While I will never stop believing that the book was better, there are some TV and movie adaptations of books that I can’t help but admire for the way they bring the story to life on the big screen.
I find that watching shows and movies of books is great way of reliving the stories I love so much without spending hours rereading the books (although, in many cases, I would gladly take the time to reread)! As an avid reader and as a girl with an eye for detail, I will admit that I am very in-tune with the accuracies and inaccuracies of books brought to life.
Does a character have a different hair or eye color than described in the book? You bet I’ll notice! Was my favorite scene left out or completely changed? I may never get over such an insult.
That being said, I do respect artistic license and the decision to change particular things especially if it means that the story becomes more diverse and inclusive. But please, directors, I beg of you, whatever you do DON’T CHANGE THE ENDING.
Without further ado, here are my favorite books turned TV show or movie:
Perhaps the biggest movie adaptation of all time is Harry Potter. In all honesty, I watched the movies before I read the books, and I really enjoy the movies though there are many things from the books that they exclude. Really, though, I can’t think of anything that the movies did differently than the books that bothered me on a deep level — well done Harry Potter movies!
I read the book Hidden Figures before I saw the movie, and while the book was very interesting and eye-opening, it was also very wordy and very technical in its language which didn’t make for the most thrilling read. The movie, however, was much more engaging (and how couldn’t it be with that cast??) and I really enjoyed the way it brought the story to the big screen. I appreciated the attention to detail in the book, but the movie definitely made the women of the story much more real for me.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Okay, so maybe I automatically love anything that Logan Lerman is in, but I think I would love The Perks of Being a Wallflower even without him! This is another instance where I watched the movie before I read the book and I am seriously glad I did. Truthfully, I didn’t enjoy the novel and if I hadn’t already seen the movie I don’t know if I would been motivated to watch it. But seriously, this movie gives me all the feels — I watch it every time I need a good cry. Overall, a great book to movie adaptation.
The Netflix show Mindhunter is my absolute favorite! Murder, mystery, Jonathan Groff? I’m in! The book is so compelling and so eerie, and the show does justice to the true and horrific stories outlined in the book. Sure, it veers from the original narrative by playing up the personal lives of the characters, but the core ideas and events remain very accurate. Just maybe don’t watch this one right before you go to bed — the creepy levels are through the roof!
The Kite Runner
I first watched this movie in class in high school after reading the book and I don’t think there was one person in my class who didn’t thoroughly enjoy The Kite Runner. The acting is amazing, especially by the child actors, and the story that the book paints translates very well onto the screen. The visuals and the acting really helped me connect to the story on a deeper level to which is how I know it was a great adaptation of the book!
I finished all seven seasons of Gossip Girl in one week. One. Week! It’s addicting, all the drama and romance and mystery, and the TV show had me hooked in just the first episode. Sure, without the books the TV show wouldn’t exist, but the show really took the story and ran with it (like, really ran with it)! Where would society be without the show Gossip Girl? How would I sign off my texts if not with You know you love me, XOXO, the voice of Kristen Bell ringing in my ear? I have no clue and I’m glad I never have to find out. Thanks, GG!
A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Series of Unfortunate Events, specifically the movie, was my go-to for movie nights as a kid! Though the movie includes only a fraction of the books in the series, it is still just as peculiar and terrifying and thrilling as the books. As of writing this, it’s been a while since I’ve watched the movie and I think I need to watch it again very soon!
Bonus: The Netflix adaptation of the books in the Grishaverse (Six of Crows and Shadow and Bone series) has yet to be released, but I have very high hopes for a well-done crossover TV show. I have seen the cast list and I am very excited to watch the show when it comes out. Look out for an update when it does! Please don’t let me down book adaptation gods!