After spending a month reading Eldest, I felt I needed a bit of a palate-cleansing: a few books in between Eldest and Brisingr that weren’t super heavy or challenging to read. Two of those books were To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before and The Nearest Far Away Place, both of which I’ve blogged about for the past three weeks. The third fluff-book I read was The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler, which was recommended to me by my great friend Judy and which I thoroughly enjoyed.
I was fully aware while I was reading it that a movie of it had been made, but I purposely avoided looking up anything related to the movie. Am I the only one who does this? I feel like once I’ve seen clips or even photographs of characters, my ‘mental image’ of the character is reshaped and morphed into whoever was cast in the adaptation rather than how they’re actually described or how my mind has conjured them up. I looked the film up afterwards and GEE, everyone (except Jocelyn and maaaaybePrudie) looked totally different than in my head!
This got me thinking about my feelings towards the adaptation of books into movies or shows, along with which books I think have been brilliantly recreated and which should never have existed. Forthwith are the lists I came up with; are you ready?!
Favourite adaptations of books into movies/series
- Room (which is one of my favourite movies ever and which I thought was even better and more hopeful than the book, not to mention that Jacob Tremblay is the best and brightest)
- Pride & Prejudice (the 2005 one, obviously, because of the hand-clench)
- The Hunger Games (I had pictured Peeta differently, by Josh Hutcherson crushed the game so it really didn’t bother me)
- Big Little Lies (Reese Witherspoon can do no wrong; FIGHT ME)
- Never Let Me Go (I actually have to watch this one again, but considering it’s one of my favourite novels, the fact that I didn’t hate it is a good sign! Also I felt like Kiera Knightley, Carey Mulligan and Andrew Garfield were perfectly cast)
- The Handmaid’s Tale (an example of an adaptation and expansion on the original text in such a provocative, nuanced, pitch-perfect way)
Least favourite adaptations of books into movies/series
- Ella Enchanted (which left me harbouring so much anger towards Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy for so long, you guys. This book is one I hold so close to my heart and I was so let down by the film)
- Ender’s Game (which I haven’t seen and refuse to see, but has spoiled the book for so many people to whom I recommend it – argh!)
- Ready Player One (apparently? This is another one I’ve been told is nothing like the book, and so I’m just steering clear)
Books I loved whose movies I still have to watch
- To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (I’m really excited to watch this! From what I’ve heard, and based on seeing the actors, it’s a fantastic adaptation)
- Dumplin’ (Both teen girl dramas and both from Netflix! Thaaanks, Netflix!)
Movies I loved whose books I still have to read
- The Guernsey Literary & Potato Peel Pie Society
Most anticipated adaptations of books into movies/series
- All The Light We Cannot See (which was one of my favourite books read in 2017)
- Looking For Alaska (John Green recently shared a video of the kids who’ve been cast as Miles and Alaska, which Aquapages shared over on her blog, and John’s words on adaptations were just WOW and absolutely more eloquent than anything I’ve said in this post)
- Chaos Walking (which FSFDhjFKSDGHRW because I trust Patrick Ness and I love Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley but I’m just SO.ANXIOUS.ABOUT.HOW.THIS.FILM.IS.GOING.TO.TURN.OUT.)
On the whole, I’m all for books being made into adaptations for the screen (be it movies or series), especially when they’re taken on by someone who clearly loves the books and wants to do them justice. With the rise of the internet, I’m able to get a more discerning idea of whether or not the adaptation is worth my time, and hey – if it gets more people reading the book, this is an epic thing!
What’re your thoughts? What adaptation have you watched lately that you absolutely loved – or hated? Does seeing a screen version of a book impact how you feel about it? Let us know!