If I Stay

If I Stay Metaphors and Similes

Like a fish on Mars (Simile)

To illustrate Mia's sense that she does not belong within her family or at school, Forman uses a double simile: "If I felt like a fish out of water in my family, I felt like a fish on Mars in Adam’s circle." The first phrase is a cliché, but Forman amplifies the image and makes it absurd to emphasize Mia's extreme discomfort around Adam's friends.

Hummingbird of panic (Metaphor)

The sight of her dead mother "sends a hummingbird of panic ricocheting through" Mia. In this metaphor, Forman illustrates the intensity of Mia's physical response to her emotions by comparing the feeling to the rapid wing movements of a hummingbird.

Snake of tension (Metaphor)

When speaking of her relationship to Adam, Mia recounts that they "barely even argued, but a snake of tension quietly slithered into our lives." In this metaphor, the insidious, creeping quality of the unspoken tension in their relationship is underscored through a comparison to a snake's sinister, slithering motion.

Like a dewdrop in the sun (Simile)

When reflecting on the significance of her first kiss with Adam, Mia says "I'd kissed boys before, and usually by the next day the kiss had evaporated like a dewdrop in the sun." To illustrate the fleeting quality of those other kisses, Forman compares them to the insignificant and ubiquitous phenomenon of dewdrops evaporating in sunlight.

Sun and moon (Simile)

Forman uses an extended gravitational simile to emphasize Brooke Vega's magnetic aura: "With her magenta hair, she’s like the sun, around which her admiring planets revolve. Adam is like a moon, standing off to the side, stroking his chin." Without directly stating it, the difference between Brooke's and Adam's presence is made plain: Brooke is the bright center of attention, while Adam is a dark and minor figure in her orbit.