If I Stay

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Adam Wilde Character Analysis

Adam is Mia’s boyfriend. He is one year older than Mia, and graduated from their high school the year prior. He continues to live in Mia’s town due to his role as guitarist in the local band Shooting Star, which is quickly gaining popularity. Adam is confident and more outgoing than Mia is, which initially led Mia to feel that he was teasing her when he first expressed interest in her. However, Adam won Mia over by taking her to a Yo-Yo Ma concert on their first date. Though Mia often feels out of place at Adam’s punk rock concerts, Adam soon proves that he doesn’t care that she isn’t engaged in the same kind of music that he is, and he loves her for who she is as a person, someone with her own unique tastes.

Adam Wilde Quotes in If I Stay

The If I Stay quotes below are all either spoken by Adam Wilde or refer to Adam Wilde. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
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). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Speak edition of If I Stay published in 2010.
7:09 AM Quotes

Just like with Shooting Star’s meteoric rise, my admission to Juilliard—if it happens—will create certain complications, or, more accurately, would compound the complications that have already cropped up in the last few months.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde
Page Number: 7
Explanation and Analysis:
On the morning of a snow day off from school, Mia's Dad points out a photo of Adam, Mia's boyfriend, in the newspaper. Adam is part of a local band, Shooting Star, that is quickly gaining popularity in the area. In this quote, seeing Adam and his success reminds Mia of some upcoming changes and choices in her life: if she is accepted to the prestigious Juilliard School in New York City, in order to pursue classical cello, she and Adam will have to decide whether to stay together or whether to break up due to the distance. Since Adam's entire band and fan base is in the Pacific Northwest, there is no chance of him joining her in New York City. Although the admissions decision has not yet arrived, the prospect of a change has already caused strain on Adam and Mia's relationship in the last few months. Though the cello is one of the most important things in her life, so is her relationship with Adam. Throughout the novel, Mia is frequently concerned about having to choose the cello over Adam, or the other way around, and often grapples with the pros and cons of moving to NYC, or remaining in Oregon with her family and Adam. 
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I’d actually rather go off with my family. This is another thing you don’t advertise about yourself, but Adam gets that, too.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde
Page Number: 10
Explanation and Analysis:

When the Hall family wakes up to discover a light snowfall—enough to close school for the day—they quickly decide to spend the day together. They decide to visit family friends Willow and Henry, who have a new baby girl, followed by a trip to the bookstore and dinner with their grandparents. In this quote, Mia acknowledges that she will always choose to spend time with her family over anything else. She also acknowledges that as a senior in high school, most other kids her age would pick friends over family. Mia recognizes that she might be making an "uncool" choice, but she seems confident enough to make that choice easily—and Adam, her idealized boyfriend, supports and understands her.

10:12 AM Quotes

“I’m obsessed with music and even I don’t get transported like you do.”

Related Characters: Adam Wilde (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 39
Explanation and Analysis:

When Adam first expresses interest in Mia, she thinks that he is perhaps making fun of her. Adam is a year older and considered popular at their high school, while Mia is known as a quiet and intense student. After watching her practice for days, Adam approaches Mia and expresses his admiration for the intensity with which she practices her cello. He tells her that he, too, enjoys music—he plays guitar in a rock band—but in this quote, he tells her that he has awe for the way in which music seems to "transport" her. Adam and Mia's mutual love for music, and their admiration for the other person's passion for music, becomes a foundation of their relationship to come. However, the differences in their musical interests—Mia's passion for classical cello, Adam's aspirations for his punk rock band—occasionally become a source of tension in the relationship. 

12:19 PM Quotes

A small part of me felt like even applying was some kind of betrayal. Juilliard was in New York. Adam was here.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde
Page Number: 48
Explanation and Analysis:

When it comes time to apply for college, Mia feels very torn between staying in Oregon with Adam and her family, and pursuing her dreams of playing the cello professionally in New York City. As a very talented cellist, she knows deep down that there is a chance that she could be accepted to the prestigious Julliard School, all the way across the country. If her application were to prove successful, she would find it very difficult to choose between following her dreams and continuing to stay in Oregon with those she loves. Adam, also a musician, plays in a popular local band called Shooting Star. As their fan base is on the rise in the Pacific Northwest, there is no possibility of Adam following Mia to New York. Mia feels that in even just applying to Juilliard and entertaining the idea of moving away from home, she is "betraying" her relationship with Adam. She therefore keeps her application a secret from Adam until she finds out that her preliminary audio tape has earned her an audition in San Francisco.

5:40 PM Quotes

“Mia, Mia, Mia,” he said, stroking the tendrils of my hair that had escaped from the wig. “This is the you I like. You definitely dressed sexier and are, you know, blond, and that’s different. But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow. I love that you’re fragile and tough, quiet and kick-ass. Hell, you’re one of the punkest girls I know, no matter who you listen to or what you wear.”

Related Characters: Adam Wilde (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 100
Explanation and Analysis:

When Adam's band plays a show at a popular local venue on Halloween, Mia decides to go all out with her costume. With Mom's help, she dresses up as a sexy punk rock chick. As she's always felt out of place at Shooting Star's crazy concerts, Mia hopes that Adam will be impressed with her attempt to fit in with the other punk rockers. When he sees her after the show, he is shocked at her appearance, but in this quote, he tells her that he loves her for who she usually is, not for who she dresses up as. Though Mia is often worried that she's not "cool" enough for Adam, who is older and in a rock band, Adam explains that he loves her for her quiet intensity, which makes her one of the "punkest" girls he knows, despite her tamer wardrobe and musical choices. It is Adam and Mia's mutual respect and acceptance of each other allows their relationship to thrive, despite the differences in their musical tastes. 

7:13 PM Quotes

“Look, I accept Adam because you love him. And I assume he accepts me because you love me. If it makes you feel any better, your love binds us. And that’s enough. Me and him don’t have to love each other.”

Related Characters: Kim Schein (speaker), Mia Hall, Adam Wilde
Page Number: 116
Explanation and Analysis:

When Mia and Adam first began to date, Mia assumed that as two of the most important people in her life, Kim and Adam would become fast friends. However, after several encounters, it becomes clear that the two teenagers just don't get along very well. This makes Mia very upset. In this quote, Kim explains that Mia shouldn't be upset about Adam not becoming her best friend as well, because they will always be bound, to an extent, by their mutual love for Mia. The fact that Kim and Adam don't hit it off upsets Mia because she comes from a family that, for the most part, exists in total harmony—she is not used to the people in her life not thoroughly enjoying each other's presence. Kim and Adam's mutual respect but lack of fondness for each other is a rude awakening for Mia that sometimes, two people that she loves will not always love each other. 

4:57 AM Quotes

“…I do know that if you want to stay and be with him, I’d support that, though maybe I’m only saying that because I don’t think you’d be able to turn down Juilliard. But I’d understand if you chose love, Adam love, over music love. Either way you win. And either way you lose. What can I tell you? Love’s a bitch.”

Related Characters: Kat Hall (Mom) (speaker), Mia Hall, Adam Wilde
Page Number: 211
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Mia and Mom discuss the difficult choice that Mia has coming up: whether to move to NYC to pursue the cello (if she is accepted to Julliard) or to stay in Oregon and attend a state school closer to Adam. This quote is significant because it parallels the extremely difficult choice that Mia must imminently make: whether to stay alive, or to join her parents and brother in death. Like with the choice between "Adam love" and "music love," each option has significant pros and cons. Mia recalls this quote because of the unconditional support that Mom always gave to her. Regardless of what she chooses, Mia knows that she has an immense amount of love waiting for her on the side of life or on the side of death. With either option she wins, and with either option she loses. The decision between life and death, like love, is a "bitch." 

5:42 AM Quotes

So I played. And even though you wouldn’t think it, the cello didn’t sound half bad with all those guitars. In fact, it sounded pretty amazing.

Related Characters: Mia Hall (speaker), Adam Wilde, Denny Hall (Dad)
Related Symbols: The Cello, Punk Rock and Classical Music
Page Number: 227
Explanation and Analysis:

In this quote, Mia recalls an impromptu party that her family threw one Labor Day. Neighbors and friends come over, and they enjoy barbecue and watermelon together. Later in the evening, Dad and Adam begin to jam on their guitars together. They implore Mia to join them, and begrudgingly, she agrees. Though she is concerned at first that the different instruments won't sound good together, she is surprised to realize how great the two string instruments sound in harmony. This incident is a metaphor for Mia's relationship to both her parents and Adam in terms of musical taste. Though Adam, Mom, and Dad are all big fans of punk rock music, Mia prefers classical music above anything else, though she does enjoy Adam's band, Shooting Star. This difference often makes her nervous that there is something inherently incompatible about her and Adam as a couple, or as a child to her parents in the context of the family dynamic. However, the people around her are always supportive of her passion for the cello, and in instances such as this one, she is reminded of how differences between people—or instruments—can give rise to incredibly beautiful and rich experiences, relationships, and musical jam sessions. 

7:16 AM Quotes

“I can lose you like that if I don’t lose you today. I’ll let you go. If you stay.”

Related Characters: Adam Wilde (speaker), Mia Hall
Page Number: 231
Explanation and Analysis:
Adam, who has been crying, comes into Mia's hospital room and collapses next to her bed. Worried that she is about to die, he tells her comatose body that he loves her and that if she survives, he is willing to quit Shooting Star and move to New York with her. In this quote, he also tells Mia that if she survives and decides to leave him when she moves to New York, he will understand her decision. As all of Adam's musical dreams remain in Oregon, this is a huge declaration of love—Adam is willing to give up the band he loves in order to be with the girl that he loves. However, his selflessness also shows in this speech, as he says that as long as Mia is alive, he will also understand if she wants to end the relationship to focus on the cello in New York. It is in this moment that Adam's true devotion to Mia is revealed: as long as she is alive and well, he will be happy, regardless of whether they continue to be in a relationship or not. It is this declaration of sacrifice and selflessness that ultimately convinces Mia to stay. 
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Adam Wilde Character Timeline in If I Stay

The timeline below shows where the character Adam Wilde appears in If I Stay. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
7:09 AM
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As the family eats breakfast together, Mia’s Dad points out a photo of Mia’s boyfriend, Adam, in the newspaper. Adam is a member of a local up-and-coming band, Shooting Star, which... (full context)
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...be musicians in the same punk-rock scene as Mom and Dad. Though Mia knows that Adam is busy with his touring band, and that her best friend, Kim, is occupied by... (full context)
8:17 AM
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...is a nightmare. To calm herself down, she focuses on the music and plays what Adam calls her “air cello,” practicing the notes without her instrument. When the music dies away,... (full context)
10:12 AM
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...passes Mount Hood, Mia realizes she and the medic team are bound for Portland, where Adam is scheduled to play guitar in a gig that night. She wonders what he will... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls being asked by Adam if she has “ever heard of this Yo-Yo Ma dude” (Yo-Yo Ma is a famous... (full context)
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One day Adam mentions that he has two extra tickets to a Yo-Yo Ma concert in Portland that... (full context)
12:19 PM
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...application, subsequently receiving an invitation to audition. Though she is excited, Mia feels nervous that Adam will be upset, since he plans on remaining in Oregon to pursue the success of... (full context)
3:47 PM
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...mentions the names of many relatives who are en route to see Mia, Mia notes Adam’s absence, and hopes he is on his way. (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that she and Adam did not transition from friends to boyfriend and girlfriend as smoothly as she had hoped.... (full context)
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Mia notes that had it not been for Adam’s warm relationship with her family, their romance may not have developed to the extent that... (full context)
5:40 PM
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...that she is the only one who can decide whether she stays alive and joins Adam, Kim, and her grandparents, or whether she passes on to death to join her immediate... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia remembers Adam showing her a Mozart Halloween costume he spent $100 putting together. At the mention of... (full context)
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...in, and is able to let go of her insecurities enough to enjoy herself among Adam’s friends and fans. (full context)
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After the show, Mia asks Adam if he prefers her punk-rock persona to her quiet classical music personality. Adam replies that... (full context)
7:13 PM
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Much to Mia’s relief, Adam finally arrives at the hospital, accompanied by members of Shooting Star. From the windowsill in... (full context)
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...their concert to open for Bikini, a popular local indie band, in order to accompany Adam to the hospital. Mia recalls another time one of the band members was too distraught... (full context)
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Unfortunately, when Adam and Kim reach the ICU to see Mia, they are denied entry to see her... (full context)
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...wait for college for romance, it came as a surprise to both of them when Adam and Mia began dating. When Mia broke the news to Kim, she already knew, thanks... (full context)
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Though Adam fits right in with Mia’s family once they begin dating, Mia is upset when he... (full context)
8:12 PM
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Mia searches the hospital to find Adam and Kim again, and discovers them looking for nurse or janitor’s uniforms in an attempt... (full context)
9:06 PM
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...Bikini, the popular indie band that Shooting Star was supposed to open for in Portland. Adam’s plan is to have Brooke make enough of a ruckus in the ICU to distract... (full context)
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As Kim and Adam are being led away by security, they run into Willow, who has come from the... (full context)
10:40 PM
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When Kerry dies, Mia, her family, Adam, Willow, and Henry drive several hours to Kerry’s hometown to attend his funeral. Although he... (full context)
4:57 AM
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Meanwhile, Willow convinces the head nurse to allow Adam to visit Mia. Fatigued from the surgery, Mia (the out-of-body Mia) is unable to leave... (full context)
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Nurse Ramirez leaves Adam and Mia alone in the room. While Adam is initially in shock when he sees... (full context)
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In a flashback, Mia recalls that before Adam, she never expected to fall in love. She and Kim always assumed they would be... (full context)
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However, Mia recalls fighting with Adam more than ever that past fall, usually due to the tension of where Mia would... (full context)
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After Mia aces the Juilliard audition, she first tells Adam she just did “okay,” then changes her mind and tells him she played better than... (full context)
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Mia and Adam try to diffuse the tension by joking about Mia going to a local college to... (full context)
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...that Mia seems upset. They discuss Mia’s worry about the future of her relationship with Adam. Mom admits that while she believes Adam and Mia are truly in love, relationships can... (full context)
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In another flashback, Mia recalls the last time she and Adam discussed the future of their relationship, on Adam’s futon in the “House of Rock” he... (full context)
5:42 AM
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Adam leaves Mia’s hospital room abruptly, telling Nurse Ramirez that he has forgotten something and will... (full context)
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...want to retain all the loving memories she has of her family and Kim. Remembering Adam, however, would be too painful. (full context)
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...grill, cold watermelon, and wild blackberry pies. Mia feels especially happy when Dad, Henry, and Adam jam on their guitars and sing. They invite her to join on her cello. She... (full context)
7:16 AM
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...has ended. Mia feels ready to give into death, but wants to wait to see Adam one last time. (full context)
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Adam soon comes and collapses into a chair next to Mia’s bed. He has clearly been... (full context)
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Adam puts headphones around Mia’s ears, and plays Yo-Yo Ma’s Andante con moto e poco rubato.... (full context)
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Mia concentrates on the feeling of Adam’s hand in hers. She summons all the love she knows she will receive even as... (full context)