Books vs. Movies

So I’ve been thinking lately about all the books I’ve read and a lot of them have been adapted into films. In most cases I try to read the books first but sometimes I get stubborn and I’m not inclined to read until I’ve seen and enjoyed the film.

There are so many different connotations, good and bad, surrounding books being turned into movies. I even came across a quote on Pinterest that read, “Don’t judge a book by its movie.” While it may seem a bit extreme, I think that a movie adaption of a very well received book is the type of thing that can make or break a franchise. There is always a lot of pressure to make the film as amazing as possible when the book has cultivated such a huge fan base. Sometimes Hollywood gets it very right, but sadly there have been times when they didn’t do as well as everyone had hoped.

Some movie adaptions I think have done particularly well are Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, The Hunger Games franchise – these movies always have me on the edge of my seat, Harry Potter of course, The Great Gatsby (the 1974 version), Something Borrowed (in my opinion  the movie was much better than the book), and of course The Fault in our Stars. I have left out Twilight for one reason; while I enjoyed the books very much during the height of their popularity, and I religiously dragged my family to the midnight movie premiers, I have grown to question a lot of the reasons I liked the books. Yes, I’m definitely a sucker for romance and Edward seemed like the perfect man at the time, but now that I am older and a bit more experienced in the romance department, I realize just how strange the relationships between the characters are. I recognize that Twilight was a huge phenomenon and may still have a large fan base so I will not discount its success. I will simply say that it is no longer high up on my list of amazing adaptions.

It is so hard to pick a favorite among so many fantastic stories, but I think the one that resonates with me the most is The Fault in our Stars. I’ve ranted about how much I love this book before so I won’t go too far into it, but in my opinion at least, this movie stayed so true to the book and the chemistry between the actors was so real and beautiful. I don’t think I could have cried any harder in the theater if I’d tried. I just really enjoyed this story the most. Call me sappy!

Anyway, I’d love to hear everyone else’s favorites, so if you read my little blog please feel free to comment. Let’s get a discussion going! 🙂

Advertisements

How “The Fault in our Stars” Crushed my Soul. *WARNING: SPOILERS!!!*

So by now now I’m sure everyone knows about/ has read The Fault in our Stars by John Green. It’s heartbreaking, it’s inspiring, it’s easily the most devastating work of young adult fiction that’s ever been written. TFIOSHere’s the short version. A teenage girl named Hazel Grace Lancaster suffers from thyroid cancer. Her mother makes her go to a cancer support group at a church for other kids with cancer. At this support group she meets the ever charming Augustus Waters, who had osteosarcoma, but is now in remission. They hang out, fall in love, and just  when you get really attached to them as a couple, John Green rips off the band aid and tears your hope apart with the cold, hard iron fist that is cancer.

The style of writing and heartfelt sentiments of teenage love will fill your heart with much emotion you won’t know how to handle it. I had heard that TFIOS was such a good book and that I would love it, and while those things are 100% true, everyone neglected to mention that I would also cry through the ENTIRE last half of the book. When i began the book it was my expectation that there would be death. It’s a book about kids with cancer after all. My expectation that it would be Hazel who died, however, was completely and soul-shatteringly (is that a word?) wrong. And here come the spoilers! Reading the decline of Augustus’ health was the hardest part of this book for me. He is introduced as a strong, charming, wise beyond his years young man who seems to have overcome his curable form of cancer, and his story ends with him in a state of complete weakness. There is a point towards the end of the book in which Hazel shows this connection. John Green makes a note by explaining how Hazel went from calling him Augustus in the beginning, like the great emperor, to calling him Gus in the end, just as his parents do, showing how he has become weaker and more boy-like. More mortal.

TFIOS is by far my favorite book since A Rose for Melinda, which also happens to be about a teenage girl with cancer. So, as you can see, I have a thing for tragically sad stories. John Green created a gem of a novel with TFIOS because it’s isn’t just a love story or a story about sick kids, it’s a story about how learning what it means to love and being given the opportunity regardless of age or health and despite having very long to live on the planet. I believe that’s what is beautiful about Hazel and Augustus. Even though Hazel had come to terms with her disease and her mortality and Augustus believed he had longer to live than he did, neither of them let their circumstances stop them having the chance to love each other. Some people never get the chance to fall in love.

So, I’ll end this post before I start to cry. Read and re-read TFIOS, go see the movie if you haven’t yet because Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort did a fantastic job of bringing Hazel and Augustus to life on screen, and be sure to check out John Green’s website and follow him on his various social media sites like I do! His other books are good too. I am currently reading Looking for Alaska, so expect a post on that soon.

Okay? Okay.

http://johngreenbooks.com/