Google+ Reading Teen: I Should've Read the Book First {IF I STAY Movie Review}

Monday, August 18, 2014

I Should've Read the Book First {IF I STAY Movie Review}

ChloĆ« Grace Moretz stars as comatose teen who has an out-of-body experience following a car accident that kills her entire family.  She then has to make the incredibly difficult choice to let go, and join her family, or to stay.
I was fortunate to be able to get an advanced screening pass to the IF I STAY movie, and I was incredibly excited to see it. I'd been putting off reading it because I'm not a big contemp reader, and I heard this one had a tendency to make people cry. And I hate crying. I debated on whether or not I should read the book before I went to see the movie, but ended up deciding to just see the it without reading it, so that I wouldn't be disappointed in the movie.

If I had it to do over again, I would read the book first.

I go back and forth about reading books first or seeing movies first, but I think I have come to the conclusion that I like to see fantasy movies first but read contemporary books first. I think when I read fantasy first, I'm always disappointed in the movie, because it just can't live up. But with contemp, I think I get more emotionally attached to the characters and the story if I read it first. And I think it's easier to adapt contemp into movies than it is fantasy, because they're usually shorter, and you don't have to worry about the world-building.

I did like the movie, but it wasn't amazing, for me. As I was watching it, knowing that I would be doing the review later, I kept asking myself, "Do I like this?" And I just wasn't sure. There were definitely parts that I liked a lot, and very moving moments, but they were also parts that were rather slow.

I thought the acting was decent, but not anything extraordinary.   ChloĆ« Grace Moretz was not fantastic, in my opinion. She didn't seem to have much emotion. Throughout the entire movie I just kept thinking she was very monotone. She actually reminded me of a mix of Shailene Woodley and Ariana Grande (in her show Sam & Cat).  Of course not having read the book, I can't say whether this was an accurate portrayal or just a lack of range on the actresses part. To be fair, there did come a point where something very trumatic happened and I thought she did a better job. I thought Jamie Blackley did a pretty good job, but sadly I did not think he was very cute. Yes. This matters. It's hard to get swoony about a guy who I don't find attractive ;P

I also had a hard time, and this probably has more to do with the writing than the actual movie, with Adam. I thought he was kind of a jerk, actually, and I just wasn't impressed with him. I didn't like the way that he treated her, when he didn't like what she's going to do. He seemed to be more interested in himself than what was best for her. Then he would just come back and apologize for it later.  Of course there were also times that he was incredibly sweet, so maybe most will forgive the temper tantrums.

I also thought the parents (actors) were a little on the awkward side. The mother especially was incredibly odd in my opinion. But overall they did a decent job, and I have to say, I loved the family dynamic.  They were really an awesome family.  Of course when things are that good, you know something's going to go horribly wrong...

There were plenty of good things about the movie too. I really enjoyed the music, and wondered if that was something that would be exciting for book fans to actually experience. Since you can't listen to the music they're playing while reading a book.

And since they get together early on in the movie, there's definitely plenty of kissing.  There's lots and lots of kissing...

 The storyline was an interesting one. I don't think I've ever watched anything similar. There were a couple of moments that almost got me (Grandpa!), and I thought I was going to lose it (like the sobbing lady behind me), but I held it together.

Then there was the ending. Wow. That's all I'll say. There were some very loud gasps and WHAT!?s.  I actually thought it was pretty awesome.

Overall, I really did like the movie quite a bit. I don't know that it's one that I will watch over and over like The Fault in Our Stars, but I am glad that I saw it. I'm still not sure if I want to read the book, you'll have to tell me what you think.

What about you?  Are you excited to see this movie?  What are you looking forward to seeing adapted?  Should I read the book?


  1. I read the book and the advanced screening in my area is tomorrow night, I'll let you know how it stacks up in comparison. I definitely enjoyed the book and it was a quick read. I just started the second one. The book did not make me cry though and I was expecting it to. I'm sure the movie will be a bit different with emotions being that you can see everything going on. I'm glad you liked it even if Adam wasn't swoon worthy (which I totally agree on)

    1. Oh, yeah, you'll definitely have to let me know what you think. I wish they'd figure out that it's mostly females going to see these movies, and we want the guys to be hot. We just do. haha

  2. I haven't seen the movie or read the book, but I have had the book on my TBR for a while now. Maybe knowing there is a movie to watch will speed it up for me. Anyway -- I really love Chloe as an actress so I need to see this! As for watching the movie before the book, my policy is to always read first ^.^

    Check out my post about Portugal:

  3. I haven't read the book, so I'm going in blind. And I'm OK with that. I think.

  4. I normally like to watch a movie first and then read the book to fill in the gaps. In this case, I have already read the book and really liked it. I hope the movie doesn't disappoint.

  5. I LOVE If I Stay, it´s a really good book (but my favorite is the sequel) and can´t wait to see this movie!

  6. Thanks for the review! I was lucky enough to get two tickets to the advanced screening in my city on Wednesday. I'm bringing my sister who hasn't read the book yet so I'm very curious to see what she'll think. I can't wait to see it but I hope I don't cry too hard haha. And you've definitely got me interested in seeing the ending :)

    Eileen @ BookCatPin

  7. I read the book when it came out years ago. I love Gayle Forman since then and I will read anything she writes, even though I loved If I Stay sequel much better. I will still watch the movie :)


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