Thoughts on : from the pages to the screen

It’s been a kind of a trend, for a few years now :  young adult books are being, frequently, adapted into movies on the big screen, or into tv shows. I could quote so many, I just don’t know where to start. 

Book adaptations are, for me, both a great and a bad thing. First of all, there’s something no one can deny: bringing a book to the big screen, makes it reach a larger audience, an audience that, sometimes, books on their own can’t touch. I don’t like to say this, but lots of people will be more tempted to see a movie, than to read a book. Sometimes, a story that wouldn’t be well-known on the paper, can reach a great success by being adapted on screen. This is pretty awesome, I have to admit it: great books can finally get the success they deserve, this way. Book sales increases, and, suddenly, everyone is talking about this book. This movie. Well, this story, anyway. And that’s what the author wants, the publisher wants, the readers loving this story, want.

Once a movie is on its way, everything changes.

I believe that, sometimes, a story is better off between the pages of a book. That may be a selfish thing to admit, but it’s the truth. A movie adaptation comes at many costs, and it can be disappointing. I’m a firm believed that the story belongs to its readers. When a book is turned into a movie, I see that saying being shattered a bit. Let me explain: when you read a book, characters are coming to life, in your mind. They’re shaping themselves in your imagination, and the story unfolds before your eyes, figuratively. In your mind. Once a movie is on the way, everything changes. The face you imagined for a character, isn’t exactly (if you’re lucky), or at all (that’s more unlucky) as you expected it to be. The surroundings change, well, basically everything, can’t always be as you thought it would be. A movie changes the perception of a book. Sometimes, I find it disappointing too, because it doesn’t unfold the way it should. Some parts change, due to a movie budget, or other obligations I don’t really know that well.  I could talk about The Golden Compass movie, for instance. This book is my favorite of all times, when I was younger, and it still is. When I saw the movie, it was a huge disappointment. Some of the characters didn’t meet my expectations, but that wasn’t the worst. I thought that the whole movie was missing so many key points of the story. I would have prefered this book, to just, stay a book.

A movie has to stay true to the story told by the book.

I don’t find every book adaptation, that bad, though.  The most important thing is: the movie has to stay true to the story the author wanted to share. I find that that’s the case in The Fault in Our Stars, for instance. To be honest, when I heard about this book being turned into a movie (and it’s the same for all the other John Green novels), I wanted to cry. I thought they would simply wreck it. I wanted to keep John Green to myself, as selfish as that is. I didn’t really enjoy the cast, especially Shailene Woodley as Hazel. I was pleasantly surprised by seeing the movie. I will always love the book, more, but this movie stayed true to the story. It respected the scenes sometimes to perfection, and even the dialogues. But this is not why I liked it so much. I found it really good, because the characters, the scenes, the whole unfolding of the story, during the movie, respected to perfection the book, and what the book meant to say.

A good book adaptation doesn’t have to respect every scene, every dialogue. I think that it has to respect what the book meant to say. It should follow the plot, obviously, otherwise it’s not an adaptation to me. The actors should stay true to the characters of the book, even if they’re not exactly their twin, physically, as long as they’re the same mentally. I could quote Spencer’s character in the tv show Pretty Little Liars. Troian Belissario doesn’t look like, at all, how Spencer is supposed to be, physically. But she is her, in the way she play this character. A movie, a character, doesn’t need to respect everything to the point. It just needs to be true. If there’s that, then, it’s a success.

Share your thoughts with me ! What do you think of books being adapted into movies? Are you against it/for it? Do you see the movie and the book as separate entities? What makes you love / hate a book adaptation?

What’s your favorite book adaptation? What is the next adaptation you’re looking forward to?  

One last question : would you guys be interested in a regular chronicle called, from the pages, to the screen? I would be talking about a book, and its movie. Let me know your thoughts in comments! 🙂

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Book blogger, travel blogger, writer. 📚 |🌍 | 💞 Writing & Communications Graduate. French. Living on love, wanderlust and ya books.

15 thoughts on “Thoughts on : from the pages to the screen

  1. I don’t mind books being made into movies. I’m a very visual person so I enjoy everything coming to life before my eyes. But that doesn’t mean I love every and all book adaptations. I can appreciate artistic licence and the fact that everything from the book can’t be in the movie; however, you are right about capturing the essence of the book for the film.
    The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the perfect example of this. The story in the movie doesn’t follow the book, but the movie invokes the same feelings as the book, manages to relate to its audience and the charms of the characters are the same in both works.

    Definitely do a feature! I write one on occasion for my blog and it is so much fun! It also makes you appreciate the books mores (or the movies) 😛

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    1. You’re absolutely right. I loved The Perks of Being a Wallflower, both the book and the movie, even if they’re different. I think that this movie is a success, it perfectly captured the essence of the book, yes! 🙂
      Aw, you do? I’m definitely going to check that out, then! Thank you for your opinion, and for stopping by! 😀

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  2. I enjoyed this post so much and I completely agree with your opinions! 😀 I absolutely hate it when a favourite book of yours is turned into a movie which is not as great as you expected it to be (who doesn’t?). Like, for me, I did not enjoy City Of Bones movie as much as I did for the book. The thing is, I felt that if you were someone who has NOT read the book, then there is a chance that you will get confused. People who have read the book can skip on that and it does not really matter that much to them as they have played every scene in their mind and they understand what is going even if they skip some important parts. But I felt that if I had not read the book, I would probably end up being like,’Wait… What on earth is going on now and why on earth is that person there??? ‘
    But even after saying all that, some good movies which were books introduced me to those books. Because I have to confess that if I had not seen The Hunger Games movie, I probably would never have read the series.
    But none of these facts are actually remembered when a new movie of a book you loved is getting released. Sure you ponder over those facts at times, but at the other times, you are just fangirling like crazy.
    Trust me I am still fangirling over Paper Towns and every time someone mentions it I go I WANNA WATCH THE MOVIE!! 😛 I really do hope it’s good though!! 😀

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    1. Aww, thank you so much for your opinion! I agree with you, I was disappointed by The City of Bones movie, too! Like you, I felt that there was so many things missing, I understood, but some people didn’t, I think, and that’s a shame! Actually, I felt confused at times, because I read the book a while before seeing the movie, that made me even more disappointed, I think. I didn’t find what I loved so much about this world, in the movie.
      Aw, and what did you think of the books, after seeing The Hunger Games? Did you like them better, what did you think of the differences? 🙂
      AAww Paper Towns, I LOVE YOU ahah!! I can’t wait either to see this movie!! This book is one of my favorites, I really hope they stay true to the story. I think I can trust John Green on that, though, since they did a great job with The Fault in Our Stars! 😀
      Thank you SO much for stopping by, loved to read your opinion on that subject! 😀

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      1. I too think that the Paper Towns movie is gonna be good, because if it is at the same level at the TFIOS movie, I’m gonna love it. 😀 Not even kidding, after watching The Hunger Games movie, I scoured and searched every nook and corner of the library to read the series (which I absolutely loved), and I enjoyed both, the movies and books. 😀 Kind of disappointed by Mockingjay Part 1, but I had to accept the fact that all the action is going to be in Mockingjay Part 2. SOO EXCITED!! 😀 😀

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      2. Yes, me too!! I just can’t wait to see it, it seems SO far away, I need it now! 😀 I’m so happy you’re as excited, we can fangirl together once we finally see it, ahah 😀
        I was kind of disappointed by Mockingjay, part one, too, sadly, and I can’t wait (and I’m scared, too, and I’m definitely going to cry, a lot) for the part two! However, I LOVED Josh’s acting of Peeta, when he’s manipulated by the Capitole, and him going completely crazy. He was brilliant, I think, even if it broke my heart. Aww I can’t waaait!! 😀

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