Nicole Sperling
April 11, 2014 AT 04:00 AM EDT

If I Stay

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Gayle Forman
publisher
Dutton Juvenile
genre
Fiction

We gave it an C-

Mia Hall (Chloë Grace Moretz) is not your usual teenage heroine. For one thing, the 17-year-old cellist is comatose after a car accident that killed her parents. In the adaptation of Gayle Forman’s 2009 YA best-seller, the story turns on whether she will keep fighting for her life — including her romance with a young singer-guitarist (Jamie Blackley) — or let it all slip away. Portraying Mia in this in-between state was a challenge for documentary director R.J. Cutler (The September Issue). ”She’s not transparent. She doesn’t walk through the walls,” he says. ”We used sound, costume, performance, and Steadicam so you connect with the spirit Mia in a real, grounded way.”

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