If I Stay Plot Summary 🎻

Considered to be Gayle Forman’s best book to date, ‘If I Stay’ gives a perfect analogy of the choices made when faced with unfathomable circumstances.

If I Stay

Gayle Forman

In If I Stay readers will find themselves in the perspective of a 17-year-old girl who is in sadness, grief, and in a situation, she can do almost nothing to affect anyone or anything around her. With the perspective of a grieving girl, readers are thrown into an alternating timeline of the past and present events that have occurred in the life of the protagonist and the underlying choice she must make at the end of her long tiring journey.

If I Stay Plot Summary

‘Spoiler Free’ If I Stay Summary

‘If I Stay’ begins with a 17-year-old girl Mia, a music lover and Cello player, who has a peaceful life, a rock music-lover father and mother, a lovely baby brother, a wonderful friend, and a handsome boyfriend. Mia’s life derails as a tragic event strikes her entire family leaving her in a condition where she is unable to do anything.

Soon Mia discovers that she has the power to make a choice, a choice to stay or a choice to leave. Though her grandfather tells her it was okay and understandable for her to stop fighting and just let go, her boyfriend says otherwise, telling her that she should choose to stay. Finally, Mia makes her choice, and it changes her life forever.

If I Stay Summary

Spoiler alert: important details of the novel are revealed below.

‘If I Stay’ begins on a snowy day in Portland, Oregon, which led to the closure of schools, making Mia, her brother Teddy, her father, and her mother free for the entire day. With the day off, Mia’s family decides to visit Henry and Willow, old friends to Mia’s parents. On their road trip, the car swerves off the lane due to the snow leading to a fatal accident that leaves Mia’s mother and father dead.

Mia wakes up thrown from a distance of the crash, and she rushes back to the car only to see a grueling scene of her mother and father dead. After noticing something strange, Mia discovers she is not visible to any of the paramedics and that she was out of her body like a ghost.

Mia follows her body to the hospital, where she gets treated. Her extended family rushes to the hospital with her grandmother and father arriving first. Mia remains sad because she doubts if her brother Teddy is alright as she hadn’t seen him after the accident, she also wished she could see Adam, her boyfriend and soon she begins reminiscing about her relationship with Adam, her life, and how she felt out of place because of how her music style differed from her family’s and friendship with Kim, her best friend.

Mia becomes confused as she goes back and forth between deciding to stay or to leave. Meanwhile, Mia discovers that Adam wants to visit her, he breaks into her room and is on the brink of touching her when the security caches him.

Soon, Mia finds out that Teddy is dead, heartbroken and dismayed, she decides to make up her mind to leave, but the thought of Kim, Adam, her extended family, and everyone who loves her and wants her to stay weighs on her. Mia finally makes up her mind to leave and is about to do so when Adam visits her and pleads with her to stay telling her she had a life ahead of her, he tells her of how she could still be happy and loved even without her family by her side, he puts a headphone on her ears playing a YoYo Ma song and in an instant Mia stay coming back to her body.


What happens in the book ‘If I Stay?’

If I Stay’ tells the story of 17-year-old Mia Hall who experiences an out-of-body experience after a catastrophic accident leaves every other member of her family dead.

What happens at the end of ‘If I Stay?’

If I Stay’ ends up with Mia waking up after Adam begs her to stay.

Do Adam and Mia end up together

From the closure of ‘If I Stay’, there is no clear indication of Adam and Mia ending up together. However, the answer could be found in the book sequel, Where She Went.

How old is Adam in ‘If I Stay’?

Adam is 18 years old in ‘If I Stay.’

Is ‘If I Stay’ based on a true story?

If I Stay’ was inspired by actual events, but the story itself is a work of fiction.

Joshua Ehiosun
About Joshua Ehiosun
Joshua is an undying lover of literary works. With a keen sense of humor and passion for coining vague ideas into state-of-the-art worded content, he ensures he puts everything he's got into making his work stand out. With his expertise in writing, Joshua works to scrutinize pieces of literature.
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