Thursday, March 14, 2013

Book Girls Don’t Cry: Book-to-Movie Adaptations

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Inspired by Book Buzzers, Book Girls Don’t Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don’t miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:
This week’s topic was suggested by Kezia of Pansycake Reader

Movie Adaptations are Taking Over!

Let’s take a moment and reflect on upcoming book to movie adaptations (linked to IMDB):
…The list can go on (and these are just the upcoming ones, not already released!) but I think I’ve made my point. SO, it’s no wonder why they’re using books to get ideas from movies, they are usually the most popular movies that release, already having a fan base and all. But having a fanbase with already set expectations–which are usually pretty high–does not give them the easiest audience to please. So, today, let’s talk about that! Which movies we enjoyed, and which ones took precious hours of our lives we’ll never get back! This is my list:
Big Fat Fs:

I did like most of the Harry Potter movies, but not Half-Blood Prince. They left out way too much out of that one and was a huge disappointment!

I mean, none of the Twilight movies are great, but I watched the first movie before reading the book so I didn’t know exactly how bad the actors and everything else was until I read it, then I saw New Moon in a whole new light O_O

Lightning Thief movie was just lame!

Beastly does not look the same at all in the book and movie. In the book he looks like a BEAST! Not a guy with a lot of unfortunate tattoos. Dude, the beast was still hot in the movie, kind of losing the point of it there, no? Also, that fairy tale’s “message” is kind of creepy isn’t it? Just a side thought >.<

I Am Number Four was also very lame. I didn’t love the book, but the movie could have been so much better. Especially the ending fight scene.



I may not like Pattinson in Twilight, but I loved Water for Elephants (one of my favorite books of all time!) and I found he fit the role I had imagined for Jacob perfectly.

I read The Notebook years after watching the movie (which I did several times) and I was very disappointed. The book was way too short and it did not even make a dent in the amount of emotion the movie pours out. One of the only instances I can say the movie is better than the book.

The Hunger Games is my favorite book to movie adaptation so far! Stayed very true to the book and I loved every single actor picked for the roles! Perfection!

I Am Legend is one of my favorite movies, however this one is a unique situation since I find the book has its own story, kind of separating it from the book. I still prefer the book’s plot & ending which is brilliant, but the movie was great and I’m a big fan of Will Smith.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (both part 1 & 2) is by far one of my favorite HP movies and also the truest to the book. It’s darker and a more profound movie as well and they captured the book’s tone perfectly.

Granted, I haven’t actually watched THAT many book-to-movie adaptations because most of the time they’re a let down, so my list here is fairly short. I also went with the more recent ones. I am dying to watch a lot of the upcoming ones on the list above, though, so I’m sure I’ll have more to add on both sides of the hit/miss liss in the coming 2-3 years!

Your turn! 
What are your favorite and least favorite booktomovie adaptations?
Also, don’t forget to leave suggestions for future topics you’d like to see! 🙂
You know you love me!
Xoxo, Book Girl!

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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

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43 Responses to “Book Girls Don’t Cry: Book-to-Movie Adaptations”

  1. Janeal Falor

    What a great topic! Most books don’t turn into very good movies. We readers are hard to please. The Half-Blood Prince really did leave too much out. And well, all the ones you listed were disappointing for me.

    Hunger Games is definitely my favorite book turned movie. I like I am Legend better as a movie, along with Stardust and The Princess Bride. Some of my very favorite movies.

  2. Michelle

    WOW that is a massive list of upcoming books to movies!! I hope 13 Reasons Why is good although IDK about Selena Gomez as Hannah?? And Wake, that has to be better than the book.

    I am Legend, *shudder*, that gave me nightmares… I haven’t read the book and I don’t know if I can. Seriously it freaked me out. And the dog thing 🙁

    I think there are more book to movie flops than there are successes. I thought the first and second Twilight movies were WAY better than the books, but that’s not saying much. I did like the In Her Shoes, Devil Wears Prada, most of the Harry Potters, and American Psycho movie adaptations.

    • Giselle

      13 Reasons Why could be really good I loved the book! But year Selena Gomez… we’ll see I guess! I am Legend rocked the book was awesome!

  3. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    By far my favorite books to movie adaptations are The Lord of the Rings. The movies are so close to the books and so well done. I don’t think I would change a single thing about them. I think the Harry Potter movies are pretty well done too, though once you get to Goblet of Fire, the amount of stuff left out of the movies starts to get a little depressing. I was really disappointed that the whole fight scene was left out of Half Blood Prince. I didn’t 100% love the fight scene in the last movie either.

    My first book to movie disappointment was Congo. When I saw the trailer for the movie as a young teen, I went out and bought the book. When I finally got to see the movie I was really upset. And that’s when I learned how much better books are. 🙂

    • Giselle

      The Lord of the Rings I never read nor watched >.< I hear they're really good though like movie to book. Omg Congo!! I watched that so long ago! I didn't even know it was a book!

  4. Candace

    I haven’t watched that many movies from books but I liked The Hunger Games a lot. I didn’t like Twilight so much. I NEED to watch Water for Elephants since I loved the book and The Lord of the Rings was amazing!
    I have watched the HP movies really (bits and pieces) cause I still need to read the last book.
    I don’t usually feel quite satisfied with movies after reading the books but I want to always read the books first so I’m not picturing the actors when reading.

    • Giselle

      The Hunger Games is def. my favorite book to movie. Water for Elephants was really good, not as good as the book obv but still worth watching!

  5. Melanie

    I am with you there for Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, I am a gigantic fan of the book series and got so infuriated at the movie adaptation! I still cannot believe they’re doing Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters*inserts angry faces* Well, at least Annabeth (Alexandra) has grey contacts and blonde hair 🙂 My favourite is The Help By Kathrynn Stockett, I love the movie and the book-both made me cry.

    When I found out that there was going to be a movie for The Book Thief, half of me died…I will stop at nothing to see this first! It was one of my favourite books(also made me cry) and the audiobook experience was fantabulous!

    • Giselle

      Percy Jackson was a complete bummer! I actually watched the movie and then read the book after (hoping it was better lo) and it made me dislike the movie even more >.<

      Thanks for the comment on the Book Thief audiobook I’ve been looking for some great ones I’m gonna be listening to it soon! 🙂

  6. Belle

    I agree The Notebook movie is way better than the book and The Hunger Games is a great adaptation. But I thought I Am Number Four was better in movie version, though I didn’t love either form. The Princess Bride is probably one of my fave adaptations.

    • Giselle

      I didn’t love either form of I Am #4 either, but the movie could have been SO much better if they had a bigger budget for it. The end fight scene was so lame! In the book it lasted for ages and it was so much more epic!

  7. Jennifer Bielman

    OMG, I didn’t know half those books are being made into movies. So freaking exited. I agree with you about the Harry Potter movies how some were good and some not so much. The Notebook and Legend was amazeballs.

  8. Krazzyme(Young Readers)

    I actually liked New Moon the movie more than the book… It could have something to do with the fact that the book was more depressing 🙂

    Ooooooo They’re making a heist society movie??? WOAH!!

    *Fingers crossed* that they don’t mess up the host

  9. Cindy

    WOW, that list is incredibly long! I can’t believe there are so many book to be adapted! It’s so weird. Anyways, I totally agree about the Twilight movies and, to be honest, I never really liked any of the HP movies. I just loved the books too much.

    I love Water for Elephants! The book and the movie were so good, despite their differences. Also, The Notebook is such an awesome movie and the book is so meh compared to it. I always tell people that not always are books better than the movie, and give The Notebook as an example. The movie adaptation to The Hunger Games is fantastic, it’s my favorite also! And I haven’t read I Am Legend, but I love the movie.

    Even though you think your list is short, I bet you’ve seen way more movies that were adapted from books. There are so many out there, and I know for many that I’ve seen multiple times, I didn’t even know they were based off a book until much later.

    Anyways, I like this feature, it’s fun! Great post 🙂

    • Giselle

      HP movies could have been better I think. I did love the ending though I found it much stronger than the other ones. Nothing comparing to the book, though, not even close! I was surprised by how bad Notebook book was compared to the movie! It was the first time I had read a book and enjoyed the movie more! It was just so short and lacked so much emotion and passion that the movie has!

  10. Ellie

    Awww, I liked the Percy Jackson movie! It wasn’t as good as the book, but it was a lot of fun. I thought The Perks of Being a Wallflower was one of the best book-to-movie adaptations I’ve ever seen, which was perhaps to be expected with the author writing and directing it. I like The Princess Bride, but for me it’s not a patch on the book, DESPITE Inigo’s awesomeness and Cary Elwes being beautiful.

    Normally I’m pretty good at watching a movie as a separate entity to the book, and just enjoying both for what they are, but Beastly was a HUGE disappointment. I read the book and was really looking forward to the movie, but it was completely different! Our young Beast had so much less… heart… than in the book, and all the quirky stuff that made the novel so enjoyable was gone. Not a fan. 🙁

    • Giselle

      I’ve been meaning to watch The Perks of Being a Wallflower but I had heard the book wasn’t that great. Maybe it’s better as a movie? I loved The Princess Bride and I never read the book I should give it a try I hear it’s awesome!

      Beastly was very disappointing. And I watched it hours after finishing the book so I was nitpicking on all the crappy details! >.<

  11. Jenea Whittington

    I guess I really didn’t realize that many books and have been made into movies. I haven’t seen half of that list either. Hunger Games was full of awesomeness, and I saw all the Harry Potters, but the last two were definitely the best ones. I haven’t watched The Notebook because my daughter watched and bawled her eyes out. If she did I know I will too. 🙂 Love the post!

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  12. Diamonds in the Library

    Wow – I didn’t know there were so many in the works! I’d heard about some of these but not Miss Peregrine’s (which I think could actually work really well) or The Book Thief (which terrifies me because the book is so amazing.

    Agreed that the HP movies were decent overall, but that they left out some really key stuff. Alas. Although the Hallows movies were pretty great. I would have liked the Battle of Hogwarts to be grander, but I’m with you that it captured the feeling of the books. I know I cried.

    I think my favorite movie based on a book is Neil Gaiman’s Stardust. It’s a bit silly as a movie but I think it’s wonderful. Have you seen it?

    • Giselle

      No I’ve never seen any Neil Gaiman movies (if there’s even more than 1 I’m just assuming). I did read 1 of his books are enjoyed it! I’ll add it to my movies-to-watch list! 🙂

  13. Megan K.

    Eh, I’m usually kind of icky when it comes to book-to-movie adaptions, because directors just seem to LOVE screwing up a perfectly good plot with what they think are their perfectly sound ideas. (Proof? Look at what I AM NUMBER FOUR and THE LIGHTNING THIEF became!) I agree with your Big Fat Fs. The Lightning Thief was probably one of the worst shows I’ve ever seen. I Am Number Four was still bearable, and so was HP, but they could’ve been a lot better, of course. I really enjoyed The Hunger Games movie adaption, too, though it was definitely NOTHING like the book.

    Your list makes me drool with hunger. Let’s hope the directors/writers/producers/WHATEVER don’t try to mess up a really great plot this time!

    Great post topic, Giselle! 🙂

  14. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    There are so many good ones coming out that I hope they don’t ruin! I really liked the movie I Am Legend, but I haven’t read the book, I’ll have to do that soon. I wasn’t a fan of Water for Elephants but it seems quite a few were, maybe I just have a hate on for Rob? LOL

  15. Amy

    Haha!! OMG I chose HP and the Half Blood Prince and Percy Jackson as fails too!! See we are totally soulmates!!! I still haven’t seen or read Water For Elephants. I know, I suck! I only mentioned a few pass or fails, but I went into a lot of what I am really excited for coming out.

  16. Jessica

    I had watched A Walk To Remember years before reading the book and they’re so different! Loving the movie probably tainted my perspective on the book but I didn’t like it at all but I continue to love the movie. Also, I agree very much with I am Number Four being a bad movie adaptation. I’m interested as to how they’ll make Uglies into a movie

  17. Alexa Y.

    I actually completely agree about The Lightning Thief! I was expecting something different from the movie. Granted, it helped make the book’s fanbase larger, but seriously nothing good came out of that movie except Logan Lerman. (And they’re planning to do Book 2 too…)

    Also, yes to Deathly Hallows + The Hunger Games. Those are definitely two of my favorite book to movie adaptations EVER.

  18. Christina

    Hahaha, your comments on Beastly are hilarious! He doesn’t look very Beastly, no. But if you hire a hottie, I guess you want to benefit from his good looks, especially if he can’t act. Notice that this guy is in two of your worst of list movies.

    Ugh. The notebook. THG was badass. Haven’t seen I Am Legend or Water for Elephants. Couldn’t even sit through HP7 part 1. It was SO BORING.

  19. Savannah Bookswithbite

    I agree that I am number four was not a good adaption. I ended up explaining more to my husband cause he didn’t understand what had happen. My fave has to be The Hunger Games. I think it was good enough that anyone without reading the book understands the story. I still need to see Beautiful Creatures.

  20. Ali Ginger-Read

    I agree with your winners and losers. I have to watch Deathly Hallows (either one) every time I see it come on. I’ve seen them both countless times…it’s a strange obsession.

    I think Hollywood is getting a little lazy with all the adaptations, to be honest. However, if they can keep making winners and lay off the lame Twilight losers ~ I probably won’t mind so much. Nothing I hate more than seeing a book I loved get destroyed on the big screen. Eragon is a great example of that.

  21. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    I did not know they were making Before I Fall into a movie! I’m excited for the Delirium TV series but after I found out all the MAJOR plot changes not so much. The biggest issue for me was that the entire first book will be the 1st episode. WTF indeed! I’ll still check it out though. Paranormalcy rocks!
    Matched could be good.
    So looking forward to The Mortal Instruments and Vampire Academy!!!
    When it comes to these long book series, I prefer if they would make them into TV series instead. By the time they get done with all the books/movies, how old will the actors be? Are they gonna be all bitter like the Twilight actors because they just wanna be done with it already? Will they even end up making all of them?
    I like the 1st Twilight movie okay but the rest were just embarrassing. I stopped watching after New Moon but even the previews were painful to watch.
    The Hunger Games was awesome! And The Notebook rocks even though I haven’t read the book. I LOVE the Harry Potter movies but I haven’t read any of the books. I know, I know…I suck!

  22. Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)

    Oh gosh, don’t get me started on Beastly! I loved the book and the movie really didnt’ live up to it. And he really wasn’t much of a … beast? The Hunger Games was awesome — of course! I haven’t read The Notebook, but I absolutely love the movie! And yay for Harry Potter!! I love those movies and think they’re wonderful adaptations of the books!

  23. Jesse Burgoyne

    First, if you haven’t read Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen go do that now. And then immediately watch the movie afterwards. Just wow. It’s the best book to film adaptation I’ve ever seen. Ever. The worst I’ve ever seen is Meg Cabot’s Avalon High. Disney Channel destroyed that book.

    I haven’t read The Notebook by I felt the same way after reading A Walk to Remember. The movie was a million times better than the book, the book was just okay. And I loved The Hunger Games movie. It was like a perfect visual of what I saw in my head while reading. But, I do have to say, my brother watched it (he didn’t read the books) and he wasn’t getting the whole fake romance thing between Katniss and Peeta. All of the people I know who haven’t read the books have actually said the same thing. That the fake romance part didn’t translate well. I know it’s not easy to figure out a way to incorporate all of Katniss’s inner monologue, but it would have helped clarify that for people who weren’t already a part of the fan base.

    Jesse @ Pretty In Fiction

  24. Micheline D

    I’m excited but also scared that they are doing a Daughter of Smoke & Bone movie. Excited cause I really want to see the world, the characters and everything come to life. Scared because Laini’s lyrical magical words are what made that book stand out to me and If I’ve learned anything is that movies can’t translate those bits – and along with the MC’s thoughts those are my favorite bits!

    Anyways, YES I so agree with you about Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince AND Percy Jackson. I thought I remembered you loving HBP though compared to me but maybe I’m mistaken. Anyways that one was the worst for me…what a letdown. They pretty much turned it into a romantic comedy for teens. Then with Ginny wiping Harry’s nose & tying his shoes I had had it! o.O As for I am Number Four, I didn’t mind the movie but I haven’t read the book yet…and my opinion may or may not have been biased by Alex Pettyfer >.<

    As for the winners YES to Water for Elephants ♥ Hunger Games ♥♥ and the Notebook (though I still haven’t read that book either.) And I mostly agree on Deathly Hallows…I was pleasantly surprised by how good it was but some changes still grind-ed my gears. My fav HP movie adaptation is Prisoner of Azkaban!

    Loving these discussions AND your picks this week!!

  25. Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf

    Wow…who knew all of those were potentially in the works?! Well, I guess you did ;p lol Great post! And I agree with almost all of what you said…although Order of the Phoenix was my HP let down. I really need to watch The Notebook…but at least now I know not to bother reading it!

  26. fishgirl182

    i never read the notebook but i really enjoyed the movie. and i LOVE the film adaptation of stardust by neil gaiman. while i usually love him, i think the book/comic was a little slow. the movie took the best parts of it and the movie was super entertaining and magical. agree that percy jackson was bad. i wanted it to be so much better.

  27. Romi

    Oh my- that’s an awful lot of adaptations in the works, and if they all keep going (I know The Maze Runner and 13 Reasons Why have been in the works for years, to name two, and if I recall correctly John Green’s Paper Towns was picked up by Universal and then gently placed back down) there is a definite that they won’t all be good. In some sense, it would be impossible to recreate the story that has come to life on the pages, things get changed and people don’t like the changes, so there’s always a degree of dislike. I guess it just has to be small enough for people not to mind an awful lot.
    Also- “Beastly does not look the same at all in the book and movie. In the book he looks like a BEAST! Not a guy with a lot of unfortunate tattoos” — this is the best. ( :

  28. Tasha

    I love and hate adaptions. I want to see the worlds and the characters, but I don’t want hollywood to touch them. I agree with your list.If Percy Jackson actually followed the book it probably would’ve been much better. And my favorite Harry Potter movie/book is Prisoner of Azkaban.