{DISCUSSION} Movie Adaptations

Should books be adapted into film?

Wow. I can’t honestly believe it’s taken me over a YEAR to actually have this discussion, especially considering it’s such a vehement topic among readers (and God knows among me and anyone within my unfortunate proximity.) But better late than never, right? πŸ˜€

So, let’s get into it.

Movie adaptations SUCK!
Absolutely, completely, unfortunately.

But why? How can a story you love so much be so brutally destroyed in less than 2 hours? Well… a lot of reasons! And I think I should tell you ALLLLLL about them. 😈

🎢“And I’d like to take a minute.
Just sit right there.
I’ll tell you how I became the
[Queen of Unpopular Opinions]”Β 

1) Movie adaptations are abhorrent because of the excessive amount of important content left out from the original novel.

Now I know some people would say that all original content is important and well… duh! But what I’m talking about is vital plot points, character developments, and world building aspects. Too many of these are just skipped over. This may not be a big deal for the reader who knows absolutely everything there is to know about the story, but for newbies, whole chunks may not make any sense now. This is not okay!

Example: The Hunger Games adaptation never explained in the movie what an ‘avox’ was.

2) Whoever is in charge of casting… needs to be fired. And then banished to the depths of Hell. And then submitted to Chinese water torture.

I cannot STAND some of the god awful casting choices they have made for recent YA movie adaptations. Not only can the chosen actors and actresses not act, but they don’t look or act LIKE the original characters. Their interpretation is just blasphemous! A bad character ruins the ENTIRE adaptation. Especially when it’s the MC.

Example: The Divergent adaptation cast Shailene Woodley as Tris Prior, which was an awful choice because she didn’t appropriately portray the female heroine we came to know in the book series.

3) Directors are allowed to take liberties with the direction of the movie/story/character development.

God. Do I really need to talk about this? Apparently I do because for some reason whoever handed over the rights of the novel to the producer/director/WHATEVER also sold their soul because they allowed WAY too many changes to be made. This results in the movie being almost NOTHING like the original. Maybe this works sometimes, but more often than not, it’s a shit show. Yup! I said it! You suck at writing, Hollywood. It’s why you’re being forced to steal plots from authors. Sincerely, I hate you.

Example: The Maze Runner honestly had so many changes from the original book. Not so much plot-wise, but event-wise (like how exactly they escape.) This led to the movie seeming ten times dumber than the original novel (and I’m not even talking about the vocabulary.)

Alright. I won’t bog you down with any more god-awful adaptations or reasons (even though the list could go on and on and on.) And yes, the examples were all YA dystopian, but that’s because I don’t read YA contemporary, which are what more of the other adaptations are. But I’m sure those who have read those books/seen those movies have noticed these horrid trends, as well.

The point is that most YA book adaptations are screwed up by Hollywood in some way, shape, or form. And I get that you can’t please everyone. I get they can’t fit everything, etc, etc. But it’s like they aren’t even trying. It’s like they think YA books are a joke because that’s the way they are treating them by turning them into trash movies with sub-par acting, horrible choice-making, and a track record that has me worried about future adaptations.

Side Note:
I can think of only one, ONE YA book adaptation
that I actually thought was done well.
(If I Stay by Gayle Foreman.)

But what do you think?
Are there any good YA book adaptations out there?
Leave your thoughts below!

And check out my discussion from last week:


68 thoughts on “{DISCUSSION} Movie Adaptations”

  1. I agree with all your points! This problem happens with movie adaptation of video games too; the games can be super engaging and fantastic, but movie adaptations of the games are just kind of bleh. 😞
    So I prefer books and games over their movie adaptations. πŸ˜€
    Exception: I actually prefer How to Train Your Dragon movie adaptation over the books. It might be because I watched it first. πŸ˜…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WHAT?! How to Train Your Dragon was a book?! How did I not even know this?! Well, don’t I feel like a massive poser. 0.0

      I haven’t watched any movies based off video games yet, but I have seen a couple. Didn’t they make some Halo movies and an Assassin’s Creed movie or something? I dunno. I guess I wasn’t interested because I couldn’t imagine a game being turned into a movie in the first place. :/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep, I also only learned that quite sometime after watching the movie! I’ve only read a couple of the childrn’s book series (which is probably why it’s out of our radar), but I find it’s completely different. Do check it out when you can and let me know what you think. πŸ˜€

        Yeah, I think games are more interesting being games rather than movies too. While I haven’t watched the Halo or Assassin’s Creed ones, I watched the Tomb Raider and Street Fighter ones. And I couldn’t watch a Dragon Ball movie past the first 10 minutes or so without cringing, it was that bad. πŸ˜…

        Liked by 1 person

        1. BAHAHAHAH! Dragonball should NEVER have been made into a movie. Oh man. Too funny. Though, trying to re-watch the show as an adult is bad enough. :p three episodes later Still staring at each other intensely. Bahahha!

          And I will take a look at HtTYD! Thanks for telling me about it!

          Liked by 1 person

            1. Well, I never read the manga for DBZ, just watched the show (because my brother was watching. :p ) But it really is amazing how easily children are entertained. I’m barely staying entertained with Ranma 1/2 that I’m re-binging. :p Oh, anime.

              P.s. Don’t ever try to watch dubbed Inuyasha. You will be horrified!!! 0.0

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Haha, those were the days! I watched Dragonball Z and Sailormoon in Chinese, and as a kid I didn’t think it was too bad. Not anymore, though. πŸ˜†

                Yes, the horror of dubbed anime! Though if you think English dub is bad, try Malay dub… another reason why I stuck with manga instead of anime. πŸ˜›

                Liked by 1 person

                1. Hahahaha! I would pick manga too if I had a) money and b) the time in my reading schedule. 0.0 Alas, I’m stuck with anime for now. Though, perhaps if I have time in the future I’ll do a manga review day and like… pick some up from the library. That’d be kind of cool… maybe…

                  Liked by 1 person

                  1. I usually either read them online (unlicensed ones) or rent them from a manga shop nearby. πŸ˜€
                    Hopefully you do get some time to do some manga review in near future!

                    Liked by 1 person

                    1. YOU HAVE A MANGA SHOP?! Where do you live?! I’m coming to visit!!!!!! πŸ˜†

                      Hee hee! We’ll see how grad school goes for time. I have like… a billion other things I want to start on my blog, too. Ugh. I hate having to pick and choose. sigh

                      Liked by 1 person

                    2. Malaysia! I haven’t been to one in ages but they’re definitely somewhere about. πŸ˜†

                      Kinda wish you have more time, huh? I have the same problem with my hobbies too. πŸ˜…

                      Liked by 1 person

                    3. Bahahahaha! Do you know how many different stores people have told me to open? A coffee shop. A bookstore. A manga shop. The list goes on. The problem is… i’m a science major. I know NOTHING about business. 0.0

                      Liked by 1 person

  2. They are generally bad, but keep in mind your average best-seller that gets picked up for a film adaptation is about 280-500 pages, which is roughly a 5-8 hour experience (unless you’re some kind of speed-reading cyborg) that gets distilled down to a 90-120 minute film. Of course there are exceptions (Hunger Games) but then, film critics slam it for a long, “bloated” running time. I think the answer, as the horrific critical reviews of the King’s Dark Tower are proving today, is that some books can be adapted, but others should just be left well enough alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BAHAHAHAH! Your time allotment for books is MUCH smaller than mine. That 500 page book will take me a couple days. πŸ˜† But I do understand what you’re trying to say. There is way too much information to put into a movie, but that’s not what I’m asking for. I’m simply stating that they need to either explain the things they do add, or cut them out entirely.

      Honestly, I had some issues with the Hunger Games movie. They chose to give insight into the Game Maker world and the Capitol when they could’ve just focused on Katniss’s POV. So… not sure that’s really a good example. And that is one of the bad examples I gave in my post because they chose to implement pieces from the book but then NEVER explained them for people who hadn’t read the book. That’s just bad writing. Tsk tsk.


  3. The thing is I’m not a big fan because aside Harry Potter you’re righte about…most of them. So why do I go watch them each time??????? Don’t know πŸ™‚ Anyway the worst is a bad casting (especially because you prortayed the hero a certain way) and when they take too much liberties with the book. Will I still watch them? Yes. And be disappointed probably.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ugh! Bad casting is the WORST! Honestly, I wish that they would pick unknown actors for book adaptations because when you see someone from something else… it really kills the character. You keep seeing that actor as their past roles. Or… they just don’t have the right personalities for the character.

      That being said, I think that Willow Shields would’ve been an AMAZING choice for Tris in Divergent. Shailene Woodley did NOT have the right demeanor for the character and totally ruined it. Unfortunately, Willow Shields was still wrapped up in the Hunger Games franchise at the time. sigh

      And you’re right. I still go watch them because… Well, honestly, I just love tearing them to shreds. BAHAHAHA! I’m quite amused by critiquing films, just like I enjoy critiquing books. :p Guess it’s a hard habit to kick. πŸ˜‰


  4. I’m not a big fan of movie / TV adaptions of books (don’t get me started on Game of Thrones). For all the reasons mentioned above (missing content, liberties, bad casting)… but MOSTLY because it brings out band-waggon fans; the people who LOVE Harry Potter but don’t know who Peeves is (as Bookmark Chronicles said)… or the folk who LOVE Game of Thrones but don’t know Lady Stoneheart… etc, etc, etc.
    Books over movies anyday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh! I totally feel you, Jessica! The worst is when people don’t even realize the movie/tv show is actually based off a book. Like… how can you really call yourself a member of the fandom if you don’t even KNOW about half the fandom?! Ugh. Such posers. :p

      But really though, there is a serious difference between the fans who read the books and those who just watched the movie/tv show. Like… they’re completely different people and the ones who didn’t read the book can be quite difficult/annoying to deal with. I dunno. They seem kind of… lazy to me. πŸ˜•

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think it depends on the book and the movie with this honestly. I don’t think everything from the book needs to be on screen, but the feel of the book, the major plot points, and the character personalities need to be there.

    City of Bones, in my opinion, was a great movie in relation to the book and the way I felt when I read it. Shadowhunters TV show is AWFUL, in my opinion, because the characters are all off and the major plot points were changed and some were added that never happened.

    The Help was a fantastic movie, and I liked it more than the book. It was more exciting but still had the feel and the major similarities to the book.

    The Host, was still a fantastic movie, in my opinion, and still had the feel that the book did, even though the story was changed slightly.

    So, in this situation, I think going book by book, movie by movie, and judging individually would be best.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh! I totally agree with you, Adrienne. I never expect EVERYTHING to be in the adaptation, but too often Hollywood pulls things from the book without actually fully pulling them from the book. They just cut the wrong corners to the point where those who didn’t read the book have no idea what’s going on. It’s like… an author publishing a book that was never edited.

      Well, way to through out all the things I DON’T know about. Bahahaha! πŸ˜‚ I watched City of Bones and… it was a pretty bad movie in my opinion, but I never read the book (and I don’t really like Lily Collins. oops). Now, I didn’t watch the TV show because the trailers looked AWFUL.😳 But I think TV shows are allowed more freedom with their adaptation than movies. A good example is The 100. TV show is NOTHING like the book, but I LOVE the TV show. The book is garbage. Hahahaha!

      Still haven’t read The Help (but loved the movie), and I haven’t read The Host (but I loved the movie.) Hahaha! There have been certain movies I’ve watched that have made me WANT to go read the book: Hunger Games, The Help, The Host, Outlander. (The 5th Wave was an AWFUL movie, but I haven’t read the book yet. So… hoping that’s not garbage, too. sigh)

      Thank you for sharing so many examples! πŸ˜€ It makes me realize that I need to read more if I want to really talk about this topic. Hee hee!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. This is true. Sometimes you just want to shake the director and say “did you even read the book??”

        Haha, not a Lily fan huh? I feel the same about Kristin Stewart, lol.

        I LOVE the 100 and agree it is NOTHING like the books, haha. So crazy!

        I did enjoy The 5th Wave though, and I still need to read the book too!

        I always enjoy your discussions. I have lots more I need to read and watch still too!!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. They didn’t read the book, though! That’s the thing! Someone else read it for them and pitched it to them. That’s how Hollywood works! Ugh! headdesk

          Bleh. I don’t like Kstew or Lily. Give me some better options NOW! :p

          Meh… The romance in The 5th Wave was just too central focus for me. It kind of killed the rest of the story, but I did appreciate the plot twist. (Not that it was really a plot twist if you’ve EVER watched any alien movies, but I didn’t expect it in YA. And… I wasn’t really paying attention anymore. >.> Oops.)

          Aww! I’m glad you enjoy my discussions, Adrienne! And I’m glad you join them. I love chatting with you! πŸ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And that is why most of those movies aren’t successful. I think you can tell when they have read the book when the movie gets close.

            I’m neutral on Lily, but Kstew is AWFUL!!! Lol.

            Is it the romance in the 5th Wave book? And, speaking of Alien. I’d love to know if you like the Alien franchise. πŸ™‚

            I love chatting with you! We need to do it more often!

            Liked by 1 person

            1. Hahaha! Yes, we do need to chat more often. πŸ™‚

              I haven’t read the 5th wave. I dunno if the romance is in the book, but it was in the movie and it was toooooo much. >.<

              Alien? Like… AVP? looks it up Um… haven’t seen it? πŸ™‚ >.> Heh. I dunno, am I? :p

              Liked by 1 person

  6. Interesting question. First, movies and books are entirely different art forms. It’s impossible to compare them. The problem occurs if you love a book and then you go to see the movie expecting it to be the book you love. It can’t be. It’s impossible. A movie can and should only be judged and rated based on other movies.

    Have you ever seen a movie, loved it, and then discovered it was based on a book? What did you think of the book? Typically I’ll like the book better. But not always. And sometimes they are different enough that they don’t step on each other. I’ve only had problems if I read the book first.

    Anyway, for the most part I’m not talking YA, just books in general. A little younger than YA, I did love the movie Coraline….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Actually, yes. I have read a few books because I was inspired by the movie, namely Hunger Games. While the movie was good (before the book), you find out so much more about the world once you read the book. You also find out the explanations for a lot of things that were thrown into the movie (because they were in the book), but never explained for the watchers. So, in that case, I did prefer the book. (Not that HG wasn’t a good movie. Just… lacking clarity.)

      And I like that you bring up the fact that these are two different art forms. That’s a very important aspect to consider when judging a movie adaptation. There are so many more things to worry about in a movie when compared to a book: the look of the actors/actresses, accuracy of the setting, cinematography, music, etc, etc. I think because there are so many other things to worry about (all of which are constrained to the real world instead of a made-up, fictional world), a movie can never truly stand up to a book. Books are limitless. Movies… not so much. (though we are getting thgere.)

      Ah. I’ve never seen Coraline, but I’m not big on claymation. Kind of creeps me out. πŸ˜• Also reasons why I don’t watch many of the Christmas classics.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Claymation or not, Coroline was the creepiest movie I’ve ever seen πŸ˜‰ But it was supposed to be creepy. it wasn’t scary, just creepy…

        You can’t fit a full book into a two hour movie. Not even a trilogy of movies. I once watched a BBC production of Oliver Twist that was maybe 30 hours long and still missed many of the details! To me, though, it is better to discover the details by reading after watching than to watch a movie and constantly be missing the details.

        When they miss the intent it is even worse. The movie Blade Runner is a great movie, but it is not the same as Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, even if 80% of the plot comes from the book. The book is about a philosophy that is never once mentioned in the movie. It is the entire meaning of the book! And never mentioned… But the movie is great as a stand alone, as long as you pretend that it has nothing to do with the book.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Well, it sounds like they changed the name from the book. So it’s very likely that they’d intended to take liberties with the original plot line and maybe the author was okay with that. It happens. The same thing happened with I, ROBOT. Basic principles were taken from the book, but outside of that, it was it’s own thing.

          Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this post! Yeah there are some good adaptations but theyre only good when you don’t compare them to their original work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hee hee! Thank you so much! Glad you enjoyed it.😊 And yes, I think that is very true in most cases. There have been a couple where the movie was still good despite having read the book, but that’s more the exception than the rule. :p


  8. I can’t really comment on YA because I don’t read enough in that genre (please don’t banish me from following your blog!). My main problem with film adaptations is their visual power over my mind. Once I have seen the characters in the flesh, my imagination is unable to form its own ideas about a person or scene. I think it narrows my reading experience and pleasure. For that reason I have decided NOT to watch the movie version of a book unless I am sure I don’t want to read it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BAHAHAHAHA! You’ll never be banished from following my blog, Tanja! Just because I discuss mostly YA doesn’t mean it’s all I talk about. :p It’s just where most of my knowledge is at currently.

      OH MY GOSH! YES!!!!! I HATE this soooo much. Like… I don’t even know how I imagined Harry, Hermione, and Ron before the movies came out. I can’t remember how I remembered ANY fictional character, especially because I’m a visual learner. So my brain snags those facial images and BAM, everything is ruined from there on out. Ugh! So frustrating! (Granted, I’ve found that I don’t actually fully picture people when I read/write. They’re just… like… ghost forms. >.> I’m weird. It’s okay.)

      I think that’s a great idea, but I still like seeing movies. And I’m generally more excited about a movie if I’ve read the book, but I find that I’m not reading fast enough for the movies coming out. So, I end up seeing the movie before I read the book and that… really kills the story for me. So I try to ignore movies until I’ve read the book. That way I don’t spoil the book for myself. No big deal if I spoil a movie, though. Again, I’m weird. Hee hee!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for not banishing me. πŸ™‚ I am learning a lot from reading your blog!

        I think everybody processes information differently, and for us visual learners/absorbers, film images might leave a more pronounced impression than for someone who can forget the images again, or replace them with the characters in a novel without being reminded of a previously watched film.

        I have tried, but it simply does not work for me. Such is the case with Jane Austen’s works. I saw several film versions before reading her books, and now, whenever I read Pride and Prejudice, Elizabeth always looks like Keira Knightley. That’s not bad, but I might be missing out on some nuances which I would have been able to visualize in my mind without having an actual actress already occupy that space. I have imposed a several-year movie ban for all of Jane Austen’s novels, to try and delete some of those pictures, but it’s hard. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Yeah. I never forget faces. :/ It’s kind of bad. I haven’t gone back and tried to finish Pride and Prejudice yet, but I’m sure those characters would pop back into my mind no problem.

          As to nuances, I usually miss those anyway. I think that comes from being unable to actually visualize fictional characters on my own. I care more about their personalities and their actions than their features (which is why I’m usually super oblivious to diversity in books. Oops.)

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh dear god!!! The Avox thing drives me bat shit crazy!!!!! Every time I see those movies I get enraged. It’s such a small thing. But it’s not to someone who’s read the books. The capital is being made out to be Monsters but they never really go into detail about the horrible things happening in the capital itself. Gasbbbdnsb now you’ve made me enraged again lol
    If they’re going to do an adaptation – get the authors opinion! Don’t just make it the director and screenwriters call. They always miss the most important things that matter most to us book readers!!
    Great discussion πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. BAHAHAHA! JOIN ME IN THE BLIND RAGE! YAAAAASSS!!!! sways more people to The Dark Side Mwahahahahha! 😈

      But really, though. There were such little things that were skipped over in HG that totally destroyed the whole villainy of the Capitol: the avoxes, the mutts at the end of the 1st book where they WERE the dead tributes turned into creatures. That was botched, but it was SUCH an important piece in the books. Ugh! I wish they’d done that better. Like… how hard would it really have been to change up a few of those mutts? Come on!

      If they’re gonna make a movie adaptation, ask the fans! The author knows everything. But the author wrote it. The readers will be the ones watching the movie, judging the movie, hoping for the movie. They know which aspects are vital. THAT’S who you should be asking, but… that’ll never happen. sigh

      Liked by 1 person

      1. No, unfortunately that will never happen. If they checked out book reviews before going into the movie they would see what we liked best as readers and make sure it goes into the film. If we appreciated reading about it then the viewers would appreciate seeing it!

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ah. But that’s assuming the readers and watchers like the same thing. I don’t think they do because watchers don’t like reading, you know what I mean? Though, I do feel like movies are made more basic than books because we have a lower opinion of watchers vs readers. But maybe that’s just me. :/

          Liked by 1 person

  10. I love the examples you gave because it really doesn’t make sense to me to leave out something so simple as the definition of an avox in the Hunger Games lol. They definitely could have fit that in there. The only movie that I like more than the book is A Walk to Remember but I don’t think that counts as YA. Otherwise, you’re totally right. It’s like having someone tell you they’re a huge Harry Potter fan but they’ve never read the books and can’t answer questions like, Who is Peeves? Who is Winky? How did Peter Pettigrew (somewhat) redeem himself? It just doesn’t work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. EXACTLY! Like… one extra sentence or something. Come on. That’s just being lazy, especially with all the background scenes with the Game Maker and President Snow. Ya couldn’t fit in a single extra line? Psh! That’s just garbage.

      Hey! Doesn’t have to be YA. Movie adaptations are movie adaptations. I just don’t read a lot of adult books at the moment. (I barely keep up with YA books. o.o) Maybe I can re-attack this topic once I’ve actually read Outlander. Though… I also hated GOT. :/ Soooo boring compared to the books. I really don’t understand the fandom behind the show.

      Okay. To be fair… I don’t remember how Pettigrew redeems himself. >.> But I don’t re-read either and I haven’t touched HP since the 7th came out. So… oops. But holy goodness! I almost forgot about Winkey and S.P.E.W. πŸ˜€ Crazy. Still, the HP movies weren’t bad, per se. At least, not compared to man other movie adaptations out there. They were still good movies where many other adaptations aren’t, you know?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was definitely laziness. And then Divergent wasn’t all that great to begin with but they destroyed that franchise.

        Yeah, I don’t do Game of Thrones. G.R.R.M. put me in a reading slump so I won’t even attempt the series.

        Pettigrew sacrifices himself to save Harry in Deathly Hallows. And to be fair, I reread it two years ago lol that was my only reread ever.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Oh god. Divergent was such a shit show, and then they just continued making movies that got worse and worse. eye roll

          Awww! I like GRRM, but I have to wait like… a whole year before reading the next book in ASoIF. I still haven’t read the 4th one. :/

          Ohhh! Aha! I see how it is. πŸ˜‰ I have been wanting to re-read HP to refresh my memory and read it as an adult, but I can’t even get through chap 1 book 1. It’s SOOOO bad. >.>

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Right? And then they just left it unfinished! haha they should have just left the books alone

            I can’t read his work. Ugh the last time I did I stopped reading for a month. I was miserable.

            That’s exactly why I did it. I had been so long and I read them all as they came out so it was nice to read them all back to back

            Liked by 1 person

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