Book vs Movie: Before I Fall

Hey everyone,

In the midst of so many book-based movies coming out in the last while, I’m trying a new segment on my blog that pits these movies with their books. Who comes out the winner on top?

This month’s BOOK vs MOVIE is Lauren Oliver’s Before I Fall. Note: this post does not provide any major spoilers for those who have not read the book or seen the movie in case you wish to do so in the future.

before i fall -lauren oliver

Image result for before i fall movie poster











For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Named to numerous state reading lists, this novel was also recognized as a Best Book of the Year by, Barnes & Noble, The Daily Beast, NPR, and Publishers Weekly. It has been optioned for film by Fox 2000 Pictures.

Pros for the book:

  • it dived into more details about each repetition of that Valentine’s day that Sam had to live through, garnering more understanding about her situation and the events she witnessed (and ultimately changed)
  • the relationship with Kent was better explored – ah be still my beating heart
  • having explored the toxic emotions that you’d expect Sam would go through with every repetition (from anger to rebellion to eventual resignation/hope)

Pros for the movie:

  • stellar audio and visuals to really drive home the impact of Sam’s emotions as she learned more about her situation
  • Zoey Deutch’s acting (as Samantha Kingston) has always been amazing in my opinion and she really captured the transformation of Sam’s personality as the same day keeps repeating
  • Halston Sage (as bestie Lindsay) was spot-on for what I’d always imagined a mean girl with some hidden depth would look like. Either way, she was perfect for this role

Cons for the book:

  • uh, the length of the first day took FOREVER to get through – why can’t everything be condensed to movie-length sometimes?

Cons for the movie:

  • No depth into the true motives and characterizations of Sam’s 3 best friends (including the vast amount of information about Lindsay and her relationship to the girl they bully)
  • Emotional insight into Sam and Kent’s relationship, no matter how one-sided it got sometimes with Sam remembering everything but Kent having no recollection each time the day reset

I thought the movie overall followed the book well enough (and it shouldn’t be surprising if author Lauren Oliver was given room to help produce this movie). The tidbits into emotional depth and further character development in Sam would be hard to achieve on screen no matter what kind of movie as that’s the beauty of a book – the first hand experience of the protagonist’s experiences.

However, there is clearly still a winner in this. And that of course goes to the BOOK.

before i fall -lauren oliver

I recommend you read it, especially if you’ve watched the movie. For a full review on the book, you can find that here.

Feel free to comment below on your thoughts/opinions on the book or the movie! Are you a fan of Zoey Deutch as I am?



Review: Nemesis by Anna Banks

nemesis -anna banksPrincess Sepora of Serubel is the last Forger in all the five kingdoms. The spectorium she creates provides energy for all, but now her father has found a way to weaponize it, and his intentions to incite war force her to flee his grasp. She escapes across enemy lines into the kingdom of Theoria, but her plans to hide are thwarted when she is captured and placed in the young king’s servitude.

Tarik has just taken over rulership of Theoria, and must now face a new plague sweeping through his kingdom and killing his citizens. The last thing he needs is a troublesome servant vying for his attention. But Mistress Sepora will not be ignored. When the two finally meet face-to-face, they form an unlikely bond that complicates life in ways neither of them could have imagined.

Sepora’s gift may be able to save Tarik’s kingdom. But should she risk exposing herself and her growing feelings for her nemesis?

3 Drink Me Potions

Nemesis had a delicious slow-burn kind of romance between rival kingdom heirs that had me gripping the edge of my seat as I tore through the book. Where it mostly delivered on its promise for romance, it neglected to expand and explore the fantastical components of the story.

Who doesn’t love the kind of love story between enemies? Especially when one is living unbeknownst in the midst of the other’s household. Sepora held the key to a dangerous element that could be used against others if it fell into the wrong hands. Fleeing her home country and falling into the absolute worst place in her enemy kingdom may seem like a familiar trope, but it worked well for this novel.

I enjoyed the witty banter between Tarik and Sepora, although he only viewed her as his highest servant throughout most of the story. They may have been attracted to each other in the beginning but it wasn’t instant love for these two. They got to know each other a bit more, explore Tarik’s kingdom together and learn what it meant to rule.

Where it went wrong in this book mostly resided in a few things:

1) Sepora’s escape and initial journeys to Theoria took AGES, yet we know from the synopsis that she would end up in Tarik’s harem at some point. Did we have to spend so much time with her captors and the endless trek to their destination? I’m not sure we learned all that much about Sepora or this world in that time.

2) The lack of “real” action in this story may not be immediately evident but action only came in the sense of the THREAT of war from Sepora’s kingdom of Serubela. Nothing actually really “happens” on this front. If one didn’t come in hoping to get mostly a love story brimmed with romantic tensions, then it would very noticeable.

I know I shouldn’t be too harsh. I overall did enjoy Nemesis and the slew of several secondary characters. I’m not sure how realistic these people were (for example, Rashidi and Master Healer Cy) as they either fall under stereotypical tropes of these types of characters (grouchy old adviser) or weren’t described as someone you’d think would fit this description (ridiculously mature 13-year-old the king would consult on like, everything). But either way, they spiced up the story a bit more or else this book really would just be about Tarik and Sepora’s romantic problems.

How you’d fare with this book is pretty subjective, but at the heart of it, it would seem that Nemesis is just a romantic story like any found in a contemporary novel but set in some fantasy world with bits of special abilities in individuals.

Overall Recommendation:
Nemesis was slow to start and lacking of any true action that the synopsis may hint as the romance takes priority. While it can’t be described as any action-packed fantasy novel by any means, it can be applauded for its slow-burn romance that had my heart racing at times as I waited for sweet hot moments between enemies Tarik and Sepora. At the end of the day, I’d say this book is more recommended for romance lovers than fantasy lovers as the time allotted for each aspect is clearly unbalanced.

News: Truthwitch FREE for limited time

Hey you Witchlanders! This is for you. For a limited time only, Truthwitch by Susan Dennard is for FREE as an ebook.

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You can become the proud owner of an ebook version TODAY by following these simple rules.

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