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Teen Board Question - July 2017, Part 1

Teen Board Monthly Question

Teen Board Question - July 2017, Part 1

Summer is the season for blockbusters --- aka the movies that nearly everyone rushes out to see. While we love a good movie, the ones that really draw our attention are the ones based on books. Since we have movies on the brain, we asked our Teen Board members how they feel about seeing their favorite books brought to life on the big screen. Read below to find out whether or not they prefer to read the book first, which adaptations are their favorites and which ones they feel missed the mark.


From the bottom of my heart, I really do try to read the book before the movie comes out. I have actually tried doing so many times, notably for THE HUNGER GAMES trilogy and THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. It didn't end well. Really, I didn't end up finishing any of those books, nor did I go see the movies. A movie that's based on a book I've been dying to go see is EVERYTHING, EVERYTHING, but it came out when I was drowning in end of the year exams, so I never got the chance to see it. Most of the time though, I feel like movies do an amazing job at enhancing a novel. The best example I can think of for this would be Joe Wright's ANNA KARENINA, which made me realize the beauty of Tolstoy's work to a much greater extent. --- Rachel D.

I truly do not mind book to screen adaptations. For example, I really love “The 100” as a TV show, but if you look at it from the perspective of an adaptation, it does not work out. The show is very different compared to the book, and that is for the better. But there are some movies such as Eragon and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: Lightning Thief that are terrible movies. It is not just that they do not adapt the book well, but they are also poorly constructed movies. I remember not being awed by Lightning Thief as I should have. Seeing Logan Lerman as Percy is great; he is a pretty good Percy, but I still do not like Alexandra Daddario as Annabeth. I am excited for the SIMON VS. HOMO SAPIENS AGENDA movie, and I have not yet seen the Everything, Everything movie, but I will watch it one day. I like some of the movie adaptions, but I mostly do not like them. --- Wren L.

I like to see my favorite books in movie form. It’s nice for my favorite books to become bigger than they already were, with a larger fan base, more people who like the same things I do. That being said, I try to detach the movie from the book in my head. Movies differ from the books, and if I pointed out everything that changed it would ruin my movie viewing experience. When I watch, I try to determine if the movie is good as a movie more importantly than if it is a good movie adaptation of a book. In my opinion, the best book to movie adaptation I’ve seen is The Hunger Games, and the worst is the Percy Jackson movies. --- Rebecca N.

I personally adore when books are adapted into movies! Not only is it fun for the readers but it also brings in new people to the fandoms. The only downside to adapting books is that, if done wrong, you have an entire load of fangirls/boys to answer to. No reader likes to see their favorite book totally changed in the result of a film (*cough* *cough* Insurgent), so us fans do get heated if things don’t go our way. In the end it does sound a bit petty, but after maybe years of waiting for a film to be created and for the final product to be completely different…it can be devastating. However, both films and books go hand in hand with entertaining us teens and is definitely a way to establish new discussions and friendships along the way. --- Taylor F.

When it comes to watching movies based on books, I usually prefer to read the books first. I feel like this helps me to understand more of the movie's plot, because some things get left out when books are adapted to the screen. One major example of this is the adaptation of THE LIGHTNING THIEF by Rick Riordan. It's well known amongst fans of the book just how different the movie is than the book! I personally cannot watch it unless I completely ignore about half of the book's plot. On the other hand, the movie version of THE BOOK THIEF is one of my favorite movies based on a book. The film's director did a great job of capturing the essence of the book while remaining true to the storyline, and it made it an incredibly enjoyable experience for me. --- Breck G.

When it comes to seeing movie adaptations of books, I think it’s always an adventure. For one thing, if I’ve read the book already, I can spend the days leading up to the film release re-reading or looking up the cast, all while I wait to see if the big screen comes close to rivaling the magic of what I’ve read. If I haven’t read the book, an impending movie release gives me the motivation I need to pick it up and get reading before the movie hits theaters! I remember starting THE MARTIAN literally the day before I planned to see it with my friends --- I was so determined to finish the book before seeing the film that I read the last few chapters in the car on the way there. Another awesome thing about movie versions of great books is that they’re essentially second chances to tell a story; and, whether that means a change in plot details or the reworking of characters, it’s always super interesting to see it play out. For instance, THE MARTIAN film definitely varied from the book…while the two were similar, both renditions of the story took into account the medium of how they were storytelling, and the adjustments between page and screen made each version compelling in its own right. Overall, whenever I find that one of my favorite books is being made into a movie, I see it as another shot at something great…and when I watch the movie myself, I’ll be the judge of whether or not it hits the mark! --- Laura T.

Novels transformed to movies can be very polarizing, some love being able to visualize what they read on a big screen while others are troubled with casting choices, set design, and tweaks to the original story. Personally, I think it is important to read the novel prior to seeing the movie; it provides a more organic experience to absorb the author’s original words before seeing the adaptation at the cinema. I have found that some movies have been successful in capturing the nuances of the book, even enhancing the original. I felt that accomplished in the movie THE FAULT IN OUR STARS based on the novel written by John Green. On the other hand, I have been less enamored with other adaptations and found that the movie PAPER TOWNS (also based on the novel written by John Green) was such a departure from the novel that I had a difficulty embracing the film. However, no matter the end result, I love the process of reading a novel and then having the opportunity to see it come to life on the big screen. --- Ryan H.

I have such mixed feelings about screen adaptations of books. I think it’s because I love books so much, so I’m hyper critical of any adaptations. Of course, I love all the Harry Potter movie adaptations but I’m a little over all the new installments in the series, which I think is taking some of the magic away. In movies, there’s a very limited amount of time to tell the story, too. Details are written away and rewritten, as with the MISS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN adaptation. For that, I prefer TV adaptations to movie adaptations. The "Games of Thrones" adaptation is one of my favorites. Now, I’ve only read the first book in the series but from what I watched the show followed pretty closely to the book. In general, I’m pretty hesitant about screen adaptations and read a lot of reviews before seeing them. --- Reanna H.

I'm always excited when a book I love is being adapted for movie or TV. That said, after a few rough experiences, I've had to learn to lower my expectations. The movie industry, like many others, doesn't tend to put a lot of stock in YA adaptions. I've noticed that overall, the quality of script and acting tends to be lower, with exceptions like The Hunger Games. My hope is that as interest in well-done book-to-movie adaptations grows, so will the overall quality of YA movies. That said, I definitely have a few favorites. In general, I only watch adaptions of books I've read, but I'm willing to make an exception if it looks good enough. I absolutely loved the movie adaption of THE FAULT IN OUR STARS. I also really enjoyed The Hunger Games movies and even thought that it dealt with the plot a little better towards the end. When I was younger, I saw the Ella Enchanted movie before reading the book, but I really enjoyed both. I also love the movie Stardust, though I haven't read the book. And you can't forget The Princess Bride! Recently I really enjoyed Hidden Figures. I thought it was well done and featured an excellent story! On the other hand, there are a few I've been very disappointed in. I tend to not outright hate a movie, but there can be some strong dislike. I remember seeing City of Bones, and while not the worst movie out there, the ending left something to be desired. I also remember seeing Vampire Academy. While I thought the casting was well done, the movie was just missing something that made me love the books. Recently, there's been more and more YA books coming to screen. While I haven't seen it yet, I really want to watch Everything, Everything. I'm also interesting in watching Before I Fall, although I haven't read the book. There are SO MANY upcoming YA book adaptions that I can't wait for! I've been following the news about the Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda movie, and I can't wait! I'm also super excited for the movie adaption of RED QUEEN and the TV adaption of THRONE OF GLASS. A few weeks ago, I saw the trailer for Wonder, that's got me excited as well. I know I'm missing some, but those are the ones I could think of. Along with all the book adaptions, I'm a big fan of comic book adaptions. My entire family is obsessed with the Marvel movies, and I saw Spider Man: Homecoming the evening it released. While I'm not a big fan of DC overall, I absolutely adored Wonder Woman. --- Isabel C.

I feel like adaptions are never perfect as I usually have a completely different vision in my head.  I almost always read books before I watch the movie, but there are some exceptions like the Lord of the Rings series. I have been disappointed by "Shadowhunters" because I thought it would be more similar to the books as a TV series could include more. My favorite adaptions are the Harry Potter movies. --- Rebecca D.

Most likely, I read the book before watching its film, in order to pick up on the subtle hints and remembrances back to its source material. I find adaptations to be purely enjoyable, but not necessarily better than the books they were based off of. These include the TV show "Shadowhunters" based on The Mortal Instruments series, as well as the movie franchise based off of James Dashner's The Maze Runner trilogy. Nowadays, I watch adaptations with an open mind and understand changes, but only those that make sense within the film and enhance the overall viewing experience. --- Hannah C.

I'm a big believer in watching the adaptation first, then reading the book. I tried it the other way a couple of times and found it ruined the movie for me because I got caught up criticizing it for all the inaccuracies and changes. I've also noticed I tend to like the adaptation better then novel. For instance I absolutely LOVE the Harry Potter films but wasn't really a fan of the books ( I DNF'ed the series on book five). The Diary of a Wimpy Kid films and the PERCY JACKSON AND OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTENING THIEF movie were both infinitely better than their novel counterparts. As far as Hollywood adapting my favorite books goes, I'm (on the whole) not really a fan of it. I like those books the way they are and wouldn't want anything changed (fingers crossed THE SELECTION movie falls through). However, I have seen filmmakers nail an adaptation of a great novel in not just entertainment value but also story accuracy. The BBC version of PRIDE AND PREJUDICE starring Colin Firth and Jennifer Ehle is absolutely PHENOMENAL and the Twilight Saga films were really good as well. The 1995 SENSE AND SENSIBILITY with Emma Thompson, Kate Winslet and Alan Rickman is another favorite of mine as is the 1996 EMMA with Gwyneth Paltrow. The 2007 PERSUASION with Sally Hawkins and the 2009 EMMA with Romola Garai and Michael Gambon were good too. --- Rachel A.

Generally speaking I'm not a fan of book adaptations because when I read a book I picture characters certain ways and I prefer the movie to be an exact replica of the book. The movie almost never lives up to my expectations. The adaptations of THE CITY OF BONES by Cassandra Clare and DIVERGENT by Veronica Roth were particularly disappointing. However, the adaptation of IF I STAY by Gayle Forman was fantastic. It did a nice job of following the plot from the book and the characters stayed true to what was originally written. --- Emily G.

I have many feelings on book to movie adaptations. I generally don't watch the movie if I really, really loved the book because I don't want the movie to be a let down. For example, even though the movie THE MARTIAN was nominated for many awards, I still didn't like it because it didn't live up to my expectations. So, I tend not to watch the movie for many books I read. Although if the movie is really popular, such as THE HUNGER GAMES, or I didn't really enjoy the book, such as THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner, I will usually watch the movie. --- Harleen K.

I love being able to see book-to-movie adaptations because I feel as though the film industry is able to truly bring these stories to life. I always do read the book first, however, because I like picturing the characters and settings myself before seeing the way Hollywood decided to picture them. My favorite book-to-movie adaptation would have to be the Harry Potter series. I felt as though the movies served the books justice and helped me enjoy them even more. One of my least favorite adaptations would have to be the Divergent series. The first and second movies --- Divergent and Insurgent, respectively --- were okay, but they were weak enough that I did not even have the motivation to watch the third movie, Allegiant, although I really enjoyed the book series. --- Niraja S.

I get really excited when books are made into movies! But I can only watch the movie if I've read the book first. Personally, I think the best book to movie translation is in the Harry Potter films; they did an excellent job with everything from casting to set to portraying all of the events of the novels. One of my worst experiences was seeing The Host, literally the day I finished reading the 600-something page novel. The book was fantastic but I felt like the movie adaptation left out a lot of important things and didn't do the characters any justice! --- Maggie L.