[Chat] Top Book to Film Adaptations


It can quickly become a book lovers nightmare when their favourite book gets optioned for a TV show or a movie.

What I always try to keep in mind is that an adaptation is just that, it’s adapting source material and not duplicating it. Not everything translates to film and I don’t know about you, but I’m not so keen on watching a 6 hour movie just so they can copy a book scene for scene; my snack budget would have to be off the charts. You have to be open minded and let people take creative licence.

Sometimes they get it wrong and it’s horrible and you feel like rioting through the streets. Sometimes though a movie surprises you, and even though it might not be the same, at its core you can still feel the essence of your favourite story as it is brought to life.

To me, these movies were adapted brilliantly and I found myself loving them and their written counterparts equally.


“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.”

The Fault In Our Stars: Can I get some tissues and chocolate please? Both the book and the movie are like going through a break up; your heart is going to be ripped apart, put back together and then ripped apart again. The humour translated well from book-to-screen and I can’t help but think that the emotional triggers played out better on screen – mainly because watching someone cry while music plays in the background is a trigger for most people. If you haven’t read the book or seen the movie, what are you doing? Seriously, it is one of the best YA contemporaries and I’m glad John Green adapted this for screen because he imbued Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort with these characters souls.#allthefuckingfeels


“I have a theory that selflessness and bravery aren’t all that different.”

Divergent: I’m going to be straight up with you, I’m not sure if I really think this is a good adaptation or if I am so unbelievably attracted to Theo James that everything else falls to the side. That body and that smile – take me now! What I loved about this book is that up until I read it, I hadn’t been much of a dystopian fan but there was something about this broken down world that sucked me in from the very first page. I love how raw Tris is as a character and I thought Shailene Woodley did a fantastic job of bringing her to life. Theo James could’ve been the shittest Four ever cast and I don’t know if anyone would’ve complained, luckily though I thought he brought the right amount of arrogance and heart to the character. The one thing that has irked me about these movies is how different Peter is – I much prefer his heinous nature in the books given how ‘survival of the fittest’ is a massive part of the world they live in.


“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”

Paper Towns: Throw in some teen romance, grand gestures, witty best friends and mystery, well you have a winner in my books. Everyone in Paper Towns was so much more personable in the movie than in the book. The casting in this was unexpected but it works so perfectly and I officially developed a girl crush on Cara Delevigne.


“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”

The Perks of Being A Wallflower: I can’t express enough how much I love this book and how much I love this movie. This for me is the best adaptation I’ve ever seen and I think Logan Lerman played Charlie in the most sensational way. The book is really interesting in itself because it is told in letter form and you never really know who Charlie is writing to – though I personally think he is writing to himself. The movie handled this narration style brilliantly and I fell hard for the main trio. Ezra Miller (Patrick) and Emma Watson (Sam) portrayed their characters exactly how I had envisioned them and their chemistry as siblings and as friends is unparalleled. There are a lot of fun moments scattered throughout the book that were brought to life flawlessly in the movie and I think this is hands down because the screenplay was adapted by author Chbosky himself who breathed life into these characters and this teen landscape so beautifully.


“Where there is love, there is often also hate. They can exist side by side.”

The Mortal Instruments: As much as I loved this series (you can find my ramble filled reviews here) I have never been able to make it through the movie. I always thought it was because I didn’t like the casting, but after having watched the TV show Shadowhunters, I now understand it’s because it was the wrong medium – plus there was no Matthew Daddario (Alec)…damn! I’ve really been enjoying how the show is fleshing out this world and it’s nice to not know what is going to happen week-to-week. Like many fans of the series, I was worried how they were going to handle the Malec relationship but holy shit did they give the fans what they wanted. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched that scene – you know the one. Swoon.


“Life is spectacular. Forget the dark things. Take a drink and let time wash them away to where ever time washes away to.”

The Spectacular Now: I’m starting to feel like this is just a Shailene Woodley appreciation club. You can definitely tell there was a cluster of time where she was the it girl because she is in some of my favourite movies. The Spectacular Now is such a beautiful story of first love and broken families and the raw chemistry between the two actors made this movie all the more, spectacular (cheesy, I know!). I really believed Miles and Shailene were small town soulmates from the moment she sees him passed out on her lawn and their journey from strangers-to friends-to lovers felt more organic then some of the other relationships I’ve seen unfold.


“Your sense of humor needs some work, then,” Wesley suggested. “Most girls find my jokes charming.”

“Those girls must have IQs low enough to trip over.”

The Duff: Even though a lot changed between the book and the film, I love Mae Whitman and her strange charm too much to deny this is a favourite. In saying that though, I quite enjoyed the movie for what it was and if you don’t think the book is for you, the movie is a great chick flick with some witty one liners and some cute moments between Bianca and her friends/Wes. These characters have so much personality in the book and the actors portrayed this perfectly. I wish they had kept the family situation in the movie because I always thought that was part of the reason Bianca had so much depth for a contemporary teen character.


“This is dying everyday. Over and over.”

Before I Go To Sleep: My #1 read of 2014. If thrillers are your jam and you don’t mind venturing outside of YA, pick this book up and then watch the movie – so much suspense! I still get chills thinking about when I read the twist in this book and watching it play out on screen was just as riveting. Before I Go To Sleep keeps you on the edge of your seat because everything is a clue and everything is a mind fuck. Whether you enjoy psychological thrillers or you love playing detective, there is something in this book for almost every reader.


“I’ve learned that home isn’t a place, it’s a feeling.”

Where Rainbow’s End aka Love, Rosie: This is one of those rare occasions where I picked up the book because I saw the movie trailer and fell instantly in love with Lily Collins. This tells the story of two best friends with bad timing. It’s very obvious from the outset that these two share an ethereal love and it’s because of this that I fell deeply for their friendship. Lily Collins and Sam Claflin embodied these characters with so much heart and their chemistry is undeniable; you really believe they are childhood friends. There is a lot of raw emotion in both the book and the movie and if you’ve ever had a crazy crush on a friend, you’ll definitely see yourself in both of these characters.

I feel like all I really did was talk about how much I like to perve on the hot actors – not even sorry. What are some of your favourite (or least favourite) adaptations?

Main image source


17 thoughts on “[Chat] Top Book to Film Adaptations

  1. Geronimo Reads says:

    I loved TFIOS. The book completely tore me to bits and seeing the story acted out REALLY messed me up. I started to read Love, Rosie but really disliked the book. I’m wanting to check out the film soon, which I’m sure I’ll enjoy more than the book (I always feel guilty saying that)

    One adaptation I really didn’t like was The Lovely Bones. I felt like it wasn’t all that faithful to the book and I was so so so angry when I was watching it.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mrenee says:

      I TFIOS is a fan fave – I definitely hear you on the heartbreak. Haha don’t feel guilty, there are plenty of movies I prefer to the books.
      Lovely Bones is a good one to mention. I had the opposite experience because I really struggled with the book (I don’t think I finished it) but I was quite impressed with the movie. It’s a little easier though when you haven’t read the source material.


  2. Michael J. Miller says:

    This was such a fun post! When it comes to book-to-movie translations for me, I have to start with ‘Jurassic Park.’ It’s become so iconic many seem to forget it was a book first. That version has transcended it’s literary roots. I think Joe Write does a great job adapting literature (‘Pride and Prejudice,’ ‘Atonement’). And I was very, very impressed with ‘Silver Linings Playbook.’ I’d say that one was another example of the film being even better than the book.

    Liked by 2 people

    • mrenee says:

      Oh great list! You know I’ve never read Jurassic Park but I love the movie. I always forget that it was a book first. Pride and Prejudice is one of those books I didn’t like but I did enjoy the movie/BBC adaptation.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. rantandraveaboutbooks says:

    I reviewed the book to film adaptations for The Fault In Our Stars and The Spectacular Now the first week I started blogging. I agree with you 100%. I absolutely loved the adaptation for those movies. I liked the ending of the movie better than the book for The Spectacular Now. My favorite adaptations are also The Hunger Games and Harry Potter. I could and have watched them way too many times. 🙂 I liked The Mortal Instruments movie but only saw a few episodes of the TV show. I’ll admit I haven’t read the entire book. 🙈 I originally reviewed The Maze Runner and thought I really liked it, but a few months later and my opinion has completely changed. The same thing happened after I read Red Queen.


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