Bonus Content, Let's Talk Books!

Let’s Talk Books: Book-to-Film (and TV!) Adaptations

Hello, bookish friends, and welcome back to the blog! As you can tell from the title of this post, I am going to be sharing my thoughts on books that are turned into movies and/or TV shows. I have found that many readers have very strong feelings about these, and while I’d like to say I’m not one of those people, I do have some pretty fierce opinions myself. Let’s jump right into those, shall we?

First and foremost, I am definitely that person who has to read the book before seeing the adaptation, not the other way around. While this does make me more biased when watching the film (especially if I fell in love with the book first), I’m a firm believer in appreciating the original work at its source before exploring the various branch-offs of said work. I have plenty of friends who prefer to read the book only after they’ve seen the adaptation, and that’s cool, too, but since I HATE spoilers, this approach has just never worked for me!

On to the question you’re probably all thinking: What, in my opinion, constitutes a good book-to-film/TV adaptation? The avid reader in me says that the film should stay completely true to the book, and while I totally wish this were possible, it’s extremely difficult to include all 400+ pages of a book into a 2 hour movie or even a season or two of a TV show. Because of this, I would say that a solid adaptation should include some of the most important lines and plot points of a novel, and that the acting of the cast stay true to the personalities, attitudes, behaviors, etc. of the characters as written in the book to the best of their ability. Part of me doesn’t necessarily even care (well… okay. Sometimes I do in very limited cases!) if the characters look the way I pictured them in my mind while reading, as long as the way the characters are represented in the book are very similar to the way the actor portrays them on-screen.

There are very few things that I can think of that make me just straight-up not like an adaptation. The first is that the plot of the movie is changed drastically and is essentially completely different from the book. In my brain, I can’t even consider that kind of film an adaptation because the movie turns into a completely separate entity without much overlap with the book. While sometimes I can overlook this, I also don’t love it when there are characters in a book that never show up in a movie. Like with the plot, this is just a big inconsistency that makes the movie feel completely separate from the book itself.

Overall, I think my expectations for film/TV adaptations of novels are relatively reasonable, as many of those I have seen, I’ve really liked! Speaking of those I’ve seen… let’s end this thing with just a few of my own favorites and not-so-favorites!

My Favorites

My Not-So-Favorites

….

Well, folks, I think that’s a wrap on my ramblings about book-to-film/TV adaptations! I know it can be hard to think objectively about these, especially when it’s one of your favorite books. However, I do think it’s pretty awesome that so many producers are willing to take on such a daunting task these days, so mega props to them for all their efforts!

May the rest of your week be filled with lots of fabulous reads, and thanks for tuning into this week’s bonus content post! 😊

All the Recs, Bonus Content

8 Books Sure to Put You in the Summer Spirit

There’s nothing I find more relaxing than sitting in the sunshine with my nose in a good book. With summer quickly approaching, I couldn’t think of a better time than now to throw some summery book recommendations your way! Regardless of if you’re about to head out on an island getaway or just enjoying the warmer days from your own backyard, here are some books that are sure to make the perfect companion for your summer adventures!

1) Moonglass by Jessi Kirby

Amazon.com: Moonglass (9781442416956): Kirby, Jessi: Books

I chose Moonglass for this list because it’s an emotional, raw, hit-you-in-the-feels contemporary with a stunning beach setting– a setting that provides so much comfort to our main character, Anna. While moving to the area was hard on her, I love that Anna starts to embrace her new home as she learns more about how important the area was to her mother, who she lost unexpectedly ten years earlier. While a super sweet romance was also blossoming in the background, I appreciated that the majority of the book focused on the importance of remaining connected to loved ones who have passed and rekindling relationships with those you’ve drifted away from. Overall, I really enjoyed all this book had to offer, and it just seems fitting that it be read in the summer months!

2) This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith

This Is What Happy Looks Like (This is What Happy Looks Like, #1)

Can we all just take a moment and appreciate how simple and sweet this cover it? In addition to the setting being a quaint little town in the summertime and the characters taking advantage of all the fun that comes along with the season, I specifically chose This Is What Happy Looks Like for this list because Smith’s writing is so captivating, poetic, and reads so beautifully. There’s just something about the fluidity of her words that blend in so well with the aspects of summer that are at the forefront of this book. In all honestly, I really can’t think of another book that better fits the description of “summer pick-me-up” than this gem!

3) The Beholder by Anna Bright

Amazon.com: The Beholder (9780062845429): Bright, Anna: Books

There’s something about loose fairytale retellings that draw me in during the summer months. The Beholder just might be my favorite to date, though, because it’s got a little bit of everything I look for to keep me enthralled in a fantasy: a strong female lead who, while understandably kind of a hot mess, always manages to find the strength to keep going, undertones of the Odyssey, and even a little romance thrown in. If you’re missing your weekly episodes of “The Bachelorette” while they’re in the off-season, this book may just be the perfect alternative to help you pass the time, as Selah is the star of her own version of the show, just in literary form and, well, ya know, there being a dash of magic thrown into the mix!

4) What I Thought Was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick

Amazon.com: What I Thought Was True (9780803739093): Fitzpatrick ...

I chose What I Thought Was True for this list because the overall theme of mending bridges is at the forefront. What better time than summer to take the opportunity to learn to forgive and rekindle a relationship with someone you were once close to? This is exactly what Gwen spends her summer doing on her homeland of Seashell Island, in addition to trying to figure out what she wants out of life after graduating from high school. A lot of big decisions are made in the summer, and this book would be the perfect read for high school and college seniors who are fixing to start new journeys of their own. Maybe they’ll even realize that they have some relationships mending to do themselves before they venture off to begin their new chapters of life!

5) An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

Amazon.com: An Ember in the Ashes (9781432850340): Tahir, Sabaa: Books

I’m not really sure why this book screams “summer” to me, but somehow I just can’t imagine reading this fantasy novel in any other season! Maybe it’s because in a lot of ways, this book is the total opposite of what I would use to describe summertime– pretty dark, cold, gloomy, and slightly depressing, at times. But, the adventures these characters set out on are super action-packed and suspenseful, so even if you can’t go on one of your own this summer, you’ll be able to escape from the real world for awhile when reading An Ember in the Ashes!

6) The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

The Truth About Forever

I find that some of the most grand summertime adventures don’t have to take you someplace new. For some people, like Macy the Perfectionist, your not-so-fun but oh-so-important trials may take place right at home. I loved that this book was all about how taking advantage of new opportunities that are outside your comfort zone help you discover so many new things about yourself you never knew existed. It’s also a testament to how surrounding yourself with good people can help heal old wounds. The sweet romance that blossomed in this book was just the icing on the cake to make this one of my favorite summer reads to date!

7) Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

Since You've Been Gone

While I could have picked literally any of Morgan Matson’s books for this list because she’s the QUEEN of summery contemporaries, I chose Since You’ve Been Gone because its premise is very different from those of her other books. This book has less emphasis on romance, and more on the importance of personal growth and independence from those we tend to use as a crutch to avoid challenging ourselves. I absolutely adored all of the summertime activities on the list Sloan left Emily to help push her out of her comfort zone and how Emily seemed to embrace the whole experience, even though I would have found quite a few of the activities listed terrifying myself! I was so engrossed in this compelling story that at times, I felt like I was accompanying Emily on her escapades, which was so much fun to experience! Overall, I just felt like all the working pieces of this book fit the mold of summer to a T, and I think a lot of readers will be able to relate to Emily’s journey of breaking out of her shell at a really critical time in her life.

8) Love and Gelato by Jenna Evans Welsh

Amazon.com: Love & Gelato (9781481432559): Welch, Jenna Evans: Books

Love and Gelato is the perfect summertime read, with is gorgeous Italian setting, whimsical descriptions of all the country has to offer, and the adorable bond that forms between Ren and Lina as they scramble to uncover a hidden secret about Lina’s family. This books stands out from other contemporaries in that it’s such a quick, fun, and enjoyable read and while it does have some emotional moments in it, the focus remains on all the good life has to offer! Not only will this book lift your spirits when you’re feeling down, but it will totally convince you to bite the bullet and take your own summer trip abroad!

I hope you all find this list helpful as we head into the summer months! What are some of your go-to summer reads? Let me know below!