If I Stay

If I Stay 10:12 AM Summary & Analysis

Summary
Analysis
When Mia’s ambulance arrives at the hospital, doctors frantically work her on to keep her stable enough for the flight to another hospital. One doctor notes that while her parents were “DOA” (dead on arrival) at the scene of the accident, a boy, approximately seven years old, is in another ambulance on its way. Mia is relieved to hear that Teddy is still alive. She sees Willow, who works as a nurse at the hospital, and wonder if she knows what has happened to her family.
Though Mia is able to witness what happens in the wake of the accident firsthand due to her out-of-body experience, being invisible means she cannot ask what has become of Teddy. Mia feels relieved when she sees Willow, a family friend who is a nurse, and knows that Willow will ensure Teddy is taken care of.
Themes
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
While on the helicopter, Mia recalls how her best friend Kim, an aspiring photographer, once accompanied her uncle on a helicopter trip to photograph Mount St. Helens. Kim disliked the nausea the helicopter induced, and joked that she hoped Mia never had to ride one. Mia thinks to herself that she would like to tell Kim that “sometimes you don’t have a choice in the matter.” As the helicopter speeds through the air, Mia realizes she’s probably not dead yet, since her mother and father haven’t come for her. She wonders if her Gran and Gramps—who were expecting the family for dinner—or Kim knows what has happened. As the helicopter 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 think when she doesn’t arrive at their set meeting point later that day.
Mia’s recollection of what Kim’s words about the helicopter prompts Mia to think about all the things she may never do, and all the people she may never speak to again. Mia continues to ponder the terms of her out-of-body experience, and assumes that if she is not with her parents, she must still be alive. She wonders how her grandparents, Kim, and Adam will each respond to the events of the day. The accident has thrown everything into turmoil.
Themes
Sacrifice and Choice Theme Icon
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
Life and Death Theme Icon
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 cellist) in the spring of her sophomore year and his junior year. Though Mia was initially baffled by the attention Adam paid to her, and thought he was teasing her for not being cool, over several months of chatting she realized he was genuinely interested in her attentiveness to the cello. While Adam is effortlessly cool, Mia’s introversion means that she is well-liked, but not overly popular at school.
Mia, who has always been rather shy and introverted, is concerned that Adam is making fun of her when he first expresses interest in getting to know her and her love of the cello. Over time, however, Mia accepts that Adam is being genuine in his interest, and the two bond over their mutual love of music.
Themes
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
One day Adam mentions that he has two extra tickets to a Yo-Yo Ma concert in Portland that Friday, and Mia agrees to go with him, unsure if it is a date. When Adam holds her hand during the concert, she realizes that he has feelings for her, and that he has a similar reverence for music of all kinds. After the concert, Adam admits that he saved up two weeks worth of pizza delivery tips to buy the tickets. Mia and Adam kiss, sparking the beginning of their relationship.
Since Mia has always felt out of place as a classical musician in a family of rockers, Adam’s grand gesture to buy her Yo-Yo Ma tickets makes their first date extra special. For the first time, Mia feels as if someone understands what the music means to her.
Themes
Music and Harmony Theme Icon
Love, Family, and Relationships Theme Icon
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