization of the book.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • Kimberly Rockwell

    love this review. you know what it kind of reminded me of? the time traveler’s wife book vs. movie experience. the husband traveling through time and his inevitable death completely tainted the movie with this overshadowing sense of DOOM. the book wasn’t like that at all- the storyline was the same but each chapter was still beautiful on its own.