Sunday, February 8, 2015

If I Stay by Gayle Forman

   Considering the fact that I saw the film adaption of If I Stay a few months ago, I thought that reading the book would simply be a repeat of what I watched. Honestly I'm glad that I watched the movie because it gives me another perspective to compare the book to. Through reading Gayle Forman's novel, I have a better understanding of the relationship between Mia and her friends and family. These are aspects of the book that are often left out of the movie. For instance, I am enjoying reading about how Mia and Kim became friends and the ups and downs that their relationship has had. I would have never guessed that Mia and Kim hated each other during the first few months that they met in school. Reading about their roller coaster friendship is something that many people can identify with, including myself. This makes everything that more authentic. Obviously friendships are not picture perfect! 
    As I am reading, I have found myself saying "oh that was in the movie!" Or "or wait, why didn't the movie talk about this part?!" It's interesting to point out the parts that were highlighted in the film, and those that were not. It makes you wonder why certain details were more important than others. 
     Finally taking the time to read If I Stay has also given me the opportunity to analyze the book and determine the central themes. One theme that I am noticing thus far is the power of choice. Although Mia is in a coma, she still has control over whether she dies or not. It began to click in my head that this may be one of the themes, as I was reading page 82. At the end of the first paragraph one of the nurses states," she's running the show. Maybe she's just biding her time. So you talk to her. You tell her to take all the time she needs, but come on back." Although I know whether Mia decides to stay or not, reading this sent a chill down my spine. Despite being in a coma, Mia is in control of her body and must make a difficult decision. Yet, this is something that no one around her is aware of. Seeing all her friends and family in the hospital but not being able to communicate with them must be frustrating for Mia. As I was reading this, I wondered if comatose patients can actually hear the things those around them are saying.  You often hear doctors telling patients that being in their presence and talking to the, can be helpfu, but is it truly? If I Stay gives readers an interesting perspective of diving into the mind of a comatose patient.  Reading this is making me interested about what patients are actually aware of when in this particular state. Time to do a little research I guess! 


  1. Keara,

    I think it is interesting how you read the book after watching the movie. That provides you with good insight into the book and it is always fascinating to see what makes in into the movie and what doesn't. Although I have not seen the movie, it is amazing to me how directors and writers determine what parts of the books to keep, change, and omit. Do you think the movie do the book justice? Was the movie able to capture the relationship Mia had with her family, Kim, and Adam?

    I also liked your thoughts about what the nurse said on p.82. When I read that part, I found myself thinking differently than you. I am not sure if it is possible for patients that are in a coma to choose if they live or die. I feel like at that point, they have little to no control. However, I am no expert and I should probably do some research as well!

  2. Christina,
    Yes, I would say that the movie did the book justice! The producers and writers did a commendable job with highlighitng the major elements of the book. Although, your question about whether or not the relationships Mia had with her friends and family were accurately represented made me think. Personally I do not feel as though her relationship with Teddy was captured well. Honestly the movie merely glanced over his character all together. I am glad that I had a chance to read the book and was able to understand Teddy's humorous and adorable side. Mia seemed li,e a second mother to Teddy in the book and I wish that bond was captured in the film adaption.
    I think you misunderstood my thoughts about Mia having the choice to live or not! I do not think that all comatose patients have the choice to live like Mia. Obviously when in such a state, you are not necessarily in control of your body or what happens to you. Yet, this is something that Gayle Forman centered her novel around. Thinking only from the perspective of Mia and no other comatose patients, yes, she does have the power to choose whether she should stay or go. As I am reading further, I have noticed that her love for her family, friends and music play a key role in her decision to stay or not. Have you noticed either the theme of love or choice as you are reading? I wonder if you have a perspective that pinpoints different central ideas!