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If I Stay
Transcript of If I Stay
"I know it's silly but I have always wondered if Dad is disappointed I didn't become a rock chick. I'd meant to."
Suddenly, everything in Mia's life has been shattered. Her family has been destroyed. Her life turned upside down. Driving to her grandparent's house, her and her family members got into a fatal accident that will change everything. Mia realizes her parents are dead. She doesn't know where her little brother, whom she's very close with, is. She's lost.
Mia's first real visitors -that is, people being aloud to see injured, broken Mia - are her grandparents. While they visit and even after they leave, Mia realizes that her parents really are gone, after listening to her grandparents talk about them being possible guardian angels.
"I wandered over to the cello in music class- it looked almost human to me. It looked like if you played it, it would tell you secrets, so I started playing. It's been almost 10 years now and I haven't stopped."
If I Stay- Gayle Forman
You don't know what you've got till its gone
Music plays a huge role in this novel. Mia, and everyone around her has a passion for music. Both her parents and her boyfriend Adam had/have music in their lives. It's her way of expression.
Mia doesn't quite fit in with the people she loves. She feels like she doesn't belong, at school, at home, etc. At home, she has different tastes in music, looks, personality type. With Adam (her boyfriend), she feels like she's from a completely different social world. She's insecure and unsure of where she belongs.
"I know something unthinkable has just happened to my family. We are like Humpty Dumpty and all these king's horses and all these king's men cannot put us back together again."
Gateway To The Soul
Music is very symbolic in this novel. All throughout the novel, there are flashbacks, thoughts, memories and events all involving music.
Odd One Out
In The Blink Of An Eye
State of Shock
Mia experiences an out of body experience after the accident. She sees her parents dead on the road. She sees the wreckage of what used to be her car. She also sees herself, in the state of dying. Yet she can't do anything about it. She's like a ghost, wandering around, taking in everything.
"I had not been able to look for Teddy. If he were like mom and dad, like me... I don't even want to think about it."
"I know it's not Teddy lying there. It's me. The blood from my chest has seeped through my shirt, skirt, sweater and is now pooling like paint drops on the virgin snow."
Wake up! Wakeupwakeupwakeup!'
But I can't. I don't"
"'Am I dead?' I actually have to ask myself this."
Sitting, waiting, watching
"Sometimes I did feel like I came from a different tribe."
While Mia is being transported to the hospital, arrives there, goes through surgery, etc, she's constantly having flashbacks. These flashbacks tell her story, of her childhood and present life. They help us get to know her character. Most of her flashbacks involve her family, her boyfriend Adam, and best friend Kim. These flashbacks help us get to know other main characters as well.
"When I announced to Mom and Dad that I was going to be a cellist, they both burst out laughing. Once they'd realized I was serious, they immediately put on supportive faces. But their reaction still stung- in ways I never told them about."
"I've never been on in a helicopter before. My best friend Kim, has."
"Still, his attention baffled me. It wasn't that Adam was such a popular guy. He wasn't a jock or most-likely-to-succeed. But he was cool. Cool in a way that he played in a band with people who went to the college in town."
Yo-Yo Ma is a symbol in this novel because it's the thing- or guy- that connected Mia to her boyfriend (other than music.) A Yo-Yo Ma concert was their first date, a significant part (the beginning) of their relationship. It's a symbol of their relationship.
"'I got tickets. A pair. You interested?'"
"When Adam showed up to pick me up in a sharkskin suit and Creepers, I realized this really
Mia is in a coma and whether or not she stays is her choice. While watching her family visit, seeing herself and all her injuries from a different perspective, she realizes the choice belongs to no one but her.
Close Yet So Far
"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 to come on back. You're waiting for her."
"'Please don't die. I can understand why you'd want to, but think about this: If you die, there's going to be one of those cheesy Princess Diana memorials at school where everyone puts flowers and candles and notes next to your locker... I know you'd hate that.'"
"'....You still have family.'"
One of the people Mia sees is her best friend Kim. Though Mia couldn't have visitors at that point due to her condition, out-of-body Mia could follow Kim and see what she has to say. While Kim is praying, her character really begins to show, and how close they are is evident.
"'Do you think she decides?' 'You're the one that believes in all the angels'"
'''If they're gone now, but still here, like you believe, what if they want her to join them? What if she wants to join them?'"
"I never bought into her theory that birds and such could be people's guardian angels... my parents aren't here. They are not holding my hand, or cheering me on.'"
Characters: Gran & Gramps
The Ultimate Choice
An Act Of Love
Favorite Passage & Intended Audience
When Adam is informed that only family is permitted to see Mia, he comes up with a plan to sneak in. He convinces his somewhat celebrity friend Brooke to distract the nurses so he can see Mia. The effort he puts into seeing her, even for a short amount of time, shows that their relationship is serious and he isn't willing to let go.
"Adam's idea: Brooke Vega, the indie-music goddess."
Characters : Adam
With so many things happening all at once, so many voices speaking to her, so many losses with either choice she makes, it's nearly impossible for Mia to decide what she wants, especially upon realizing her little brother Teddy died too, leaving her all alone.
"'It's okay. If you want to go. Everyone wants you to stay. I want you to stay more than I've ever wanted anything in my life. But that's what I want. So I'm just telling you that I understand if you go.'"
"'What would they want for me now? As soon as I pose the question, I can see mom's pissed off expression. She'd be livid with me for even contemplating anything BUT staying."
The message of the novel If I Stay, to me, is not knowing what you have until it's taken away from you. Mia struggles to even pick the option to live knowing her family is gone. The song Mia's dad wrote, "Waiting For Vengeance", fits in well with the message: '
What's that sound I hear? It's just my lifetime. It's whistling past my ear. And when I look back, everything seems smaller than life. The way it's been for so long. Since last night
The climax for me is when Mia makes the ultimate decision that this entire novel has been leading up to. Whether or not she stays to fight, or lets it all go. She decides to fight it all and stay.
"I am weak, and this is hard. This is the hardest thing I will ever do. I summon all the love I have ever felt, I summon all the strength that Gran and Gramps and Kim have given me. I summon all the breath Mom and Dad and Teddy would fill me if they could."
"...and suddenly I just need to hold his hand more than anything I've ever needed in this world. Not just be held by it, but hold it back.''
''...and then I squeeze.''
''...'Mia?' he asks''
''..and then I hear the sharp intake of his breath followed by the sound of his voice. It's the first time today I can truly hear him.''
The quote above is my favorite passage because it's what I'd been waiting for the entire novel. In some moments, you truly believe Mia is going to let go, and leave everyone behind. That passage gave me a deep sense of satisfaction. I would recommend this novel for teens aged 13-18, because there are some graphic scenes in it, but not much older than 18, because the writing itself is rather simple & easy to understand.
''and that's how I know. Teddy is gone.''
Symbols: Guardian Angels
Photo Essay by Riley Molloy