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!
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.
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.