So, funny story. Today’s post was supposed to be a playlist for The Becoming of Noah Shaw. However, some unknown force has intervened, and my WiFi has been down half of the weekend, preventing me from being able to properly write that post the way I want it. I didn’t want to put out a mediocre version, as I already have a bit of an established format for playlists, so I decided to go with a more “posting from my phone with basically no formatting options” friendly discussion-style post. Today we’re going to be chatting about book to movie/tv show adaptations, as I’m sure you’ve already gathered from the title. I’ll be sharing some of my personal favorites, my least favorites, and I’ll even share a few that I think are *gasp* better than the book.
Better Than The Book
There are three different movies/shows that immediately come to mind when I think of adaptations that I enjoy more than the source material: The Hunger Games trilogy, The Maze Runner trilogy, and The Vampire Diaries.
My dislike of the Hunger Games books has always been a bit of a controversial opinion in this community, so I’m always a wee bit hesitant to share it. I only read the first book, as I thought that the writing was extremely dull, and Katniss just felt like this one dimensional blob of a character. With that said, I really did love the movies. I went to go see the first one pretty reluctantly with a friend, but I found myself actually actively wanting to see the subsequent films when they released.
It’s roughly the same story with The Maze Runner trilogy. I only ever read the first book, though I may have skimmed the second one at some point. The writing just wasn’t for me, and I found myself being extremely bored, wishing for the book to be over. With the movies, I was without a doubt entertained. The pacing was so much better, and I was actually interested in what was happening.
I know that many share my opinion on The Vampire Diaries show being worlds better than the books. I have only read the first book or two in the series, but I’ve heard that they just continue to get worse the farther you go. The Vampire Diaries is one of my favorite tv shows of all time, and I appreciate all of the changes that were made from the source material that made it a much more entertaining story to consume.
Now that I’ve gotten my more controversial opinions out of the way, I’ll share some of my all time favorite adaptations. I do want to say that I’m not someone who necessarily needs an adaptation to be 100% faithful to the source material. I am very open to change, within reason. As long as the heart of the story isn’t ruined, I’m willing to see what liberties different productions take.
The first favorite that comes to mind is one that many people would also say: Harry Potter. I’ve read the books and seen the films countless times, and I’m always up for a rewatch/reread. I think that they did an absolutely wonderful job on the films, and I’ll always come back to Harry’s story, whether it be on a screen or on a page.
Another favorite is Shadowhunters. Now, this one is a bit more polarized. I know quite a few people disagree with the changes that have been made in the tv show, but I still find myself to be hooked on it. That’s not to say that there haven’t been moments where I’ve thought “alright, this just might be too far from where I want it to be”, but overall I’ve stuck with it through two seasons, and I plan on watching the third.
When I think of adaptations I love, I always feel compelled to include Twilight. Twilight had such a monumental affect on my reading, and as cheesy as it sounds, it really helped to solidify my love for YA. I think it’s because of this that the Twilight films have always been something that I can pop on and just relax while watching.
Adaptations That I Didn’t Like
Of course, there are some book adaptations that just really didn’t work for me. Whether they strayed too far from the source material in my opinion, or they were just poorly done, a few stick out in my mind.
The first thing I think of when I think of bad adaptations is Beautiful Creatures. I liked the books alright, so I was extremely excited to see the movie. I actually almost walked out of the theater. Without spoiling anything, the movie takes an entirely different direction towards the end. Like.. Its like they knew they weren’t getting the green light to adapt the second book, so they just made it so there really wasn’t any way to do so.
Another “bad” adaptation I can think of is the movie version of City of Bones. I love Lilly Collins, so I was disappointed when the movie wasn’t that great. I didn’t like most of the main cast, and the writing was horrible. They managed to suck almost all of the humor out of the story, and it killed it. Cassandra Clare’s stories always have such a solid level of snark, and I think by cutting a lot of that out, the movie failed.
The last “bad” adaptation that comes to mind is Vampire Academy. Now, this one wasn’t bad per say, but I think it really missed the mark on the tone of the source material. I think that they spun it as too much of a teen comedy movie, when the tone needed to be a bit more dramatic and serious. I thought that the actress for Rose was amazing, and I even liked Dom Sherwood as Christian, but other than that, the casting was a bit off also.
Aaaaaaand there we are. What are some of your favorite adaptations? Least favorite? Let me know in the comments!