Mockingjay Book VS Movie


Mockingjay, the third and final book in the Hunger Games series came out published by Scholastic in 2010.  As I looked back on my review of this book I had to laugh as I reviewed it three days after it was released…. hmmmm…. anxious to see how it all was going to end?

The Book…

As I mentioned I read the book over 4 years ago.  I did enjoy the book but openly admit it was my least favorite of the three books, mainly due to all the politics that were involved in this final installment.  I am not a fan of politics.That said, I did still enjoy the book very much – author Suzanne Collins does not take mercy on any character and all are dispensable… it was truly a powerful read that left me thinking about it well beyond that final page.


The Movie…

I was very excited to watch the movie.  My son had warned me that it wasn’t the most exciting of movies as it is a lot of information that is necessary to prepare us for the part 2 of this movie that will come out in 2015.  I have to say I disagree with my son (sorry Justin).  I did find the movie engaging and perhaps even came to feel more real and explained better to me than the book came through.  I think Jennifer Lawrence plays the part of Katniss perfectly.  On screen she shows such emotion she brings me to tears for the cause.  If you are a fan of the series, definitely take time to see the movie – all the movies.

Bonus note – in the movie Katniss sings a song that is haunting.  Jennifer Lawrence sings the song and I looked it up when I came home and found out Susanne Collins wrote the song.  (WOW!)  I have now heard the song by another artist but prefer Lawrence’s.  Here it is:

Book vs, movie… the winner of this dynamic duel is….


The Movie.

While this is a close battle, I think because of my personal struggle with the politics of Mockingjay the visual of the movie worked better for me.  I will definitely be owning this one.


Have you seen the movie yet?  Have you read the book?  Do you plan to?  If so do you have a preference of book or movie?

If I Stay Book vs. Movie



Synopsis:  Mia Hall is a gifted cellist.  She is quite possibly on her way to Julliard and is making hard decision with her boyfriend Adam who plays in a successful band.  Stay or go seem to be the decisions that Mia struggles with.  She has wonderful loving parents and a little brother she adores… there is so much to stay for.  Then one snow day her family takes a drive and is in a terrible accident that leaves Mia in a coma.  Mia has an out of body experience as she sees herself in the hospital.  As everything crumbles around her Mia and only Mia can make the decision if she should stay or if she should go.


The Book

I reviewed this book on my birthday in 2011.  Side note.. my reviews are kind of funny then… for myself I rated the book an average read.  It was good and I liked it but it was not over the top WOW.  We reviewed this as a group for my book club and we actually had a wonderful discussion over it, which I talk about in the review.


The Movie

I recently watched the movie of If I Stay that came out this year.  I did not think it would be “theater worthy” so I waited for it to come out for rental.  I have to admit I was surprised with how much I enjoyed the movie.  Mia played by Chloe Grace Moretz was wonderful.  I teared up several times during the scenes where she experiencing the pain of seeing what is happening around her.  Adam, played by Jamie Blackley was also exceptional.  Maybe I was just in the right mood for this kind of movie but whatever it was it really touched my heart.

Knowing that time and distance from the reading of the book may have to do with my decision her today I am going to have to say the winner of this Book vs Movie is…



See it… read it… but if you are going to choose one or the other I think the movie came off as more powerful and emotional.  Dang… it was GOOD.

Gone Girl – Book VS. Movie


Woo hoo!  Finally, 10 days after the opening of the movie, I made it to see Gone Girl!  The movie made from the book whose spoiler page has become by far my all time most popular post on Book Journey.  Seriously, here are the stats since I wrote the post in 2012:

Months and Years

Oct Nov Dec Total
2012 6,028 5,790 6,922 23,741
2013 2,993 2,578 2,299 40,138
2014 140,912 264,276


* I eliminated most of the months as this graph was just too big to fit into the post. 

So lets discuss the book.  I read Gone Girl in July of 2012.  It was my first Gillian Flynn and it blew me away with all of its twists and turns.  I LOVED it, and I had a lot to say about it, which is why I wrote the spoiler page.  Gone Girl is a book that had me thinking one way, and then I was wrong, and then I thought another way… and I was wrong again.  I gushed in my review of the book!  I was so impressed with Gillian’s talent to write characters that can drive you nuts!


The Movie…

As a disclaimer, I must say that I read the book in July 2012, and seen the movie on October 13th, 2014.  I had hoped to read the book again before the movie but there just was no time to get it done.  That said, I cautiously approached the movie that sat at 2 hours and 35 minutes long.  That, on the front end, seemed longer than necessary, as it turns out after seeing the movie, there is nothing I would cut out out to make it shorter.

Gone Girl the movie starred a well played Ben Affleck as Nick, and Rosamund Pike made for a perfect Amy.  Honestly, the movie played out extremely well and had a nice running compatibility with the book.  I went to the movie with two friends, one who had read the book and one who has not.  The one who had not was a lot of fun to watch as she was shocked by what was happening on the screen.  I found myself chuckling softly to the game playing between Nick and Amy and hung on to the ending credits.  Then we were the last ones in the theater as we sat and discussed the movie.


The Verdict of Book Vs. Movie….  (possible spoilers)


The book.  The book is so filled with high energy twisty turns that I feel it comes across better to be read and get the initial buzz through the pages.  The movie missed a couple of “what I felt to be important” points:

1.  Nick’s dad, and when found wondering around from his retirement home in the book is quite verbal about his negative feelings towards Amy, thus giving you the impression that he may be involved in her disappearance.  In the movie, while the dad is found wondering away from his home, shows no emotion about Amy one way or another… this making his appearance in the movie feel a little useless.

2.  In the book, it is explained well how Amy’s parents have used her for the books her mom wrote, Amazing Amy and you fully understand the pressures that Amy had on her to live up to an animated character of herself.  While the movie mentions these pressures a little… I am not sure if it is enough for the watcher to get the full picture of what that type of perfection caused.

Now, I would by no means rule the movie out.  The movie was actually very good and I would definitely watch it again and will probably own the movie.  See it.  Even if you have no intentions of reading the book, I think you will find the movie to be just a fun crazy insane ride!


Update:  The spoiler page for the book is picking up a pot of movie discussion so I am going to open up a spoiler page here for the movie.  This page will be for those who have seen the movie and open for discussion if you have read the book or not.  Enter below!



The Fault In Our Stars Movie

The Fault In Our Stars, John Green, Book Journey, Sheila DeChantal

Certainly by now you must have heard of The Fault In Our Stars by Author John Green.  And if not the book, surely the movie.  I was told that whatever the first John Green book I read would be my favorite.  I will never know if that is true because my first John Green book was The Fault In Our Star and is my favorite.  And while I have read all of his books (and enjoyed them), I can not imagine that if I had read any of the others first that they would have trumped my experience with this book.

I can not even put into words where this book took me… to attempt to understand, you would have to read my review of the book from April of this year; or my review of the book from July 2012.  Yes I have read and reviewed it twice.  I liked it THAT MUCH. 🙂

This week, on June 6th the movie was released (SQQQUUEEE!!!) and myself and my wonderful friend Amy went to see it:


loved it.

Shailene Woodley who plays Hazel (and also plays Beatrice in Divergent!) is fantastic.  She is witty and sickly and plays her role well.  Ansel Algort (also in Divergent!) makes for a wonderful Augustus as well.  Truly, these two just make a wonderful team.

IMO, the movie played close to the book. There are some lines that just made my heart leap because I knew them from the book.  Of course, as in all book to movie renditions, there are always slight changes or leaving out, and I sadly missed a scene from the book where Hazel and Isaac are playing the video game at the end after Isaac can no longer see and the voice commands they shout at the game.


My thoughts?  See the movie but read the book first.  The book is of course where you fall in love with these amazing damaged characters; the movie… will just reinforce your love.

Our book club is reading this book now and will be reviewing this week. I look forward to hearing their thoughts on the book and yes, even though I have reviewed it twice here, I will review it again from a Book Club perspective.


Movie up people… do not miss out on this one.

Morning Meanderings… Read It Before You See It!


Good morning! Happy Wednesday already!  Lots of fun things happening here… book club last night (more on that later) and earlier this week I changed out the library window to books that will or are movies with in a two-year span.  It was a fun project:



I used books from my own stash and those that I did not own I printed out covers for. 


It was hard to get a great pic – I was picking off a glare on the window but this gives you an idea. 

What an exciting time with so many wonderful books becoming movies!  I really get excited about that!  And yay to Gillian Flynn with both Gone Girl and Dark Places hitting the big screen! 

Is there a particular book that you are excited to see become a movie?  What one are you waiting for? 

Books To Movies… “Heck Yeah!” or “Hell’s No!”


As readers/book lovers I believe we take the reading experience quite personally.  From the discussions I have had here at Book Journey to the discussions I have participated in or just read all over the web, books can touch our very innermost soul.  They make us laugh, cry, become angry, and take us to places we may never step foot in if not for the book.  The characters become a part of us… we may know them, or wish we could know them.  Some books cause us to wear t-shirts saying ‘Team ______________”, and some make us publicly defend their honor.  Some books stay with us for years afterwards, and just thinking of them brings up fond emotions as we gush to a friend, “It’s one of my all time favorites!”

Now… let’s say (Insert a Favorite book title here) is going to become a movie.  Enter Joe the Director (yeah, for this post we will call him ‘Joe’).  Now Joe has big – BIG ideas of how he is going to turn your beloved book into a movie.  He has a vision and you start to hear and see the hub bub of who might play this character or that one….



BUT (and it’s a big one, I will not lie) what if this Director, Joe Whats-his-face’s vision does not line up with what you or I had felt was the heart of the book?  What if Joe takes the book an entirely different direction and now what you loved, what you admired, seems to be gone…

Are you in camp:

A.  I hate it when my favorite books become movies – it ruins what I loved about the book.  I do not see movies that were made from books.

B.  I am so excited when a book becomes a movie, I LOVE to see what they will bring out on the screen and how their vision may differ from my own.

C.  I am ok with a book becoming a movie as long as they stick true to the nature of the book – like when ____________________ became a movie.

D.  I have no opinion either way…. I am just reading the post to see what you are up to. 😀

E.  Other


I would love to hear your thoughts on this subject.  Can you choose a camp you fall into?  Can you name a book to movie that was extremely successful in your opinion?  Can you name a book to movie that was an epic fail? 



We Need To Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver (book and movie thoughts)

Eva Khatchadourin is a smart, fun loving free spirit who falls for and marries the more conservative and level Franklin.  When Eva finds herself pregnant she is unsure of herself for the first time in her life, never really feeling the “mom gene” like so many women do. 

When Kevin is born Eve continues to struggle as she tries to master parenthood and finds herself failing time and again.  Kevin cries and cries no matter how she rocks him or feeds him or takes him for long walks in the stroller.  Exhausted and frustrated she shares her feelings and concerns with Franklin who feels that Kevin is just doing what babies do and she needs to lighten up.

As Kevin grows, his manipulation towards his mother does as well, ignoring her when she tries to teach him things but lights up when his dad enters the room.  Years later when Eva finds herself pregnant again she fears for the safety of her baby daughter, Celia. An accident that happens when Celia is around 5 makes Eva wonder if it truly was an accident.  Her feelings towards Kevin puts strains on her marriage.

Through letters Eva shares her concern through the time that Kevin is born, all the way through to the school massacre when Kevin kills seven of his fellow students in high school.

Uber creepy movie cover

My book club and I read this book in May of 2006.  At the time this book was a book in the bag from the library where we could borrow 10 books at once.  My notes from that years review says,

We Need To Talk About Kevin was a different style of read for us.  This book led to a deep discussion about motherhood.  While some in the group questioned if Eva’s love was real or put on for her son, others felt that Eva felt her freedom was taken away with the birth of Kevin.  While most of the group found the book to be hard to read due its topic and content, I enjoyed it – finding it frightening and an honest portrayal at the same time.  On a scale of 1 -5, even now I am surprised to see that over all average of this read was a 4.  (I remember it as most of the group not liking it and now looking back I see that while a hard read, it seems to have been appreciated.)

The thing I remember most about We Need To Talk About Kevin, is that Kevin is not likable.  He is dark, manipulative, cruel, and moody.  I can not even imagine what it would be like to be his mother.  Honestly, I don’t know how much I could have taken if I had a child that treated me that way.  If you have even read Nineteen Minutes by Jodi Piccoult, while the story line is similar, the boys in the stories are not.  In Piccoult’s book (was his name Peter?) the boy is picked on by his school mates.  He is a sympathetic character and in the end, honestly I felt bad for him.   Not so in We Need To Talk About Kevin.  In this case I feel bad for his mom.

The book all these years later still sticks with me.  A hard read, but I think an important one.


Just this past week I rented the movie version that came out earlier this year of We Need To Talk About Kevin.  And after renting it, it sat on the end table for about a week.  I could not get myself in the mood to watch it.  I knew from the book that it was a hard story and as much as I wanted to see how it compared to the book, I knew I had to be in the right frame of mind to handle it. 

When I finally did watch it with my hubby, I found the beginning to be confusing.  Told differently in the book it started with a series of flash backs and forwards and to current time that if I had not read the book I dont know if I would have followed.  Even having read the book, I struggled as I tried to explain to my husband what was happening in the first 30 minutes of the movie.

When the movie finally does get to the story of Kevin it levels out and is much easier to see what is going on and what the past and present flashes mean.  John Reilly plays the part of the dad and that threw me off a bit as I am used to him playing all these goofy roles in movies – or maybe that is just the movies I seen him in.  Tilda Swinton (The Whole Witch in Narnia) however felt spot on. 

I recommend read the book, and then watch the movie.  Both are spectacular.

Hunger Games Movie

Hunger Games.  More than likely… you have heard of it.  If you have read me for any amount of time, you have heard it here…. through book reviews, through the excitement over the movie…

To this day I still struggle when somebody asks me what it is about.


Because honestly, based on the synopsis I would have never read this book.  Children fighting to the death?  People watching from their homes as it is televised for all to see… children that were not born killers, but fighting because they had too… they were forced to for the pleasure of the Capital?  For entertainment???

But then… I had seen the book reviews.  People whose opinion I trusted were raving… and I read the book.  And I loved it.

It’s hard to explain Hunger Games.  It is the story of Katniss, living in a world broke into twelve districts, hers being the most impoverish of them all, District Twelve.  She lives with her mother and her 12-year-old sister Prim.  They have nothing but a roof over their head.  Katniss hunt, illegally, with her friend Gale, trying to put any food on the table… a bird, a squirrel….

And then, there are the Hunger Games.  Children from the ages of 12 to 18 are put into a drawing to see who will represent their district in a fight to the death.  One boy and one girl from each district.  Twenty-four children go into the Hunger Games, only one comes out alive.  For each year from twelve on, you get your name entered.  Occasionally for extra rice on the table, you can offer to have your name put in extra times.  Prim is in the drawing once.  Katniss is in there more times than she would care to remember… is it 20 times?  30?

And then.. the day of the drawing is held… and as you can probably guess, Prim’s name is drawn.  It’s heart wrenching – in the book,and in the movie… and Katniss says NO, and takes her sisters place.

So enough about the book….

lets talk about the movie.

Myself and four friends went to the midnight showing on Thursday.  While I know many people do not like to go to movies from books because they say they ruin them, I am not one of those people.  I am always curious when a book I have enjoyed becomes a movie.  I wonder if the movie will do the book justice, I wonder what the director will pull out of a book that I didn’t see… for better or for worse…

And of course, as book lovers, we do take some personal ownership in these movie choices don’t we?  It has been interesting as they chose who would play what part and the buzz on the internet if the characters were the right ones for the part.  Guesses were made and suggested…. rumors milled as to who would play Katniss, Peeta, and Gale…

and then it was done.

Hunger Games, much like the Harry Potter movies, leave me breathless.  I know how the book made me feel…. I hope I get that out of the movie.

I can safely say I did… and then some. 

Jennifer Lawrence is Katniss.  I am sorry if you disagree, but I thought she was the perfect mix of tough girl, who could pull off the fighting for her life look as well as the dressed up version.  Entering the games, her look of fear is spot on. 

Josh Hutterson took a little while longer to grow on me (he is so little in real life!) but once they were preparing for the games… I found him to do an amazing job as well.

Liam’s role as Gale is so small its hard to get a feel for him.

Fantastically done, and tasteful seems to be a word I use that does not make sense when again… its kids fighting to the death, but it is done well.  The actual killing is off-screen.  You know what happened, but nothing is overly violent and gory. 

It was kind of cool to see how the capital watched like “Big Brother” over the games, and how they made things happen if it was getting dull… 

My recommendation is see the movie.  If you have not read the book, do that too, but the movie does a nice job of covering all the bases so if you have not read the book (shudder to think of it!) you will not be lost. 

On World Book Night, April 23, the book I am handing out is Hunger Games.  Yeah, I appreciate it that much.

I will be going again.

Vicki RAVES about The Help Movie


Hi everyone! I’m Vicki from I’d Rather Be At The Beach. I started my first blog, Reading At The Beach, which I lost due to Malware, around the same time Sheila started her blog. Somehow we found each others blogs shortly after. I’m not really sure how, but it was probably from blog hopping, which I know we both do a lot of. I’m honored to be a guest here, and hope you will leave me a comment… we don’t want Sheila’s stats to go down now do we? LOL!

Today I’m going to share my thoughts of the movie “The Help”. 

Since my daughter got married we don’t get to see each other on a daily basis, so we have a girls night out every so often. Recently we decided to go to a restaurant in a town nearby and then to see “The Help”! I was trying to wait until I’d read the book before I saw the movie, but with review obligations I knew I wouldn’t get to the book soon enough to suit me. So I did something I rarely do. I caved and saw the movie first. It wasn’t my fault though, it was all of those blog post I saw raving about the movie. You made it sound so awesome that I HAD to go see it.

I. Could. Not. Wait.

99.99% of the time, when a book or movie is built up in my mind due to glowing reviews such as “it was amazing”…it isn’t. But “The Help” was better than I was expecting. The characters were so real and vivid that I loved them all, even though I wanted to slap some of them. The movie had me laughing over and over, crying a few times, and even made feel ashamed as a person that there were some people who could treat other human beings so badly. That said, it was still such a feel good funny movie. There were many laugh out loud moments, but there was one scene in particular that had me laughing so hard I just about slid off my seat into the floor! Those of you who have seen the movie know which one I’m talking about. 

There was never a dull moment and I thought this movie was FANTASTIC! It is now one of my favorite movies and I plan on buying it on DVD so that I can watch it over and over. I’d definitely give it a AAA+.

If you haven’t seen this, GO NOW!!! You won’t be disappointed! Want a sneak peak or refresher course? Here you go:


Thank you Sheila, for inviting me to be a guest on your blog while you’re in Honduras. I hope you’re having a great time. It’s wonderful that you give so much time and love to others!!


*Note from Sheila:  I second Vicki’s thoughts here about The Help… the book is so good, and the movie is a fantastic companion to it.  If you have not seen it… you need to. 


Snow Flower And The Secret Fan Movie Review and Giveaways!

It is present day Shanghai and Nina and Sophia are struggling to maintain their childhood friendship among the demands of career, relationships, and family.  Drawing from the lessons of the past, Nina and Sophia learn to understand their ancestral connections to Lily and Snowflower… their laotong, and the ways of 19th century China.

Like nu shu secrets within the creases of a fan…. both story lines mesh to tell one… of hope, love, and friendship.

Laotong or LaoTong (in English: old sames; written: 老同 in Mandarin) is a type of relationship within Chinese culture, which was practised in Hunan, that bonded two girls together for eternity as kindred sisters.

There were two cultural practises in Hunan in past centuries that acknowledged women’s social bonds. One was Laotong, the other was Laotang.

Chinese women commonly refer to each other as “Sisters.” This is a recognition of the importance of women’s supportive relationships, which helped them endure hardship over their lives. Preparation for marriage might involve a Laotang relationship between several young women; the sisterhood would be dissolved upon marriage. After marriage, new sisterhoods could be formed later between married or widowed women.[1]

For Chinese women, the Laotong or “Old-Sames” relationship was the most precious friendship bond. This was a more rare and formal relationship between women. A woman could only have one Laotong, and the bond was for life.

As told on wikepedia

Yesterday I reviewed the audio version of Snowflower and The Secret Fan.  This was quite the coincidence when I was offered to review the movie which released this week on DVD and Blue-Ray.  I of course, said yes to this review as I missed out on this one in the theater.

At first the movie concerned me when I heard the main characters were not the lily and Snowflower I had expected….  but have patience, soon you will see that it is just being told from a second story line that I really grew to enjoy.  Going back and forth between the modern Nina and Sophia and then to the history of Lily and Snowflower was an interesting way to present the story. 

While I appreciated the audio greatly and highly advise you read or listen to the book first, I would recommend the movie as well as a compliment to the other.  Beautifully detailed it brought tears to my eyes more than once.  I was at once very impressed. 

Along with the review of the book, I was asked to have a Laotong night with friends….  you don’t have to twist my arm to hang with friends!  A road trip was planned to our cabin with my cousin’s wife Rhonda, and two other wonderful friends, Belinda and Sheila.  It was a lot of fun as none of them had been to the cabin before.

Me, Rhonda, and Sheila at Tettegouche State Park
Belinda and Sheila

We spent the day exploring the north shore shops and had lunch at the Blue Fin Bay Grill.  We went back to the cabin where we made fajitas and chatted and laughed and wore mud masks and watched movies.  It was just what my heart needed… time with friends… time to laugh and time to share. 

Ok... they will probably have my head for posting this... but part of our Laontong night was face masks.... it was so fun!

If you read Book Journey on a regular basis you probably know that I enjoy many adventures with friends and work to make that time happen to renew and restore.  I know that it is not always easy to do when you have time commitments, family, and small children but let me tell you that your friendships are important and time with friends… makes you a better you. 

Here are a few ways you can plan time with friends:

A phone call when time is short….catch up!

A coffee date at a favorite coffee shop

Take in a movie – even a matinée

Send a card or small gift in the mail to those you can not see do to distance

Road trip… always talking about that shopping trip or sight seeing?  Make it happen!  3 of my friends and I finally made that happen after years of talking about it in June.

A gym date – double duty!  🙂


I was sent three copies of the book Snow Flower and the Secret Fan to share with the girls who did the Laotong night with me.  They took two of the copies… and I still have one left for one of you!  I also have been offered a DVD or Blue Ray give away of the movie!

To enter for these giveaways (I will choose two winners, one book, one movie) leave a comment here telling me either of a fun night/ weekend you have done with friends – OR one you are planning to do. 

For an extra entry, subscribe to Book Journey by signing up on the right hand side bar and let me know in a separate comment.  If you are already a subscriber, let me know that in a separate comment for the extra entry.

USA and Canada only please… I will announce the winner Friday in my morning post.