Discussion: Book to Movie Adaptations I Loved and Hated

Posted July 14, 2016 by Jamie in Discussions // 1 Comment

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Book to Movie Adaptations I Loved and Hated

Transforming YA books into movies is the next big trend. I’m going to talk to you about which movie adaptations I have liked and which left me wanting something more. I am only talking about movie that I have read the book for AND seen the movie. I will end with whether or not you should read the book or watch the movie.

NOTE: If a full series was made into a movie, I will individually rate each movie before doing an overview of the full film series as a whole.

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The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games

I saw this in theatres 6 times. It is one of my favourites movies because it took the book and kept it so similar while still transforming it for the big screen.

Catching Fire

Literal perfection. This is the movie that I use as my standard for all other adaptations because everything that was important was included, except Katniss’s deafness and Peeta’s missing leg.

Mockingjay Part 1

I was a bit disappointed that some things in the book weren’t included in this one, like the scene between Finnick and Katniss in the bunker where he gets her to knot the rope to pass the time and keep her mind off of things better left not thought about.

Mockingjay Part 2

Literal perfection. It had the right elements of the original text and shown in a way that made sense to the watchers without having to read the book.

Overall

One of the BEST book to movie adaptations that has been produced. There were some issues, especially with casting and the fact that they didn’t make Katniss and Peeta disabled in subsequent films like they were in the books. However, there was so much goodness in this one and the differences between the books and movies were minimal and necessary to create a MOVIE rather than a book.

My Suggestion: This is one time that I tell people they can watch the movies if they don’t want to read the books.

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Harry Potter

Philosopher’s Stone

So good. The tone and casting was done perfectly. The story followed what was necessary to introduce us to the new world while not bogging down the watchers with unnecessary information.

Chamber of Secrets

Again, really well done. All the main plot points were included and it felt complete. I didn’t feel like anything was missing in the movie narrative that I really gained by having read the book prior to.

Prisoner of Azkaban

With a change in the director came a change in the tone of this movie franchise. I think the main plot points were still hit and it was really well done, but something felt off about this one to me that didn’t quite sit right.

Goblet of Fire

HARRY DID YOU PUT YOUR NAME IN THE GOBLET OF FIRE
#notoverit
Also I disliked that they ignored Hermione’s storyline with the House Elves in this one. It was the first time that we really saw the Golden Trio get into politics and was such an important step for Hermione’s character.

Order of the Phoenix

Just a big nope. There was so much wrong with this one. They cut way too much out and it was very nuanced rather than thoroughly explained. I thought a lot of the scenes were underwhelming, especially the scene in the Ministry of Magic. There needed to be so much more time spent on developing the complexities of the Ministry not believing Harry rather than rushing over it.

Half-Blood Prince

Probably the one I have seen the most but remember the least of (except that bathroom scene with the wand fight). It was very underwhelming but also had some of Tom Felton’s best acting. In the book we see everything from Harry’s perspective but this movie gave us the other side of what Draco is feeling and has to do and it was wonderfully done. I think that there was something missing from this movie about Voldemort’s story and how he chose his horcruxes

Deathly Hallows Part 1

So much wasted potential. Yes the first half of this book is the Golden Trio on the run but it also looks at the complexities of their relationship with one another and what it means that they all left school to stop evil in the world. I was also very upset that the radio transmissions from Fred, George, and Jordan weren’t included.

Deathly Hallows Part 2

A pretty satisfying conclusion overall. I think they were smart to split this one up so they could touch on more of the plot points and tie up some loose story ends. I wanted 100% more of Dumbledore’s story from the book to be included in this movie as it was glossed over in the film.

Overall

Overall I am always going to rewatch this movie series and also reread the books. Hogwarts is my home away from home.

My Suggestion: I would recommend watching the movies to people who don’t want to commit to seven books but I would always recommend reading the books over watching the movie for this one. You get so much more richness and details that you miss in the movies. And there are motives and characters that aren’t in the movies but are in the books!

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The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner

I actually didn’t mind this one either. That could be my love for Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scoderlaro but I think a lot of what was in the book was also in the movie. I was a bit disappointed that we didn’t get to fully have Theresa and Thomas communicating through their minds because I liked this connection between them. I also didn’t like the change at the end of how they got through the barrier. But these are little changes that I can live with considering I wasn’t overly in love with the book.

The Scorch Trials

Okay so here’s my problem with this one: they left the actual “trial” bit in the book instead of including it in the movie. The acting was still fantastic and I will probably watch the third one just for Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scoderlaro because they are both bae, but this movie was not that good in terms of adapting the original text. Not that the text was good, but this movie was meh. There were a lot of powerhouse actors in it though so I guess if you want to check it out, go for it.

Overall

This is going to be posted before the third movie comes out but honestly the books aren’t that good and the movies are probably only good to me because of Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scoderlaro, so I feel like it doesn’t really matter if the movies are good so long as those two have scenes.

My Suggestion:

Read the first book and watch the first movie and if you like Dylan O’Brien and Kaya Scoderlaro, you could continue. Otherwise, don’t waste your time.

Perry Jackson

The Lightning Thief

I’m not going to lie, I watched this movie before I read the books but I heard the movie was terrible — like even the actors were saying that the book was better. So I am glad for this movie’s existence because it got me to read the book and had Jake Abel in it but book to movie wise it was terrible. Absolutely terrible. Pretty much nothing was the same between the two except character names. They barely even tried.

Sea of Monsters

I think I watched this one just to torture myself more. Oh and it was on Netflix so I didn’t have to pay for it. This was not good. I actually feel bad for the actors because it is as though they KNOW it isn’t a good movie but have to continue anyway.

Overall

They should never ever make another PJO movie. Just leave those books alone. Although like it would have been so awesome to have GOOD adaptations of these ones because they are so rich with detail and have such amazing characters. If they tried again and kept it closer to the original text, I might actually enjoy it. But these movies are the reason I distrust Hollywood to make book adaptations.

My Suggestion:This is one time I will ALWAYS say read the books over watching the movies.

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The Host

Actually really well done. I live tweeted me watching this one and commented on how I was really impressed that they had covered the major points of the book and did it in a way that really made sense. However, I thought instead of the complex relationships that Wanda has with Ian and Jared, it felt rushed and overlooked. I also wasn’t a huge fan of them aging the characters down but I overlooked this because Jake Abel was cast and he would not have been my choice if they stuck to the original ages.

My Suggestion: This could go either way. You could read the book or watch the movie in my opinion and have a similar experience.

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Divergent

Divergent

I went to this with my roommate and we were both there specifically for Theo James. And he would be the only reason I would continue with watching the rest of this movie series because this was not a good adaptation in my opinion. There were some changes that I just couldn’t get behind (like Tris’s fear scape thing) and it felt so rushed that I couldn’t connect to any of the characters or really feel like we were in this world. As well, seeing it on screen made me realize how silly some of the plot points of this book were.

Overall

I didn’t mind the Divergent series; it wasn’t my favourite but it also wasn’t horrible. I can’t comment on the other movies, but from what trusted sources (aka my friends) have said, Insurgent was OK but Allegiant isn’t worthwhile. I also remember reading somewhere that they cut funding on Ascendant (the fourth movie with a different title, which is a whole other issue) so you know, there’s that.

My Suggestion: I would recommend not checking out either the books or the movies because they were both mediocre.

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The Mortal Instruments

City of Bones

I think I’m in the minority with this one because I didn’t mind this movie adaptation. I like Lily Collins as Clary and thought she did a wonderful job in the movie. I think a lot of the major plot points are hit in this one and that it was overall really well done tbh.

Overall

I haven’t watched Shadowhunters and don’t plan on watching Shadowhunters but I also didn’t mind this movie. This series should have only been a trilogy and I probably wouldn’t have liked it they had made all SIX books into SIX SEPARATE MOVIES because that would have been tedious. But I do think it deserved a sequel.

My Suggestion: I would recommend reading the first three books of the Mortal Instruments series and then maybe reading The Infernal Devices if you are so inclined.

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The 5th Wave

I read this book literally the day before I went to see the movie and I LOVED the book. There was one change I was okay with in the movie (the bathing scene) and some other changes I was less okay with that I would be more than happy to tell you about under a spoiler tag.

View Spoiler »

My Suggestion: I would recommend reading the book over watching the movie but also there are hot guys in the movie so you could watch it too.

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What book to movie adaptations do you like? Which ones do you hope they make in the future?

About Jamie

Jamie lives over the ocean in a small town in Canada. She is a perpetual people pleaser, thus she took up a career path in Human Resources. She moonlights as a book blogger and catches up on Netflix shows when she is laying in bed wishing she could sleep.

She's been blogging at Books and Ladders since May 2015 and co-blogging at Queen of the Bookshelves since August 2015. Since Jamie can't ever really say no to a book, she reads all varieties of Science Fiction and Fantasy, YA Contemporary, YA Historical Fiction, and YA Fairy Tale/Mythology Retellings.

One response to “Discussion: Book to Movie Adaptations I Loved and Hated

  1. Molly's Book Nook

    I enjoyed The Host as well! Although, I haven’t read the book. I started not to like THG after the second movie. I don’t know, I think I just got annoyed of Jennifer Lawrence. Her acting is terrible to me xD

    Also, have you see all three of the Divergent movies out? The last one that came out is just….so bad. They did cut funding for the final movie & it’s rumored that it will be a straight-to-TV movie.

    Great post! I love chatting about films 🙂
    Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook

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