Sunday, September 23, 2012

Let's Go to the Movies

Personally, I group all books-to-movies into two categories of emotion: 

(1) I loved the book, and now my gushing geeky super-fandom has been rewarded by the big screen! Happy, happy, joy, joy!" 


(2) "Arghhhhhh! How could you take such amazingness and turn it into total rubbish? There should be some sort of intelligence/integrity test for you to even touch this book, let alone take creative liberties with it!" 

You see, there's really no other way to feel about it. 

Movies are a great way to get into reading, whether you read a ton or you're more the reluctant-to-pick-up-a-book type. Love the characters you see on screen, the action, the romance, the new worlds? These are just a primer to what you'll get on the page. If you read the book first, the movie is (most of the time) a sweet reward you can treat yourself to at the end of the book. Compare, contrast.

"Hey, what's the point of this post?" You may well be asking by now. Remember my categories above? I'm going to present to you a handful of YA books that have been turned into movies. All of the books are AWESOME SAUCE, but I can't always say the same for all the movies. Click on any of the book titles to find them in the OWWL catalog; and while you're there, you can probably find the flick as well.

Without further ado (I promise):

Category (1): Book + Movie = YAY!

The Hunger Games by Susanne Collins

Duh. Boys, girls: if you haven't read this yet, do yourself a favor, get out of your cave, and go to the library. Now, I'm not saying the movie is as good as the book, but I thought they did a pretty good job at adapting my beloved book to the screen. And Jennifer Lawrence rocks as Katniss. I'm pumped and ready for Catching Fire, the sequel, to hit the screen next year.

Other great books-2-movies:
  • Pride and Prejudice and Emma by Jane Austen (depends on the adaptation: I'm a die-hard fan of the Kiera Knightly version of P&P and the Clueless adaptation of Emma).
  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling (though I do take issue with 1 or 2 of the films for being lame, the last few movies especially were spot on)
  • The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick (some may say this book is just for kids but I would say they are wrong!)
  • The Black Butler manga series by Yana Toboso
  • The Lord of the Rings trilogy by J.R.R. Tolkien

Category (2): Movie, What Have You Done to Me?

The Golden Compass by Philip Pullman

Dude... I. Just. Can't. Even. This book is a fantasy classic with some serious philosophical underpinnings that will set your head spinning (in a good way). Also, I want my own daemon. But the movie may very well be the worst adaptation I have ever seen. People warned me, but I just didn't listen. The worst offense? They changed an already action packed plot for no reason that I can logically determine. DO NOT watch this movie. DO read the book.

Other mistreated books-2-movies:
  • The Chronicles of Narnia series by C.S. Lewis (my favorite books as a tween; I couldn't make it through the first movie. It hurt my soul).
  • The Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer (some may say that the books themselves are not so great, but I read all of them despite their glaring flaws. But the movies, well, they were just painful to sit through).
Of course, I can't cover all the great books-to-movies here, nor do I want to cover all the bad ones. What are your favorites? Which ones made you want to scream? Do you totally disagree with me? Let me know. Also, because I love you, let's end on a positive note:

Books-2-Movies Coming Not-Soon-Enough to a Theater Near You:
Be sure to check out my Events page for awesome movies based on books that you can see at the library (with popcorn) this fall.  -Kelley, (your) Teen Services Librarian   

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