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Alive or Just Breathing?


This playlist is dedicated to the forever young spirit of Mia Hall and her endless courage to brave anything and everything. I can safely say that music plays a major role in the book 'If I Stay' by Gayle Foreman. Therefore, this playlist will hopefully help fellow readers to understand the characters and their feelings and emotions at certain times a little bit better.

  • Alice Cooper (live) by "School's Out"
    The opening scene of the book shows the Halls at home after the radio announced that all schools had to close down due to so much snow on the roads. In the book, teddy sings a few lines of School's Out which shows how much he loved the news he had just heard. Mia was also quite excited and the family soon decided on an adventure for the day.
  • Lay Me Down (Live At The Apollo Theater) by Sam Smith
    This song is originally a love song but in Mia’s case, it shows how she wants to join her family on the ‘other side’. The song befits the situation where Mia had a continuous internal battle with herself— regarding the issue of leaving behind the people she loves or joining her family wherever they are. Mia is stuck in a cross road and only towards the end of the book do the readers find out what she decided on. Furthermore, the song reveals how the aftermath of the catastrophic car accident has altered Mia’s life forever, in more ways than she can ever imagine.
  • Tidal Wave by Karmin
    This particular song reminded me of the time when Adam and Mia were put in a rough situation— Adam’s band and their new-found fame and fans caused a rift between Mia and Adam. This resulted in constant quarreling and fighting between the 2 teenagers who have very different dreams and plans for their future. The seemingly frustrated tone of the song shows how both characters are trying their best to make things work.
  • Cello Sonata No. 3 in A Major, op. 69: IV. Allegro vivace by Wu Han
    In the middle of the story, Mia had a flashback of herself playing her beloved cello and this piece was what I pictured her to have played when she was recording her tape for Julliard. This particular Beethoven piece is powerful and shows Mia’s potential and gift for music. Furthermore, it shows how much music truly means to Mia.
  • What You Know by Two Door Cinema Club
    Over the course of Mia's coma state, she had the chance to go back and relive the bittersweet memories of her life before the fatal car accident that killed her whole family. One of said bittersweet memories she got to relive was her time with Adam. I think this song describes the beginning of Adam and Mia's relationship. Furthermore, the upbeat rhythm of this song symbolizes how their relationship was never slow. Theirs' was almost always exciting.
  • Autumn Leaves (Ed Sheeran) Cover by Luigi Galvez
    I think this song accurately portrays how Adam felt in the period between finding out Mia’s sudden comatose state and coming to terms with the fact that she might not be “his Mia” when she wakes up. Not only do the lyrics in the song set a very mellow mood, it also gives the audience a sense of empathy towards the singer.
  • Fix You by Coldplay
    "When you're too in love to let go" I think this song relates most to Kim and Mia, instead of Adam and Mia. Why? Well in the book, it was Kim who was there by Mia's side the most. And instead of doing what Adam did which was slightly forcing Mia to stay alive, Kim understood her position and told Mia to follow her heart as she too couldn't stand Mia's pain.
  • Promise by Ben Howard
    “And maybe, just maybe I’ll come home.” This line really stuck out to me in the song. This single line means so many things. It means Mia is not ready to face the life she would have to face when she wakes up without her family. It means Mia is terrified and confused. And this single line can even summarize the whole time frame Mia was comatose, wishing that Adam and Kim and her grandparents would understand her decision to let go— and not a minute later, she changes her mind.
  • "Things That Hide Away" (Cover) by The Dear Hunter
    When Mia finally woke up from her deep slumber, she felt unsure and hesitant. She was not sure if she made the right decision, not sure of anything. But she felt like she needed to wake up. She still had so much going on for her; Julliard, her friends and family and her cello. So she did. She woke up and she felt okay for the first time in a very long time.
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