Book Vs Movie: The Princess Diaries

Hi everyone! For this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’m going to be talking about The Princess Diaries, arguably Meg Cabot’s most famous series, which was made into an equally well known movie starring Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews. I actually saw the film long before I read the book, so that was my first impression of those characters rather than the book.

Book Thoughts:

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I actually can’t remember how old I was when I read these books, I know that they were my sister’s and I borrowed them from her, I think I was about 14/15, so roughly the same age as Mia is in this book. I obviously had the film in mind when I read this and they’re quite different beasts, Mia from the book is more spoiled, Lily is just plain awful, Grandmere (Clarisse) is definitely much harsher and it’s harder to see why Lily and Mia are friends, because whilst Lily in the film is kind of overbearing, she’s not as plain mean as Lily from the books. I’ve also never been a massive fan of diary entries as a form of storytelling, so I wasn’t massively keen on that. Having said that, I clearly did enjoy the books because I read all of them, they were quite funny and short and easy to read.

Movie Thoughts:

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Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of differences between the book and the movie, but in this case, I actually liked that. Movie Mia still has the same spirit as Book Mia, but I found her a whole lot less irritating and Grandmere is a lot nicer and they have a much better relationship in the film. I thought the cast for this was great, and I think it’s another one of those cases where the story worked better for me in film format than it did in the books.

Movie or Book Judgement:

Movie! I liked the book, but I found the movie a whole lot more fun.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I will be back next month with another post, this time talking about the book and film versions of Divergent.

Book Vs Movie: Matilda

Hi everyone! I’m really excited for this week’s Book Vs Movie, I’m talking about one of my favourite books, a classic of my childhood: Matilda (yes I realise that Roald Dahl was racist, anti-semitic and misogynistic, apparently becoming an adult is basically realising that all the authors you loved as a kid either are or were trash human beings). Still, young me would not be the same reader I am today without Matilda, so I guess I just love the book whilst still accepting that Roald Dahl wasn’t a great person.

Book Thoughts:

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This book meant so much to me as a kid, it was probably the first time I ever felt really “seen” by a book. I wasn’t like Matilda, devouring Dickens and Hemingway at 5, and my parents weren’t abusive like the Wormwoods, but I could definitely understand Matilda’s love of adventuring through her books and her feeling of being seen and feeling less alone through reading. Miss Trunchbull is one of the first book villains I remember being truly terrified of, way before Voldemort or Umbridge!

Movie Thoughts:

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I did like the movie, but there’s a lot of things that they diverge from the book that I didn’t love. I didn’t love that they Americanized it, that they made her telekinetic powers into some kind of superhero like thing and she didn’t have to work as hard to control them and the humour of the book isn’t really evident in the movie. It’s not a bad film by any means, I did enjoy it and it does largely stay true to the book, with some small exceptions.

Movie or Book Judgement:

Book! The movie is good, and it’s cast well, but nothing can really top the book of Matilda for me, as one of my childhood favourites.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month, talking about teen classic, The Princess Diaries.

Book Vs Movie: The Maze Runner

Hi everyone! I know I usually do these at the end of the month, but since I’m leaving for South Africa on Saturday (!!!), I figured I would treat you guys and put this one up a little bit earlier. This month, I’m going to be comparing the book, and the film adaptation of The Maze Runner.

Book Thoughts:

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My friend got me this book for my birthday when we were in Sixth Form, Lower Sixth I think, and I honestly hadn’t really heard anything about it and had no idea that there was going to be a film when I read it! Still I really enjoyed it (even if it turns out that James Dashner is a trash human being), I was still in the midst of my dystopia phase at this point and this was a really fun, fast paced read, though looking back, I’m not sure if the book was as good as I said in my review. Here are my thoughts from back in 2014 (yes my early reviewing style makes me cringe):

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/category/reviews/the-maze-runner-series/the-maze-runner/

Movie Thoughts:

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So this is actually the film that kind of cemented my friendship group, my friend Hannah and I have known each other since we were about 14, but I only met Zoe when we were in Sixth Form and the first thing we all did as a group was go to see this film. I really enjoyed it, the cast were great, (if a little old to be believable teenagers, though they’re definitely not the worst adult-teenagers I’ve ever seen and Thomas Brodie-Sangster has basically looked about 13 his entire life)¬† and I thought all the effects were really cool, seeing the Maze and the Grievers brought to life on screen was amazing.

Movie or Book Judgement:

I’d actually go with the movie here. The story in the book is great, and there were certain things I wish had translated over to the film, like Minho in the book being much more sarcastic, and Alby’s arc which was a lot more emotionally impactful in the book but overall, I felt like the movie was really faithful to the book. It was also just one of those books that I think came across better on screen, a lot of it is high action, high tech and those things I just find tend to come across better on screen than they do in books.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month talking about one of my favourite childhood books Matilda. In the meantime, I will have another Top Ten Tuesday post up tomorrow, which will probably be my last non pre-scheduled post before I go to South Africa, so keep an eye out for that.

Book Vs Movie: The Book Thief

Hi everyone! For anyone who is new since I last did one of these, it’s pretty simple: each month, I take a book and it’s film adaptation and attempt to answer the age old question: which was better, the book or the movie. This month, I’m talking about one of my favourite books, The Book Thief.

Book Thoughts:

The Book Thief

I loved this book! It’s definitely the sort of book that won’t be for everyone, the narration style (it’s narrated by Death) takes a bit of getting used to, but once I did, I completely fell in love with this story. I fell in love with Liesel, and Rudy, and Hans and Rosa, and Max. I’ve read a lot of WWII books, but this one stands out to me, it’s quieter and more personal¬† and even though you know exactly what’s going to happen (Death loves spoilers), it still crushes your heart.

Movie Thoughts:

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I was quite worried about the film, because it’s a difficult story to translate onto screen, particularly with the way it’s told. Thankfully, they did a really great job with it, I thought the actors all did really great jobs at bringing their characters to life, they kept the Death narration & followed the story pretty faithfully. It’s a really great adaptation of the book, and one of the few times I haven’t been disappointed with the way a favourite book has been brought to screen.

Movie or Book Judgement:

AGH THIS ONE IS ACTUALLY HARD BECAUSE I REALLY LOVE BOTH. I’d say the book probably just edges it here, it was the way I first consumed the story and it’s very close to my heart, but honestly they are both brilliant.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month, talking about The Maze Runner and it’s movie adaptation. In the meantime, my next post will be my latest Quarterly Rewind, which should be up on Saturday, so keep an eye out for that.

Book Vs Movie: My Sister’s Keeper

Hi everyone! For any new followers since the last time I did one of these posts, this is the feature on my blog where I take movie adaptations of books, and try to answer the age old question, which was better, the book or the movie. This week, I’m talking about the movie adaptation of Jodi Picoult’s bestselling novel, My Sister’s Keeper, which also happens to be one of my favourite books.

Book Thoughts:

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This was the first ever adult book that I read, borrowed from the local library when I was 13. It’s not the sort of thing I would usually gravitate towards, given that it had no fantastical elements whatsoever, but I felt like trying something new, so I went for it. I ended up really loving it, the relationship between Anna and Kate really resonated with me, I was really intrigued by the ethical issues this book presented, and I learned so much about medical stuff that I never knew about before. The emotional storyline really hit me, especially the ending, and soon after reading, I devoured as many other Jodi Picoult books as I could find.

Movie Thoughts:

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WHERE TO BEGIN? Oh I know, let’s start with the ending, which was fundamentally different and changed the whole point of the entire story. I can’t really say much more than that without revealing spoilers, but it made me really, really angry. I also felt like they changed way too much, like making Anna younger, pretty much ignoring Jesse’s whole storyline, removing the Julia and Campbell subplot. The cast was pretty good, but I don’t think I would have chosen Cameron Diaz for Sara, I pictured her older. They also added scenes that were not in the book to the film. I also didn’t think the film managed the switching POVs as well as the book did. It felt like a very half baked adaptation, and this book definitely deserved better.

Movie or Book Judgement:

Definitely Book here. There were some good aspects of the film, the cast was good, but there were too many structural changes to the core of the story, which meant that it felt like the book and the film were telling completely different tales, and the change to the ending was just unforgivable.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I will be back again next month, talking about The Book Thief and it’s movie adaptation. In the meantime, my next post will be my regularly scheduled Top Ten Tuesday on Tuesday, so keep an eye out for that.

Book Vs Movie: The Lightning Thief

Hi everyone! If you are new to the blog and unfamiliar with this feature, it does what it says on the tin: each month I take a movie that has been adapted from a book and try to answer the age old question, which was better, the book or the movie. This week, I’m talking about the first Percy Jackson book, The Lightning Thief and it’s movie adaptation. People who know me well will probably know how this one will go before they even get to the end, but if you don’t, then be prepared for a rant!

Book Thoughts:

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I read this book for the first time when I was 14, I had just changed schools, I didn’t really know anyone very well yet and another new girl in my class recommended this series to me. I borrowed the first one from the library, not really thinking too much about it, but from the very first line I was OBSESSED. The humour in this series is amazing, the characters were brilliant, the plot was pacy & the mix of Greek mythology and modern day America was done perfectly and made my Greek mythology loving heart incredibly happy.

I was so addicted, I sped through the rest of the series in about a month I think, borrowing the rest from my friend and by the time Heroes of Olympus came out that October, I was all caught up and ready to go. Percy Jackson was also how me and my friend Hannah (Books, Life and Other Oddities) first became friends because we were both addicted to these books, so to say this series means a lot to me would definitely be an understatement.

Movie Thoughts:

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Oh dear. Where to begin on this one? THEY CHANGED SO MUCH. Everyone got aged up from 12 to 16, and of course they’re being played by 20 somethings because Hollywood, so it’s even more ridiculous. Percy Jackson’s story is definitely a coming of age tale and it’s a very different story if you change it from a 12 year old kid growing up to a 16 year old. They added this weird subplot of looking for pearls all over America, when in the books, they just get given the pearls during their quest, which means that the focus is taken off the lightning bolt, the WHOLE PURPOSE OF THE QUEST.¬† They combined Annabeth and Clarisse into one character, so when Clarisse appears in Sea of Monsters, the basis for her rivalry with Percy is unclear. The whole rivalry with Ares is cut, Mr D isn’t in charge of the camp, it takes much longer for Percy to become aware of his parentage…….I could keep going, but basically, the film hardly resembles the book at all.

We deserved so much better than this terrible film, and the sequel was even worse, so we never actually got a proper Percy Jackson franchise, just two awful films. Had the first film followed the book a bit more, I reckon it could have done really well, because the cast actually wasn’t terrible (despite being the totally wrong ages) but alas, it wasn’t to be. Hopefully now that the film rights have gone to Disney, we might get a more faithful film one day, but I’m not holding my breath.

Movie or Book Judgement:

BOOK. There’s not even a competition here, the book is a million times better than the movie. The actors in the movie are pretty good, I liked Logan Lerman as Percy (even though the part really should have gone to someone much younger) but the script is so far from what the book is that it barely resembles it and as a book fan, that’s just not what you want when you see an adaptation.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month, talking about the My Sister’s Keeper book and it’s movie adaptation. In the meantime, my next post will be my regularly scheduled Top Ten Tuesday post on Tuesday, so keep an eye out for that.

 

 

Book Vs Movie: You

Hi everyone! If you are new to the blog in the past month or so, this is a regular monthly feature where I take a book and it’s movie adaptation, and answer the age old question, which is better, the book or the movie. This week, I’m actually talking a TV adaptation, and talking about Caroline Kepnes’ novel You, and it’s Netflix adaptation.

Book Thoughts:

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I actually read the audiobook after having already seen the TV show, so I wasn’t coming into this book completely fresh. I did like You, but the writing wasn’t really for me, & although I found the plot interesting, it got somewhat repetitive and bloated at points. The narration by Santino Fontana was definitely my favourite part of this book, they definitely could not have chosen a better narrator for this. I actually did a review of this one, so if you are more interested in my detailed thoughts, you can find them here:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/19/you-review-audiobook/

TV thoughts:

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Like I said, I watched the TV show first for this one, and I’m glad I did it that way, because honestly if I hadn’t watched the TV show, I probably wouldn’t have read the book since it’s not the kind of thing I usually go for. I actually liked the TV show better for this one, it took all the things I liked about the book, the creepy narration, the twisted characters, but it also trimmed some of the fat from the plot so it was far tighter paced than the book, which I appreciated. I also thought it was really well cast, the two leads were great in their roles and there was a good supporting cast as well.

TV or Book Judgement:

TV for this one! I liked the book well enough, but I felt like I enjoyed the story much more on the screen and I think it definitely helped that they trimmed some of the excess story from the book, for a thriller, I definitely found the TV show more thrilling than the book.

So that’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie (well TV), I’ll be back next month with all of my incredibly salty thoughts on the Percy Jackson movie, so I definitely wouldn’t miss that one! In the meantime, I will have my latest Quarterly Rewind post up on Monday, so stay tuned for that.