Tag Archives: Hunger Games

Top Ten Tuesday: Best/Worst movie adaptions of a book

Top Ten TuesdaysBest and Worst movie adaptions of a book, otherwise known as the longest Top Ten Tuesday post ever. I love this topic because it is one that I find myself constantly complaining about. I cannot stand it when great books have to suffer bad adaptions. It is just sad to see something you love be tortured and twisted into something completely different from the author’s intention. However, there are times when it goes so well that you want to thank the writers for not screwing it up. I don’t know that I’ll be able to stop at ten but I’ll try.

Best Adaptions

1. The Twilight Saga Breaking Dawn – I know that many are scratching their heads right now. A Twilight movie? Really? I say yes and here is why. Somehow the writers were able to stay true to the book and manage to shock the audience all at the same time. This one makes the list for the ending confrontation sequence on its own. I have never seen a book adaption that was able to make me mad one minute and applauding the next. I kid you not. Applause broke out in my theatre when we figured out what was going on. Not only was it a shock but it stayed with the story (in an unexpected way) AND it threw everyone for such a huge loop that you didn’t have time to guess what was going to happen until they were showing you that they had in fact messed with you completely.

2. The Lord of the Rings Trilogy – I loved this series because it had the guts to stay true to the original work as much as possible while not making the movies so painfully long that no one could sit through them. Then they went back and made them longer for home release so that  people could see most of what was missing! It was a brilliant way to make the fans happy while making a profitable movie. It also earned them more money by creating two versions of the movies. I have all three of the extended editions of the movies sitting on my shelves and love watching every minute of them.

3. Harry Potter and Sorcerer’s Stone – I add this one because of all the movies, this one holds truest to the books. It tells the story faithfully and builds a level of trust with the audience that they were going to need in order to get the audience to stick with them over seven more films, including the one that is on my list of worst movie adaptions ever made.

4. The Princess Bride – Don’t bother reading this book. Really. We all love the movie and there is a reason that it differs so much from the original material. I rarely say this about a book but this is not one to encourage someone to read after hearing that they absolutely loved the movie. While there isn’t anything really wrong with the book, it is so vastly different from what ended up on the screen that most readers will be disappointed. The book has a much different audience than the movie as well. I think it’s a great adaption because they took the source material and turned it into something completely new. The book as it was wouldn’t have made for a good movie. The screenwriter here did a masterful job!

5. The Green Mile – I think this one ends up on the list simply because it is one of the most faithful book to screen occurrences that I have ever encountered. I finished reading the book and then watched the movie in the same sitting and was pleasantly surprised to find out exactly how accurate they were to each other. I really appreciated the accuracy because I don’t think the story would have been as good if they had left things out.

6. The Silence of the Lambs – Yep. Had to be said. This was a great adaption of a truly chilling story. Not for the faint of heart but definitely one worth seeing and reading. I hesitate to include the sequels simply because I think that they missed something that the first movie had. The only one that even came close for me was Hannibal and they completely ruined the ending. They should have filmed the book ending. I know I’m one of the few but I actually liked the book ending so much better than the drivel they created for the movie. Silence was by far the most faithful to the original material and while some of the others had some truly chilling scenes, this one started it all.

7. A Requiem for a Dream – Okay, I’ve only seen this one once. I don’t think I could ever watch it again. It is incredibly disturbing and is full of mature content due to the issues it deals with. However, due to is powerfully redemptive qualities, I think it is one that must be mentioned. While the book does a good job of dealing with the issues that come from drug addiction, the movie takes another step into the confusion and lengths addicts will go to in order to get their fix. This one doesn’t shy away from anything and so it is not one that most people will find appropriate to view due to it’s extremely graphic nature. This is the ultimate PSA about drug use. Unfortunately it is so graphic that many people will never watch it.

8. The Hunger Games – I thought long and hard before including this one on the list. While it was a really good movie, they made some serious mistakes that will be hard to fix. There are entire characters missing and plot points that were not included that needed to be there. The whole thing about the Mockingjay is so wrong. They really needed to leave that bit of the story alone. If you haven’t read the book you don’t know that there is a vital character completely missing from the movie. However, they did an amazing job of communicating how bleak their lives are outside of the Capitol and how horrific the games are. The other thing that bothered me was the mutts at the end of the movie and how they left out the most horrific detail behind them. That being said, I walked out of the theatre after seeing that movie and it stayed with me in a powerful way, the way a good movie should. So I think that it is overall a wonderful adaption, even though there a couple of things I would have done very differently.

9. The Wizard of Oz – I can’t leave this one off the list. Yes I know all the issues but I simply don’t care. It’s a classic for a reason. It is also one that should never be remade. You can tell other stories from Oz or show other perspectives but this one simply shouldn’t be touched.

10. 10 Things I Hate about You – Didn’t realize this one was an adaption? Yep! The source material is Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew and this tale simply hits it spot on. I’m a big fan of Rom-coms in general but this one is great. it is one of the best examples of taking a classic tale and making it modern in the best sense. It maintains the original feel of the story while making it matter to a modern audience. Add Heath Ledger to the mix and it is an automatic win.

Worst Adaptions

1. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – This movie cut so much out from the original story that it felt completely rushed and like half of the story was missing. It is the worst of the Harry Potter movies in my opinion and one I wish could be completely redone or at least added to. it really needed some serious help. The fans wouldn’t have cared it if was even another half hour in length if it had felt more relaxed in its pacing and hadn’t skipped large chunks of the story. I want an extended version of this one so we can see all the missing pieces.

2. Beautiful Creatures – This one failed simply due to horrific casting. Lena was one of the worst casting decisions I have seen made in recent film history. This movie is supposed to be exciting but I fell asleep in the middle  because it simply was missing any emotion. You cannot do a good film adaption of a book if you don’t get the main characters right. It simply doesn’t work. Add to that the fact that there were entire characters missing and you’ll wish they would have left this one alone.

3. The Lightening Thief – This could have been awesome and it just wasn’t. It was a great book and the movie was just cheesy. It had some decent moments but overall it was so bad that I’m shocked they are doing the second one. I hope they don’t mess this one up as much as they did with the first one.

4. The Count of Monte Cristo – I absolutely love this book. I am an advocate for the unabridged version if you can get your hands on it. The movie however completely twists everything. It isn’t even the same story. The ending is completely off base. Major characters are missing completely and it’s just cheesy. This one is one of those books that deserves a serious movie adaption, not something loosely based on a great piece of literature that is a massive farce.

5. The Time Traveler’s Wife – Eric Bana. Yep. That and half of the story was completely missing. I was so disappointed in this one.

6. Eragon – I loved the book. Loved it even more when I found out exactly how old the author was. The movie looked like it was directed by a kid though. It missed every bit of magic that the book contained.

Remember when all the fan girls screamed at this image??

7. Twilight – I know that the last movie in the series made the best list but honestly this one simply is completely off when compared to the other movies in the franchise. Yes I know it suffered from a tiny budget and that they had no idea how it would explode but the poor filming is just painful when compared to the rest of the films.

8. The DaVinci Code – I love Tom Hanks. However, this was completely the wrong role for him. There were so many other great choices but nope. Tom Hanks gets the main character role. I knew it was doomed when they made that announcement. When I found out that Ron Howard was directing, I cringed and decided that I would wait until it hit on DVD. I was glad that I didn’t pay money to see this one.

9. A Wrinkle in Time – Someone please make a good movie version of this book because the book is amazing. The movie is so bad. It could be this amazing creepy dark masterpiece with an amazing redemption type ending. Instead it’s cheesy and not worth watching. Read the book guys, avoid the movie.

10. The Hobbit – I saved this one for last and the main reason is that while this could have been amazing, turning this into three movies is just painful. I can understand two but three? Really?? I fell asleep in the middle of the  first installment and I can’t see myself paying to go see the rest. I’ll wait for the DVD and probably until they are all done so I can get through the whole story at once.

I know this post is crazy long but what would you add (or delete) from my lists?

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Top Ten Tuesday: Characters who I would crush on if I were also a fictional character…

Top Ten TuesdaysYep, this post is otherwise known as who would my top choices for fictional boyfriends be. Honestly though, I think really this list is the worlds I simply would want to live in. Honestly, I wouldn’t want them in my real life but in their fictional worlds, becoming one of the characters – yep. The real name of this list should be books I want to live in and characters I would date if I were in their fictional worlds.

1. Let’s just get him out of the way, shall we? Yep, first on my list is Edward Cullen. A guy who could read my mind. Not saying that I would want to go through everything Bella Swan goes through in the series but Edward Cullen would definitely be in my top ten. Yes, I’m team Edward. Always have been. Always will be. Would I become a vampire for Edward Cullen? Absolutely.

2. Okay number two on my list is in books. Sort of. Books based off the TV show but still in books therefor he counts! Who might that be? Why the Doctor of course. If I had to pick a version, it would be Ten and I would be Rose. I absolutely love that storyline. While the others are wonderful and River Song is a very close second, it would have to be ten and Rose for sure.

3. Here is another sort of member of my list since there are books written about this character. Superman would definitely be on my list. No question. I don’t think this even needs explanation. Lois Lane is just awesome even though I wish it wouldn’t take so long for them to figure everything out.

4. Next on my list would be Richard Rahl from the Terry Goodkind series. If we want to talk torturing two characters and creating an amazing love story, this one is amazing. Of course, they are constantly fighting, almost dying and being pulled apart but when they are together, they are amazing. Plus Kahlan is a phenomenal character on her own.

5. Okay five on my list is Harry Potter simply because the love story between him and Ginny is wonderful, sweet and adorable. The problem is that I have two in this story that need to be mentioned, so my number 6 is…

6. Ron Weasley is number six simply because I am a whole lot like a muggle version of Hermione down to the crazy bushy hair and big front teeth. Not to mention the bookish rule follower that I used to be in school.

7. I think another would be Gilbert from the Anne series. I don’t know that I would want to live during that time period but I do think the way he loves her is amazing.  Even though she doesn’t see it, he knows from the beginning that they are meant to be and he waits for her as long as it takes until she realizes it too.

8. The love interest of Elisa in The Girl of Fire and Thorns series by Rae Carson. I simply love this story. The whole thing sneaks up on the reader in a way that you don’t expect. I really don’t want to say much because it would completely ruin the story 🙂

9. Mr. Rochester from Jane Eyre. I love this love story. I think that Jane makes all the right choices and I love how it all ends. Although I could do without the crazy wife in the attic.

10. Eragon would be the last one on the list simply because he loves her completely. However, I would completely change the end of the last book. Completely.

Whew. That list was very hard to come up with. There are many other stories that I love that I would never want to be in for example, while I love The Hunger Games, I would never want to live in that storyline. Another one would be The Host. Love the story but wouldn’t want to share my body with Wanda or be Wanda and have to share my body with someone else. Yikes. What characters would your list contain?

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Book Review: City of Lost Souls

Book: City of Lost Souls

Author: Cassandra Clare

Recommend: Worth reading if you’re a fan of the series. I swear this author just loved to torture her two main characters.

The latest book in the Mortal Instruments, a YA series,I’ve been wanting to get my hands on this one since it came out. A friend loaned it to me and as soon as I got through a couple of books that were pressing on my pile, I dived in. I had been waiting over a year to find out what happened to the male lead and how they were going to save him and so I couldn’t wait to get started.

Jace is being controlled by Clary’s brother. She does everything she can to try to find him. When they can’t, will she do the unthinkable and join her brother just to be with him again or will she fight, knowing it could be the end of the person she loves?

This was a great read. I still think that the last two books just don’t have the power of the first three. They are still a great read, but something is missing. I love how prolific this author is though. With two series going simultaneously, it seems we get a new book in each every year. I really can’t imagine waiting two years for this one!

Also, for more conservative readers, this author does include characters that are homosexual and are seen in a positive light. The author also chooses to allow her teen characters to be sexually active. While these scenes are not like reading an adult romance novel, they are rather suggestive. While this might not pose a problem for adult readers, some parents may not find this material appropriate for their teens.

This week the first images from the upcoming movie based on the first book of the series were made available. While I don’t know if this series will reach the level of Twilight, The Hunger Games or Harry Potter, I think it will draw a very large fan base. I personally can’t wait to see it!

This is the 5th book in the Mortal Instrument series, which starts with City of Bones. You can read my reviews of the previous books in the Mortal Instruments series here.

Final Rating:

Get it new!

Buy it new 🙂

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Book Review: Jenna Black’s Faeriewalker trilogy

I had read the first two books quite a while ago and never talked about them on my blog. I’m not sure why I didn’t review them, but for some reason, they just never wrote one. When I was able to pick up a copy of the last book in the trilogy and realized that I hadn’t covered the first two, I decided to mention all three in one post.

In the first book, Glimmerglass, teenage Dana is taking care of her alcoholic mother while trying to simply get through high school until she can’t take it anymore and runs away to find the father she has never really known. However when she arrives she is forced into a world of heavy politics, all centered around her gifts as a faeriewalker where no one is quite what they seem.

In the second book, Shadowspell, Dana is hidden away in a safe house to keep her from the many people who want to kill her, including both of the Fae queens. However, the appearance of the feared hunter, who is after her just like the rest, might cost more than she is willing to give.

https://i0.wp.com/www.jennablack.com/images/cover_sirensong.jpgThe final book, Sirensong, sends Dana into Faerie to appear before Tatania as her honored guest. A journey that should be simple. When a bomb explodes, all fingers point to Dana and she is forced to run for her life, how will she ever be safe again when the hunter is the one chasing her?

I think what I liked most about these books was that they were refreshingly original. Not a single vampire, werewolf, or angel made an appearance in the plot. In addition her fae world was actually believable and well thought out. The Elking (the hunter) really made the second and third books. This unpredictable character made the book intriguing because the reader doesn’t really know what he is going to decide. I also loved that the author included real life conflict with the fantasy.

I would say that her weak point were some of the teen characters. They felt a bit flat and were too predictable. However it wasn’t enough to say that they aren’t worth reading.

While this isn’t the next Twilight or Hunger Games, it is definitely a fun series.

Final Rating:

Get it used…

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Book Review: Eve

Book: Eve

Author: Anna Carey

Recommend: Definitely! This one rivals The Hunger Games or Matched. It might even be better!

I picked this one up at the library earlier today with a very large stack of other books. I have soft spot for dysptopian teen fantasy and thought that while it might be a bit cheesy, that I would enjoy the light read. This book surpassed every expectation I had to be one of the best pieces of teen fiction I have read. Period.

Eve is a girl who was orphaned by the plague. She is ready to graduate from school, a compound for orphaned girls. From there she will learn a trade and then be able to go to the City of Sand, to live a life of luxury. In actuality, graduation was something far more sinister. On the night before her graduation, Eve finds out the dark truth of graduation and runs.

There is so much about the plot of this book that I loved. It was shocking while still maintaining a sense of limits. It had great plot twists. The writing was decent. The pace was perfect. The ending was heart-wrenching. Caleb isn’t perfect but understands love and sacrifices for it.

The only negative I could find was that I think Eve gave up her beliefs about men too easily. Someone who had been brainwashed the way that she had been, wouldn’t have found it so easy to part with what she had been taught, even though she knew it wasn’t truth. I think the author rushed that section a bit, especially after a couple of the experiences she has. It was the only thing that made the character a bit unrealistic for me.

Definitely worth the time. This is one of those hidden gems that fans of YA fiction need to discover.

Final Rating:

Need more than one copy!!

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Hungering for more Hunger Games

Books: The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, and Mockingjay

Author: Suzanne Collins

Recommend: Yes yes and yes!

The Trilogy

I was reluctant to pick these books up. Two of my friends recommended that I read them and so I half-halfheartedly tried to find it at the library. It was harder than finding a copy of a Stephenie Meyer book, which is saying something. So, I went to the book store and bought the first book. One of my coworkers began to bug me and so I picked it up. I started reading and didn’t put it down until I finished. I called my coworker and begged her to bring the next two to work with her so I could read them. I finished them that night.

These books are a futuristic look at what was once the United States and what had become the country of Panem (meaning Bread). The country is divided into 13 districts and the capital. Their lives center around the hunger games. 2 children from each of the 12 remaining districts are chosen to compete against each other in a fight to the death where only one can come out the victor.

The story centers around a girl named Katniss who takes her little sister’s place in the hunger games. She unknowingly starts a revolution, changing the face of their civilization for good.

This story was a unique blend of so many different genres and it created a fresh and gripping story line that held me until I had finished them all.

There are of course the necessary love triangle, ultimate opponent and seemingly insurmountable odds. The only fault I could find with this amazing series is that some of it is a bit too predictable. I knew who would win the first set of the Hunger Games. I knew who Katniss would choose (although if you don’t- I won’t spoil it).

With a movie to look forward to (and hopefully the rest to follow), I can’t wait to see how this book gets interpreted for the big screen. I just HOPE I am not as disappointed in their choice for Katniss as I was with another favorite heroine of mine from a book series that was turned into a movie…

Definitely something to check out for readers of all ages!

Final Rating:

Buy it new 🙂

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