I know that many book lovers consider it to be a cardinal sin to watch the screen adaptation before reading the book. However this post is not about that. It’s really about books I intentionally skipped (I am sure this sounds worse, but hear me out) for watching their screen adaptations, either because I just couldn’t continue reading them, or never intended to read them in the first place.
Of-course there are also some ‘accidents’ along the way, where I watch a movie, without realizing that it was a book adaptation (such oversight truly breaks my heart), but that is a post for another day.
Today, I’ll share with you 2 books that I intentionally skipped to watch their movie adaptation, and what I thought of them-
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
This book revolves around Samantha, who has the seemingly perfect high school life. She is beautiful, and popular, is dating her dream guy (or who she thinks is her dream guy, anyway), and has a lovely family too. That is until one night, when she gets into a car accident, which kills her, but then she magically wakes up in her own bed, and relives her last day, over and over again.
When I first read the blurb, I felt this story was very much like one of those Hallmark movies we see around Christmas time, where a person relives a day over and over again, until he/she sets some thing right, and the movie essentially chronicles this journey of self-discovery, always ending with a happily ever after.
And while this book/movie definitely has the same vibe, it’s also very different, which you will realize if and when you actually read it/see it, so don’t discount it just on that account.
So the story, I definitely recommend, but I don’t really recommend the book, and would suggest you go with the movie instead. Because I had given this book a shot, before I decided to skip it and watch the movie, but I just couldn’t read beyond the first 50 pages, and there were a couple of reasons for this.
Firstly, like I said, the plot was essentially about reliving a single day over and over again, and this book really got into a LOT of detail, which made it a super tedious read. And moreover, I don’t particularly like to read about shallow, popular, irresponsible, life of the party, mean girls, and Samantha & her girl friends, were just that.
Having said that, I was still curious about the plot & how it all ends up, so I decided to check out the movie, which turned to be a great decision.
For starters, Samantha was more likable in the screen adaptation, which was a good thing, as now I actually cared about whether she lived or died (which is kind of important in this case 😛 ). Also, the repetition wasn’t as tedious to watch, as it was to read, as things moved along pretty quickly.
However, without giving out any spoilers, the only thing I can safely say is I still have mixed feelings about the ending. I did not like the way it ended (the book or the movie), but I have a niggling suspicion that I wouldn’t have been completely satisfied with the ending no matter what they chose to do.
All in All: Before I Fall is a powerful teenage drama, about trying to remedy a lifetime of wrongs in a single day. I know that the concept is debatable, but I did like the overarching message of making the most of every single day. (Media Verdict: Skip the book, go for the movie)
The Choice by Nicholas Sparks
If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I have a love-hate relationship with Nicholas Sparks. I really can’t get into his books (even though I do love romances), but I seem to enjoy most of the movie adaptations based on those books.
So ever since then, at-least with Nicholas Sparks stories, I always go with the movie over the book, and so far I have never regretted it. Of-course there are times when I really like the movie, that I wonder how the book must have been like, and one such movie is The Choice.
I recently saw the movie, and really liked it, especially the story. It was sweet and romantic, and also very thought-provoking. A great pick for a cozy night in.
My only grouse was with the female lead, not the actor, but the character – Gabby. I just could not get that girl, why she did the things she did, or even her thought process really.
To give you an example, there is a point in the movie, where Gabby cheats on her boyfriend (when he is away) to be with Travis (the male lead), and then when her boyfriend is back, she is uncertain about whether she really wants to be with Travis. And in this case, the ‘conflict’ was simply not convincing enough, so she just came across as a self-centered bimbette, who really did not deserve to be with either guy.
Nonetheless, I’d still recommend the movie, ’cause if you ignore that one thing – The Choice is a sweet, feel good romance, which makes you wonder about how far a person can go to keep the hope of love alive. Or rather, how far a person must go. (Media verdict: Unsure. The movie is good, but I’ve heard great things about the book as well)
That’s all from my end, folks. I would love to hear from you guys. Have you seen either movie? Or read the books? How did you find them? Especially The Choice – is the adaptation true to the book? Do share.
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