If I Stay

by Gayle Forman

Lillian Taylor - Block 3 Hinkle

Characters, Theme, Setting, and Conflict/Plot


Mia - protagonist. A young teenager named Mia is very smart , beautiful, and kind. She is also very respectful and polite. she was also a prodigy cellist who has applied to Julliard. She began playing the cello at a very young age. She fell in love and never thought she would. At times she wasn't sure if she wanted to live or die because her and her family got in a bad car wreck and were all in bad conditions. "Adam is the only one I want to see."

Adam - protagonist. Adam also has a love for music. He is a loving, caring, and a mysterious teenager. He is also a very great boyfriend to Mia. He is always there for Mia, like when she was in the hospital. He thinks that Mia might not make it but is not for sure. Adam always stayed by Mia's side when she was in the hospital

Gramps - supporting character. Gramps was a gruff and quiet man. He supported Mia and her music. He did not always support his son's music, but realized his mistake and did not want to make the same one with Mia. Gramps insisted he take Mia to her Julliard audition. When the audition was over, Gramps who usually gave handshakes and back pats, gave Mia a tight strong hug letting Mia know how much he supports her.

Theme - The theme of the book is that life is unpredictable and all you need to know is that somebody loves you. When Mia was in the hospital she didn't know what was going to happen next, but all she needed to know was that Adam and her family loved her dearly. Her grandpa supported her with going to Julliard and being there for Mia when she was in the hospital. She wanted to go with her parents and brother because she loved them, but also follow her dreams of going to Julliard and creating a life with Adam. Her life seemed to be going as she wanted, but then the car accident happened and she had to make a big decision. She would have had love in heaven and earth.

Setting - The main setting in If I Stay is at a San Francisco hospital which is in present time , but Mia, who's in a coma, looks back in time of how her life was before she was in the hospital in a coma.

Conflict/plot - (Man vs. Self) Exposition: If I Stay takes place in San Francisco, California in present time. Mia is a 17 year old girl who is a prodigy on the cello. She is auditioning for Julliard school of music. Her family includes her parents, brother, and grandfather who support her music and dreams. She loves her family. She meets Adam who also loves music, and they fall in love. Mia and her parents and brother are in a car accident where everyone dies, but Mia. Conflict: The conflict is Mia needing to decide whether she wants to live on earth with Adam, Julliard, and Gramps or go to heaven with her parents and brother. Rising action: Mia is having flashbacks of her family members and her time with Adam, Gramps, and her audition for Julliard. Climax: Mia's spirit is wandering the hospital and is about to go with her family, but then hears music and returns to her hospital room where Adam is beside her body/bed. Falling Action: Adam plays and sings a song he wrote for Mia. Then, he reads her acceptance letter to Julliard. Mia feels physical pain and emotional pain from losing her family. Adam holds her hand tight, and she feels she needs to hold his more than anything in the world. She uses all of the love she has inside from everyone she love, even her cello, and squeezes Adam's hand. Resolution: Mia opens her eyes. Adams says, "Mia?"

Symbolism - Mia's cello was a symbol for her love in music. The cello was a help for Mia, which is a reason why she got offered a scholarship at Julliard.

Book Recommendation/ Review - I enjoyed this book because it was a really strong love story that grabs your attention as well as your emotions. It's inspirational to those who have inner conflicts and have to choose between life or death. The book is very uplifting and makes you think about what is important. One has to consider other people in life as well as well as oneself. I think Mia made the best choice because she chose to continue her life experience, aspirations, and true love. This is definitely a good read.