If there is one thing that I love almost as much as books it’s movies. I just really love to watch movies. I also love when books are turned into movies (even if they don’t turn out how I want them to). I know many people have varied opinions about book-to-movie adaptations, but I like to separate books from movies (mostly, there are a few exceptions). I don’t really like to complain that the movie is so different and then don’t watch it. It is a movie adaptation not the book word-for-word in movie form.
With that being said, here are 10 book-to-movie adaptations that I’ve seen, read, or want to read:
Book-to-movie adaptations that I love both book and movie:
1. The Host by Stephanie Meyer
I loved both book and movie. I guess The Host is the lesser known novel by Meyer and is considered adult fiction and not YA like the Twilight series. It’s a lovely new form of alien invasion, still kind of scary, but also kind of beautiful. Wanderer, or Wanda, the main character along with her Host, Melanie, are really great protagonists in this story that question what humanity really means.
The book, I think, was very well adapted. I loved all the casting and the special effects. Sure, it wasn’t exactly like the book, but the movie was still good.
2. The Hobbit by J.R.R Tolkien
Again, I loved the book and all three movies. However, they are vastly different from the book. The Hobbit is considered a children’s book. There is already a difference there since the movies are all rated PG-13. The story is pretty much the same, there isn’t a huge plot difference. I think the biggest difference, at least that I noticed, was the relationship between Fili and Tauriel (who isn’t a character in the book). But I didn’t mind this addition, I thought it was adorable.
I definitely would say there were certain pros and cons to the different adaptation. For example, the book is so much more… jovial. The movies are really dark; in the book they practically sing the entire time. They also gloss over the deaths of Thorin, Fili, and Kili in the book so it’s not as sad, whereas I cried during the last movie.
3. City of Bones (Mortal Instruments) by Cassandra Clare
I am not a huge fan of the Mortal Instruments series, I like it but I don’t love it. It’s okay. I’ve read the first five books and am reading City of Heavenly Fire now.
I know a lot of people hated the movie, but I actually really liked it. Again, I’m not overly critical when movies are not like their books, so I have different standards. I really loved the casting for the movie. I adore Jamie Campbell Bower and Lily Collins and Lena Heady and Jonathan Rhys Meyers. The only ones I didn’t really care for were Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, and Godfrey Gao. Their acting was solid, but they just didn’t portray the characters well.
I’m going to make a quick comparison to the Shadowhunters TV show. I don’t really know how people are reacting to the show, but the acting is pretty much dreadful. I’ll still watch it because I like to see where they’re going to take the rest of the show, but it’s not very… good. I must say that I love Harry Shum Jr. as Magnus. He’s wonderful.
Books that I liked but didn’t like the adaptation:
4. Blood and Chocolate by Annette Curtis Klause
As I said before, I am not too critical when it comes to book-to-movie adaptations. This is my exception.
Blood and Chocolate (the book) is one of my faves. It was first published in 1997 and the movie was released in 2007. I guess a ten year difference could explain why the two are vastly different.
The movie doesn’t take place in the same country, the characters are different ages, the relationships are different, and the ending is the exact opposite from the book.
You know some movie adaptations just have characters that we may expect to look different or a tiny little twist. But no, this was completely different and I don’t even want to consider it to be an adaptation.
The movie is fine as its own thing, I guess. I don’t know; it doesn’t really capture the purpose of the book.
5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
I really enjoyed the book. I didn’t like the movie (2013). Not just as an adaptation, I just didn’t like the movie. I don’t really have a reason, I just didn’t. Maybe I should give it another chance.
Book that I’ve read, and liked the adaptation more:
6. Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden
The movie is in my top five favorite movies. And maybe it’s because I saw the movie before reading the book, but I definitely liked the movie better.
The movie was more artful to me. And I absolutely loved the music (I love Yo-Yo Ma).
The book was good, but the ending wasn’t what I wanted, which may sound weird, but I didn’t enjoy how it continued after Sayuri and the Chairman finally got together. Which I guess Golden wanted to show how life isn’t really that glamorous after waiting for what you want but they still loved each other. I just prefer the ambiguous ending of the movie.
7. If I Stay by Gayle Forman
I really liked this movie. I read the book a couple weeks after and didn’t like it as much. And I don’t think it’s because I saw the movie first. The movie was so much more emotional for me. I cry every time through the entire movie. When I was reading the book I think I may have teared up once?
I also didn’t like the style of writing. I don’t know if it was Forman’s first book but it felt like it.
Movies that I’ve seen that make me want to read the book:
8. Stardust by Neil Gaiman
I love Stardust, it’s such a fantastical movie. I also hear so many good things about Neil Gaiman’s reading, so I really want to read the book and all of his other books!
9. The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux
Another in my top five favorite movies. I LOVE LOVE LOVE the musical, I finally saw it at the Hippodrome this year!
Of course the book is much different, darker, but that doesn’t dissuade me.
10. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
This one is a given. The Keira Knightley version (2005) is also one of my top five favorite movies.
However, Austen’s writing intimidates me. I tried to start with one of her shorter books so I read Persuasion and it wasn’t was I was expecting, so I’m a bit nervous for Pride and Prejudice.
These are not my favorite book-to-movie adaptations (obviously), just some that I thought of. What are some of your favorite (or most hated) book-to-movie adaptations? I’m really interested in hearing about them!