Mockingjay Book VS Movie

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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

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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…

 

Movie.

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

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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!

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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:

I…

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!

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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:

 

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

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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!”

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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….

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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.

Movie

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.