The Fault In Our Stars may not be the only YA adaptation to necessitate the use of tissues at the theater this summer. If I Stay, based on Gayle Forman’s emotional 2009 novel for Dutton, releases on August 22. As the current paradigm shifts away from dystopian YA adaptations to more realistic, relationship-focused stories, the upcoming movie has drummed up fervent interest among fans. The MGM/Warner Bros./New Line film, directed by R.J. Cutler, stars Chloë Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, and Jamie Blackley. Forman, who followed If I Stay with a 2011 sequel, Where She Went, served as the film’s executive producer.
The story toes a graceful line between realism and fantasy: 17-year-old Mia (Moretz) is a budding cellist with ambitions of attending Julliard, and is deeply in love with her boyfriend Adam (Blackley), a singer in a rock band, but her life is irrevocably altered when she is the only one in her family to survive a car accident. While she is in a coma, Mia wanders in ghostlike limbo through her memories of the past, and remains cognizant of the events happening around her in the hospital. Mia’s decision – whether to choose to live for Adam and music while facing a life without her family, or to let go – has the potential to unfold with significant tension on-screen.
Page to Screen
There are currently 1.4 million copies of If I Stay in print, including a new movie tie-in edition, which features interviews with Moretz and Blackley and has a first print run of 278,000. The official If I Stay website is offering several promotional campaigns, including the #IfIStay Summer Book Club, which invites readers to submit original pieces of fan art based on four weekly themes introduced on the website (#Live for Family, #Live for Friendship, #Live for Music, and #Live for Love). Winners are chosen based on creativity and originality. The contest runs until August 8; each of the first-place winners will receive a framed print of their art, an If I Stay film poster signed by the cast, and a copy of If I Stay signed by the author. Second-place winners each week will win a signed copy of the novel. Of the four first-place winners, one will be selected, based on merit, to win a trip to the film’s Hollywood premiere on August 20.
As is the case with other YA to screen adaptations, fans of the book naturally expect the movie to honor its content – something that Moretz has noted. As she told Entertainment Weekly. “Being a fan of the book myself, I kind of understood what I wanted to see from the character. And in listening to Gayle, who originated the character, I knew what she wanted to see.... We all tried to stay incredibly faithful to the story.”
To view a trailer revealing some of the musical artists featured on the movie’s soundtrack, click here.