This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is a Page to Screen Freebie. Meaning I can choose books that became movies or TV shows, movies that became books, adaptations I liked or didn’t like, etc. To follow are some I’ve seen and some I haven’t, some I loved and some I didn’t.
Let’s be honest, the movie/show is NEVER as good as the book. Our imaginations and own inner vision of a story play so much into our expectations. Things I may love about an adaptation may be something you hate about the same work. I’m curious to see other lists this week to see where I agree and disagree with my fellow book bloggers.
I’m going to start with a few I wasn’t crazy about because I want to end on my favorites.
The City of Ember
by Jeanne DePrau
I absolutely LOVE this book so was very excited when I found out it was being adapted for the big screen. Of course, I was also leery. But mostly excited. Oh man, they blew it with this movie. They casting was great and all, but there wasn’t much else right. My husband, who hadn’t read the book, didn’t like the movie either. He found it confusing and I had to repeatedly tell him what was happening.
The Maze Runner
by James Dashner
While I didn’t have the loving feelings toward this book as I did toward The City of Ember, I did at least somewhat enjoy the story. Another botched screenplay in my opinion. To be fair, my husband liked this one better than Ember. But he wasn’t thrilled with it either. Again, some very strong actors were cast. The writing of the screenplay just couldn’t hold up.
The Fault in Our Stars
by John Green
I feel like I hear a lot of split reviews when it comes to the movie version of this book. While I didn’t hate the movie, I also wasn’t overly impressed. Taking a vibrant actress and cutting her hair off does not a frail, sick teenager make. She did a wonderful job, yet I didn’t buy that she was as sick as she was supposed to be. On the flip side, Augustus wasn’t as gorgeous and strong looking as I had imagined him to be. This one ended up squarely in the “eh” department for me.
The next books listed I haven’t actually seen their film/television adaptations. They are books I really loved and I’m afraid to see them on the screen because I don’t want to be disappointed. So it’s really a list of books I want to see and will eventually watch, but I’m not quite there yet.
The Handmaid’s Tale
by Margaret Atwood
This story really touched me and scared me at the same time. While I could picture the things in this book happening if we didn’t wake up in society, I read it years ago so I was still in a denial bubble. So not only do I not want my vision of this book ruined if I am not happy with the series that is on HULU, but I’m also inundated with so much negativity in real life and I feel this will hit too close to the truth in our world today. Someday I’m sure I’ll watch it…someday.
Me Before You
by JoJo Moyes
This is one of those books I put off reading, afraid the story wouldn’t live up to the hype. Then the story was everything I hoped for, and more. Now I’m doing the same thing with the movie. Can it really live up to what this book is in my head? I know many people who have read it and seen the movie and they say it can. I’m still scared. Plus, I need to be in the mood for an ugly cry if/when I watch this movie.
by R. L. Palacio
I can truthfully say I don’t know that I’ll ever see this movie. I love the actors involved. I love this book. I do not love the previews I have seen. I get that you have to make a movie visually appealing, but I don’t feel the movie can have the impact the book did if you Hollywood-ize August. I hear it’s a great movie, but I don’t know how many people who have read the book feel that way.
Now, finally, for the screen adaptations of books that I enjoyed. Are they perfect? Of course not. But they are well-made and have thought behind them.
The Haunting of Hill House
by Shirley Jackson
Okay, I know the Netflix series that is adapted from this class Shirley Jackson book does not follow the story…not really anyway. But it’s amazing and the series gets the tone completely right. To be fair, I haven’t read this one in almost a decade. But I remember how it made me feel. I loved this series as a fan of the book. My husband loved this series and has never read this book. It’s an amazing adaptation and I recommend it to everyone who will listen.
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
While I wasn’t ever all in with some of the casting, other characters were cast perfectly (Cinna!). The adaptation leaves things out, there’s no way around that. But all in all they get these movies right. For fans of the books and non-readers alike, these movies keep the viewer riveted.
by Diana Gabaldon
I have loved this series since I first discovered it almost 20 years ago. Of course, through the years I had my own ideas of who would be perfect in all the roles, then they aged out of the roles. There’s no way to adapt these stories without cutting a lot out, but the writers have been doing a beautiful job of keeping the pieces cohesive and following the heart of this story. And they’ve done it in such a way that this series can even anti-romance movie guys are looking forward to each new episode.
by Stephen King
This may be my most controversial pick. Before the made for TV miniseries aired, this was already a favorite book of mine. I read the (very long) book numerous times. Of course I was afraid and excited for this mini series. I think one of the genius things they did with it is cast the perfect cast. I cannot imagine Nick as anyone other than Rob Lowe and whenever I see Gary Sinise I see Stu. The adaptation is old and dated, but I still love it to this day.
I’d like to give a quick note on Harry Potter before I wrap this up. I adore the Harry Potter books. I read them all with my oldest and we would anxiously await each new addition. When he got old enough to want to read them on his own, we would still read them together by each reading a few chapters then passing the book back and forth so we could discuss the story. My whole family loves the movies, but Josh and I had to learn to look at them as almost separate entities from the books. So much had to be left out. So, while I love these movies I just can’t list them as my favorites because nothing can compare to the books in my mind.