Book Vs Movie: Shadow and Bone

Hi everyone! In a surprise to exactly no one, today’s Book Vs Movie is actually a Book Vs TV as I’ll be talking about Netflix’s adaptation of Shadow and Bone (and to a limited extent Six of Crows) as like many of you I’m sure, I binged it over the past weekend.

Book Thoughts:

So the show largely focuses on the characters of Six of Crows rather than the plot of the book (since Shadow and Bone is set several years before and the show combines the Crows into the Shadow and Bone plot) but I’ll talk about my thoughts on both. I read Six of Crows before Shadow & Bone, in 2017, and I really enjoyed it, I loved the characters and the world and though the story had its pacing problems, it was still a really engaging read.

Shadow and Bone on the other hand, I felt a little more lukewarm about. It’s clear that Bardugo has improved a lot since her debut, and whilst Shadow and Bone wasn’t a bad book, it felt a lot like all the other fantasy books which were published at the same time. Alina wasn’t as fun a protagonist as the Crows and like Six of Crows, it was kind of slow to get going and the payoff wasn’t as good.

Here are my full reviews of both books if you want to see my more detailed thoughts:

https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/shadow-and-bone-shadow-and-bone-1-review/
Shadow and Bone (TV Series 2021– ) - IMDb

TV Thoughts:

I was a little worried when I heard that they were going to adapt Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone together, as I couldn’t really see how they were going to overlap the two stories, given that Six of Crows takes place in a different part of the world and takes place several years after the end of the events of the Grisha trilogy. I have to say though, I was really pleasantly surprised! I thought the crossover worked well, having the Crows integrated into the Shadow and Bone story made me enjoy it more than I did in the book and the way they did it made a lot of sense (having the Crows be on a job to “steal” Alina). The Nina and Matthias story didn’t fit quite as naturally, I understand why they wanted to have their backstory in the first series, but if you hadn’t read the book, then I imagine you’d be wondering why the show kept cutting to the pair of them. I loved the cast, I thought they all did a really good job with their characters (Jesper, Nina and The Darkling were particular standouts to me, but I loved everyone). I actually wish they’d had a couple more episodes as I think things were rushed a little in the last two episodes! It was clear though that the creators really loved the books, and were faithful to them and the characters whilst also doing something new which I loved.

TV or Book Judgement:

This is a really tough one because there are a few things I would have liked to see more of from the Crows’ backstories, but as the series is mostly based on Shadow and Bone, I would say I enjoyed the TV series more! I think having the Crows integrated into the Shadow and Bone story really lifted it up for me, and that Jessie Mei Li and Archie Renaux as Alina and Mal made me like both characters more than I did in the book. Also Ben Barnes as The Darkling? Perfection. I really hope they get many more seasons of the show, because I can’t wait to see Nikolai and I would love to see the Crows’ stories from the books on screen.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I will be back next month with another Book Vs TV, talking about Good Omens and its TV adaptation.

Book Vs Movie: Moxie

Hi everyone! I know, it’s been ages since I last did one of these, they kind of fell by the wayside at the end of last year/beginning of this year, but they’re back now and I’m hoping to keep up a more regular posting schedule for the rest of 2021. This month, I’m talking about Moxie, which had its Netflix adaptation released at the beginning of March.

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Book Thoughts:

I read this back in 2018, and I thought it was a fun, fast read. It’s fairly simplistic and lacks some nuance (it’s very into the whole “girl power” version of feminism) but I love how focused it was on female empowerment, I enjoyed the main character Viv and the way she grew into herself through the book and I loved how central female friendships were as they’re something I always enjoy. I did think the attempts at intersectionality were somewhat clumsy though, as it felt very surface level and the POC characters didn’t feel particularly well developed. Here is my full review of the book if you want to read more of my thoughts:

Movie Thoughts:

Moxie (film) - Wikipedia

I liked the film in general. I think it was a tad long in places, and I think the reasons for Viv starting Moxie were more fleshed out in the book: she’s shy but not quite to the extent of the movie and she already has the passion about the sexist behaviour of boys at her school being wrong, so it doesn’t seem quite as much of a 180 when she decides to start Moxie as it does in the film. The intersectionality is still a bit clumsy, the movie does try to address this issue from the book but it doesn’t always succeed at it as it often seems like the WOC in the film are there to prop up Viv rather than having much of a story of their own. It also felt a little lengthy for an adaptation of a fairly short book! I did like that the film really embraced female friendship, and I think there was more of a feel of camaraderie in the film than the book. I didn’t think the subplot with her mum’s boyfriend was as well done in the film as the book though, in the book, Viv also gets mad at her mum’s boyfriend at dinner, but it’s because he has a Republican supporting sticker on his car, so she essentially prejudges him for his political affiliations, which still isn’t great, but it made more sense than in the film where she blows up at everyone seemingly for no reason. Overall, it is an enjoyable film and a good adaptation of the book, but it does fall short in some areas.

Movie or Book Judgement:

I think I’ll go with the book for this one! It was tricky to choose, because I did like both, and both shared some of the same shortcomings, but ultimately, the fact that the reasons for Viv starting Moxie are clearer in the book put it slightly ahead of the film for me. I would still recommend the film though!

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month with a VERY EXCITING Book Vs Movie, as I’ll be talking about the Netflix adaptation of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse (the first series focuses on Shadow and Bone and the backstories of characters from Six of Crows), so I’m sure that’s one a lot of you will be excited for!

Book Vs Movie: A Series of Unfortunate Events

Hi everyone! It’s the last day of September, so I just have time to get in a Book Vs Movie post for this month before we head into OCTOBER (HOW? Time this year has been a real trip!). This month, I’m actually doing a Book Vs Movie Vs TV as the books I’m talking about have more than one adaptation. The series I’m talking about is of course, A Series of Unfortunate Events:

A Series of Unfortunate Events Collection Lemony Snicket 13 Books Set BRAND  NEW 9780603570933 | eBay

Book Thoughts:

A Series Of Unfortunate Events was a childhood staple for me, I used to go to the library every single week to get the newest book and I absolutely loved them, they’re dark and strange and witty and basically very Jo. Did they get a bit repetitive? Sure, especially in the first nine books where they’re largely just trying to avoid being caught by Olaf, but they were definitely very engaging reads.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - Wikipedia

Movie Thoughts:

AGH NO. Basically this movie tried to do way too much, they combined the first three books into one film and it didn’t feel like they really did any of them justice. I also didn’t really feel like Jim Carrey got the balance between sinister and funny for Count Olaf very well, but to be honest, whatever I see Jim Carrey in, he always just seems to be himself in whatever he’s in.

A Series of Unfortunate Events (TV Series 2017–2019) - IMDb

TV Thoughts:

I thought Netflix did a really good job with the series! They were a lot more faithful to the books than the film, and I loved how they included direct passages of Lemony Snicket’s monologues from the books. The TV series allowed for more time to fully explore the books’ events with two episodes per book, and they really kept to the tone of the books very well. The actors were really great, Neil Patrick Harris did a great job with Olaf, Patrick Warburton was brilliant as Lemony Snicket and Malina Weissman and Louis Hynes were great as Violet and Klaus as well.

Movie, Book or TV judgement:

Ah it’s quite difficult because I love the books and I love the TV show (and also it’s been a lot longer since I read books than when I saw the TV show). I think the books potentially just edge it, but honestly they’re both pretty equal!

That’s all for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back next month with another Book Vs Movie, since it’s October and Halloween month, I’m going to go with a spooky book and adaptation, and talk about Coraline, and it’s movie adaptation.

 

Book Vs Movie: Divergent

Hi everyone! Sorry that I missed the post for this last month, I basically had to squeeze in too many posts at the end of July and didn’t have time to do this one! Anyway, this month I’m talking about the Divergent book and film.

Divergent (Divergent, Book 1): 1/3: Amazon.co.uk: Roth, Veronica:  9780007420421: Books

Book Thoughts:

I read Divergent about six years ago, it was one of the earliest books I reviewed for this blog actually! I enjoyed it, though I did find the plot somewhat lacking and I wasn’t thrilled by the world-building. To be honest, it was one of the first dystopians I read after The Hunger Games and I reckon that was always in the back of my mind when I was reading, which probably isn’t really fair, but oh well!

Movie Thoughts:

Divergent (Divergent, Book 1): Amazon.co.uk: Roth, Veronica: Books

It’s been a long time since I saw this, I think I went to see it not that long after I’d read the book, but I’m not sure, it definitely came out the same year I read the book though! On the whole, I enjoyed it, though I haven’t watched it in a while! It is super weird that they decided to make Four much older though and yet as far as I’m aware Tris is still meant to be 16? The age dynamic make things a little uncomfortable especially when in the book they’re only two years apart (which could easily have been solved by casting a younger actor to play Four, or by ageing Tris up because the actress is clearly not a teenager either!).

Movie or book judgement:

Difficult to say here as neither the book or the film was a favourite, but I think I’d say the book just edges it here.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I’ll be back with another one next month, talking about A Series Of Unfortunate Events and its screen adaptations (because yes, there are two!).

Book Vs Movie: Artemis Fowl

Hi everyone! It’s almost the end of June, so I’ve just got time to fit in this month’s Book Vs Movie post. You’re all in luck this month as I’ll be filling you all in on my incredibly salty thoughts about THAT Artemis Fowl movie (yeah you guys thought the Percy Jackson movie was bad, just you wait).

Book Thoughts:

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I read Artemis Fowl way back when I was 14, borrowed from the school library and I really loved it. The whole idea of the main character in the series being the villain was brilliant and it was a really fun, slightly off-beat and exciting adventure. I loved all of the magical creatures as well, and completely devoured all of the subsequent books in the series.

Movie Thoughts:

Artemis Fowl (2020) - IMDb

JUST WHAT THE HELL? It’s not even just that this is a bad adaptation of the book, it’s just a terrible movie altogether. They completely missed the point of Artemis’ character by making him seem like the good guy (he is categorically not and that’s THE WHOLE POINT OF THE BOOK) and added to that they completely change the plot?

It’s barely even recognisable from the book and it doesn’t even make sense? So it’s bad for people who have read and enjoyed the book and bad for new viewers as well. They also whitewashed Holly Short, which hello? HAVE WE LEARNED NOTHING? It was so disappointing especially given the extended wait we’ve had for this film.

Movie or Book judgement:

Unsurprisingly, the book was better here, honestly the movie is probably one of my least favourite adaptations.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I will be back next month, this time I’ll be talking about Divergent and it’s movie adaptation.

Book Vs Movie: The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants

Hello everyone! It may be the last day of the month, but I’m still just in time to get this month’s Book Vs Movie post in. This month I’m talking about The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants and its film adaptation.

Book Thoughts:

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I don’t know how old I was when I read this one, I think maybe 12 or 13? Definitely pre-teen/young teenager anyway. It’s a cute story, not my usual kind of thing but I remember really enjoying it when I did read it, I think because although there was quite a bit of romance in it, what I really remember was the friendship between the four girls and that was always more important than whatever boyfriends/love interests they had which was great.

Movie Thoughts:

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (2005) - IMDb

Again, I enjoyed the movie. It’s pretty faithful to the book, to be honest, I saw the film so long after I read the book that I probably wouldn’t have picked up any inconsistencies anyway! I think they did a really good job on the casting, all of the actresses were really good in their roles and it’s a nice, sweet, comforting film, perfect for a Friday evening with a tub of ice cream!

Movie or Book Judgement:

I liked them both, but I actually think I’d go with the movie here as I’d probably prefer to come back to the story that way rather than reading the book again.

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie, I will be back again next month, talking about Artemis Fowl and the new movie adaptation.

Book Vs Movie: Noughts and Crosses

Hi everyone! This month’s Book Vs Movie is actually a Book Vs TV, I’m going to be talking about one of my favourite YA books, Malorie Blackman’s Noughts and Crosses which was recently made into a TV show for the BBC. I read the book for the first time when I was about 11, so it’s been a long time between the two!

Book Thoughts:

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Noughts and Crosses is one of those books that definitely sticks with you long after you’ve read it. I think it was probably the first book I read that had black main characters and definitely the first book that made me think about racism in any real way. It’s also the first book that I remember being truly heartbroken by, that ending is definitely one of the biggest gut punches I’ve ever experienced whilst reading!

TV Thoughts:

Noughts + Crosses - Wikipedia

I was quite apprehensive about the TV show, because obviously I loved the book so much and you really want the screen adaptation to do it justice. Thankfully, I really did enjoy it! The actors are great, the costumes are great, the sets are great and it definitely does justice to the book. They do change quite a lot: the characters are aged up, so because the book takes place over a number of years, events are mixed up and certain things are missed out but it is by and large a faithful adaptation. I did kind of miss the childhood friends to lovers aspect of the books and I wish they hadn’t cut Callum’s sister Lynette out of the story, as Callum’s motivations for joining the LM don’t seem as strong in the show without that background. The ending of the first series may be controversial for fans of the books, but they actually don’t get to the ending of the book, so I’m sure if there is a second series, we will see that on screen.

TV or Book Judgement:

Book, but I do think the TV show did a pretty great job of adapting it, the book will just always be close to my heart!

That’s it for this month’s Book Vs Movie. I will be back next month with another post, this time talking about The Sisterhood of The Traveling Pants and its film adaptation.

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:

Image result for princess diaries film

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:

Image result for matilda film

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:

Image result for the maze runner films

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.