At the start of the year I joined a couple of book blogger communities and, I have to say, the Blogger Book Nook is my favourite. I like that there’s no pressure to read a certain book – rather, monthly posts are based on a theme (this month it’s adaptations) and everyone is free to share favourites and post questions, etc.
1. What’s your favourite book to screen adaptation? Why?
I find that my favourite adaptations are when I read the book after I saw the film and my least favourites are when I read the book first and felt the filmmakers did a disservice. That said, I thought The Martian and Shutter Island were both very faithful adaptations and I enjoyed both the books and films equally.
I also really enjoyed (if that’s the right word) the Thirteen Reasons Why Netflix show. I read the book after I saw the show and didn’t think it had quite the same impact – although I think I might have felt differently had I read it first.
2. What’s your least favourite book to screen adaptation? Why?
My Sister’s Keeper. It was the second Jodi Picoult book I’d ever read (and she soon became my favourite writer) and I thought the source material was incredibly moving and thought-provoking. She was totally let down by the adaptation, not least because they completely changed the ending!
3. What book would you most like to see on screen that hasn’t been adapted yet?
When I see a film trailer which looks appealing, and know that it’s based on a book, I tend to seek out the source material first, so I’m very much looking forward to Ready Player One. In terms of a book that isn’t even in the works yet, I think Holly Bourne’s Spinster Trilogy would make a great Netflix series. I’ve also been interested to see an adaptation of The Bell Jar for the last decade or more but I feel a bit iffy about it.
4. Do you always read the book before watching the adaptation?
I try to.
5. Does seeing your favourite characters on screen ruin how they appear in your imagination?
Sometimes. As I often read the source material ahead of seeing the film but knowing that a film is on the way, I often have the actors in mind while reading it. It’s not very often that I read a book and go into the film blind.
My mini review for this post is Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. I won’t bore you with a synopsis as I’m sure I’m the only one who has taken this long to read it!
I was ten when the first Harry Potter book came out 20 years ago. I was always advanced with my reading and wasn’t into kids’ books (oh how times have changed) but my younger brother was a fan and so I saw all of the films at the time of release. In the last few years I’d thought about going back and reading the books in order but wanted to get the perfect, beautiful set (you know me!). I’d done the Pottermore quiz a couple of times and been sorted consistently into Hufflepuff, so when the anniversary edition of The Philosopher’s Stone was released, I knew I had to start collecting the Hufflepuff paperbacks.
Of course, reading it as an adult, there is that element of childish whimsy and wonder, but it’s also pretty dark. When I was younger I went from Enid Blyton to The Babysitters Club to Goosebumps and Sweet Valley High before reading ‘grown up’ books, so I never had that fantasy stage.
It’s interesting reading books after you’ve seen the films because you search for your favourite characters and look out for any differences. I was never really a fan of Harry himself (still the case, so far) and I’ve always championed the underdog and supporting characters (go, Neville!). And I bleddy love Hagrid.
I’ve also got to admit that I teared up a bit, even though I knew exactly what was going to happen. How’s that for good writing?
Of course, now that I’m buying the Hufflepuff paperbacks, it means I have to wait a while between reads. I suppose it’s only fair – it’s what would have happened 20 years ago. Bring on The Chamber of Secrets.
As a side note, a few months ago I read The Cursed Child, having known the original story from the films. And it wrecked me! There’s no way I can watch this on stage – I’d be kicked out for sobbing too loud. But I know it’s totally divided fans, with some preferring to view it as fan fiction rather than canon.
Have you ever waited 20 years to read a popular book?