Showing posts with label book to movie. Show all posts
Showing posts with label book to movie. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Do You Watch Movie Adaptations of Books You Didn't Like? | YA Talk

So this has happened quite a lot lately. I've seen many books that I've read and not necessarily liked get movie deals. 

While I'm super happy for the authors, I always end up with the question: Do I watch the movie?

See, I really love seeing fictional characters come to life. It's one of the most fantastic things that can happen to a reader, to see the people you imagined on the big screen. I love that, even if it's with characters that I didn't like or books that I didn't Granted this hypothetical movie adaptation I'm talking about isn't a problematic adaptation of an also non-problematic book, should I go watch it just for that effect alone? Or should I support movies and adaptations of books I know I'm much more inclined to enjoy instead?

That One Time It Worked Out

I actually have an example for you guys where doing just that lead to something wonderful. If you've been on my blog for a while you know that I've been trying to work my way through the The Mortal Instruments series and the entire Shadowhunters universe by Cassandra Clare quite reluctantly. Yes, before you mention it, I'm aware of all the drama and schebang surrounding her. If you aren't - google.

I did watch the first movie adaptation long before I read the books and found it quite intriguing, but when I actually read them? Yikes. I hated them. Like, really deeply found them problematic and unenjoyable. But then the TV adaptation came along. Shadowhunters, race-bending (if you can even call it that) major characters into people of color, giving more love and attention to the single gay couple in the series that the author ever did in their books. Also very attractive actors. 

And boy, I grew obsessed with that series. It's mediocre at best but the diversity really hooked me because TV shows are just -so white- these days. It's also a plus that I've heard rumors that the author receives minimal profit from the series because of some rights issues.

If It's Diverse I'm In

In that case it worked out great. I found something super worth my time and great to support by giving books I really dislike another chance. I'm not sure if I would do this again, it really would probably depend on the book series and if there is anything in them that I deeply dislike or not. But what I'm trying to say is - it really depends on who's adapting it. There are so many failed book adaptations out there, and there are so many ridiculously white adaptations out there, and just as many that do their damn best to white-wash anything and everything in the books even if there was great representation in the first place. 

If I see a diverse adaptation of a book I didn't like, I'm definitely more inclined to supporting it. See, I didn't care much for THE DARKEST MINDS by Alexandra Bracken but when I heard that they cast a black girl as the lead role for a character that's white in the books (or, not specified, which usually means white in our world), I made a mental note to go watch these books. Because representation matters. 


Is this a one in a million thing? Has this happened to you before? 


Let's talk YA.


More:
Should We Separate Authors from Their Problematic Work? On False Representation and Whether Authors Deserve Call-Outs
Do We Owe it to Authors to Call Out Problematic Books Nicely?
What is POC rep to you? "Olive Skin", On the Page, and Non-#Ownvoices Authors 
Once You Go Diverse... Diverse Books are Better Than Non-Diverse Books


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Monday, November 9, 2015

[Review] The Rise (The Originals #1) - Julie Plec





In "The Rise" by Julie Plec, the three original siblings Rebekah, Elijah, and Niklaus find themselves fighting for the reign over New Orleans in 1722.

Werewolves and witches are ruling the city and the siblings choose the most inconvenient time possible to all fall in love.


Wait, haven't I seen this before?

While I do like the TV show, the novel is a very different thing. The characters do not feel true to the show and there is a lot of instant love involved.

Instead of the sanguinary, dangerous original hybrid Niklaus we get a love-struck doofus that is instantly falling in love with the first ~special~ girl he sees. Elijah's story line feels just like filler and we've seen him fall in love with witches before. Of course Rebecca is choosing another vampire hunter to fall in love with. It's all been done in the show before and it's extremely disappointing because I was hoping for additional content, not just a rewrite of things we've already heard and seen. 

The story around the werewolves and witches fighting over New Orleans feels very repetitive if you've seen the show. In the book, the three siblings have arrived in New Orleans and are desperately looking for a place to stay in a city that's already crowded with supernatural creatures. Sound familiar? We have repetitive filler love interests, the same setting, and characters that are in no way comparable to the compelling and exciting characters from the show.

It's very hard to keep up

However, the main problem I have with this book is not the repetitive plot or the characters. If you look over all of that and just read it without actually thinking too hard about this being a novelization of the show, it's an okay read. It's well-written, but the writing is insanely dense, which just makes it super hard to keep up with everything that's happening and get invested in the characters. 
We have three separate story lines for the siblings that play out at the same time. This is only a 400-page-book so there's not much time to develop the plot in much detail. All plot lines end up resolved very conveniently for the siblings to further the plot and it's just not exciting. The second they face an obstacle, you can be sure that it's going to get resolved in the next chapter.


Rating:

★★☆☆



Overall: Do I Recommend?

Well-written, but just not the same thing as the TV show. The plot is very similar but the characters feel off. I would have enjoyed this way more, had it only focused on one of the siblings. The story is interesting but is too dense to be crammed into a 400-page-novel. Stick to the show, this is only for super fans.


Additional Info

Original Title: The Rise
Author: Julie Plec
Published: October 12th 2015
Pages: 440
Medium: Paperback
Publisher: cbt
Genre: YA / Paranormal / Vampires
ISBN: B00XSQE41Y
Synopsis:
"Family is power. The Original vampire family swore it to each other a thousand years ago. They pledged to remain together always and forever. But even when you're immortal, promises are hard to keep. 

Arriving in New Orleans in 1722, Original vampire siblings Klaus, Elijah and Rebekah Mikaelson believe they've escaped their dangerous past. But the city is lawless, a haven for witches and werewolves unwilling to share territory. The siblings are at their mercy…especially after Klaus meets the beautiful and mysterious Vivianne. Her impending marriage is key to ending the war between the supernatural factions—and Klaus's attraction to her could destroy the uneasy alliance. As Elijah works toward securing a piece of the city for his family, and Rebekah fights her unexpected feelings for a French captain, will Klaus's volatile desires bring their world crashing down—and tear them apart for good?(Source: Goodreads)



Do you watch The Originals?


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Saturday, September 26, 2015

[Review] The Martian - Andy Weir



In "The Martian" by Andy Weir, astronaut Mark Watney gets accidentally left behind on Mars and has to fend for his life until the next expedition crew arrives to save him.

Unfortunately, the next crew arrives in four years and he only has food and water for one year.

As you might know, I love everything related to space, so picking this one up was a no-brainer. I haven't read a novel set on Mars before and I am a huge fan of Sci-Fi novels that heavily build on facts.


Not a Good Choice for Non-Scientists

Even though Weir does his best to make everything easily understandable, the book mostly consists of the technical and scientific alterations Watney has to make to survive. If you're neither an astronaut, mechanic, or gardener, it will easily get tiring and exhausting to try to keep up.

I was hoping to see a book along the lines of "Ready Player One" just for space - a book that makes me feel like I'm an expert on something that I know nothing about. "The Martian" doesn't give me the notion that I know what's going on. I kept on reading, but actually understanding none of the processes, especially the chemical ones, that Watney tries to explain in detail. It's definitely not light reading.

It reads like a how-to book - just in case you get left behind on Mars. However, even if you couldn't care less how Watney splits rocket fuel atoms and mixed them with oxygen to create water, it's a fun read. I salute to Weir - it's incredibly difficult to write a book set in one place with a single character and keep it interesting.

I was hoping for a lot of flashbacks, for a little more plot to add more depth and sympathy for Watney.

The Sassiest Gardener/Astronaut You'll Ever Read About

Mark Watney is a really likable character. The first line already got me hooked and I caught myself chuckling over his frustration all the time. He makes the best out of a pretty much hopeless situation and always has a sarcastic line prepared. He's a cool guy and that definitely adds more entertainment value to the book!
Weir could have easily made Watney emotionally affected by it all, but the mere fact that he keeps a clear head and makes plans makes him insanely likable to me. I rooted for him from the start, because he's so eager to succeed.
...
I'm slightly disappointed with the POV changes. Weir tries to simultaneously tell the other side of the story, how the NASA is reacting to finding out Watney still alive. There is pretty much no structure to it and the second you've already sympathized with one of the side characters, there are time jumps. The pacing is really off, sometimes Weir chooses to skip months at a time, and sometimes he decides to describe redundant processes annoyingly detailed.


Rating:

★★☆☆


Overall: Do I Recommend?

Maybe. "The Martian" is a decent survivalist sci-fi novel set on Mars, with a chamber play feel. Certainly a must-read for chemistry savvy space adventure fans, but a little too difficult and packed with science for the average Joe.



Additional Info

Original Title: The Martian
Author: Andy Weir
Published: 14th September 2015
Pages: 512
Medium: Paperback
Publisher: Heyne Verlag
Cover: Heyne, 2015
Genre: Adult / Science Fiction
ISBN: 978-3-453-31691-1


Synopsis:
"Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars. Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him & forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded & completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—& even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive. Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death.

The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first. But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—& a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next.


Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?"
(Source: Goodreads)



 Have you read a good novel set in space lately?


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