Movie Summary (from IMDb): Life changes in an instant for young Mia Hall after a car accident puts her in a coma. During an out-of-body experience, she must decide whether to wake up and live a life far different than she had imagined.
The movie was a lot better than the book, at least in my opinion. The story was more captivating on screen. The characters and the love of music was easier to understand and relate to in film than written word.
The music was a lot more enjoyable and less pretentious, probably because the characters were doing more playing than talking about playing. People talking about playing music always comes across as more pretentious for some reason and actually seeing people play is something completely different to experience. I enjoyed all of the characters, despite disliking them in the book and I think the playing vs talking about playing was one of the major reasons why. I’m not a huge fan of Pacific Northwest hippie scenes, but I thought Mia’s family was far more relatable and understandable in the film. I thought the movie portrayed more aspects of Mia’s life and felt like it was less perfect and less focused on her than the book seemed. I can’t really think of any examples, but perhaps I just feel like the movie was the better way to tell the story.
Though the changes from book to movie were small, there were still a few differences. I preferred the events of the movie completely, as I found them to be more believable than the scenes in the book, especially the whole scene with the characters playing each other like instruments and the part when Adam gets in to the ICU to see Mia. Adam was a lot more likable to me in the movie, so perhaps some of the changes in their actual relationship moments made a difference.
If I Stay is still not my favorite story and the movie didn’t bring me to tears or anything, but I felt feeling totally satisfied because it was better than I expected. Finishing the book left me with zero interest in reading Where She Went, but finishing the movie left me feeling curious and I may end up reading Where She Went to see how things evolve.
Bottom Line: My opinion may not be the norm, but I disliked the book and enjoyed the movie. I say the movie is better.