book vs movie, buddy review

Book vs Movie: The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Welcome to a book vs. movie review here at Down The Rabbit Hole! As anticipated, we have now finished watching The Woman in the Window together, as well as previously having read the book together in a buddy read (for which we gave a 5 Drink Me Potions rating!). We have decided to rate the movie adaptation at only 3 Drink Me Potions though, and we will discuss a bit below as to why. As usual, no spoilers will be given so don’t worry about that, and read on!

Plot Comparison

Overall, we thought that the movie did a pretty good job at staying true to the plot elements in the book, and the story was generally the same with regards to the build-up, set-up and finale. However, many things were also left out, possibly in the interest of time. Generally the feelings that were portrayed and the atmosphere that was set up was almost exactly as expected, and in fact, the house is more or less what we imagined (albeit a lot bigger).

Some major plot points that were different included her online agoraphobia group that she interacted with – this was not included in the movie at all. Although this was understandable, since this likely would have been more difficult to display on screen, and would take away from the dark mysterious atmosphere they create by only viewing the outside world through the lens of Anna’s house.

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book vs movie

YA movie adaptations – Better than source?

Hey everyone! In anticipation of the Netflix drop of Shadow and Bone tomorrow, I am reminiscing on some relatively better adaptations of YA movies or TV shows. I do say relatively, because of course it really depends on the person and how much they loved/know of the source material it was based on. So if we disagree, know that I see and hear your opinions too.

Okay, now where shall we begin?

I am not ordering this by any means since I can hardly compare a well-done dystopian to a good contemporary on important issues. But these are the ones I think of when I acknowledge that sometimes, these adaptations are as great on its own or (sacrilegiously) better than the source.

Vampire Academy

Synopsis: Rose, a half-human, half-vampire, must do whatever it takes to protect her best friend Lissa, the princess of the Moroi, from enemies both inside and outside the walls of St. Vladimir’s Academy.

I loved this??! Is that weird? But Zoey Deutch just impersonates the character of Rose Hathaway to everything I ever imagined when I read that book. She’s spunky, smart-mouthed, a spitball of energy. I think she carried this movie ‘cause otherwise it may have just been more predictably lacklustre without her. It’s just another vampire movie/story, as people would say, but there is only ever one Rose Hathaway.

Love, Simon

Synopsis: Simon Spier keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his family. However, when a blackmailer threatens to reveal it, he goes on a roller-coaster journey to come to terms with his identity.

I watched this in theatres with my friend, who is trans, when it first came out (he had already watched this twice and was willing to watch it again with me for a third time). And I wasn’t certain at first if Nick Robinson, an actor who seemed rather straight from his previous roles, could carry Simon’s character well. But I was blown away by the movie overall and the feels that came by the end of it.

The Hate U Give

Synopsis: Starr Carter, an African-American teenager, faces pressure from various communities and tries to stand up for what is right after she witnesses the shooting of her best friend by the police.

A particularly anticipated movie after the crazy success of the book, I’m sure many people had super high expectations for it. Personally, I don’t criticize adaptations too heavily because I come in with low expectations that probably wouldn’t live up to the source material (it wouldn’t have been optioned for a film if it hadn’t been good in some way). But I thought this movie did a great job at carrying the message it needed to carry, and I’m stoked it was able to reach people who don’t normally have the time to read a book.

Before I Fall

Synopsis: Samantha Kingston seems to have it all: popularity, a loving boyfriend and a seemingly perfect future. Everything changes in the blink of an eye when she dies in a car crash but then magically wakes up to find herself reliving the same day over and over again.

Okay, yes, this is another movie starring Zoey Deutch. I love her, okay? I think that is already evident. But while the book was nice enough in my mind, especially showcasing the consequences of a mean girl who has to relive her last day over and over again, the movie I think does an even better job of it. All the emotions that are present in the book are just amplified in the movie as we get to see the scenes where Sam hurts people through her choices and learning how her insecurities should not equate to putting down others.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

Synopsis: A young boy named Jake discovers a house full of children with supernatural powers run by Miss Peregrine. Soon, he must help protect their home from terrifying enemies called Hollowgasts.

I watched this one in theatres as well. I am going to honest and say I didn’t pick up Ransom Rigg’s books much because a) those photographs inside are just kinda creepy and b) how many of them are continuing to come out? But as far as adaptations go, I think this one held the nice balance of fun and intriguing as we learn more about this hidden world in the real world we know. Even if people hadn’t read the book before watching (guilty), I’m sure many kids and families enjoyed it as a standalone and I think that’s always an excellent marker for adaptations. It should hopefully excite fans, but also draw in new fans too.

I Am Number Four

Synopsis: John Smith, an otherwise ordinary teenager, has astonishing powers. He has to move from one town to another along with his guardian in order to avoid the beings from another planet who want to kill him and others like him.

Oh boy, this was a longgggg time ago when I watched it but my goodness, Alex Pettyfer was hot, okay? I find a lot of action, fantasy/dystopian YA adaptations don’t do so great. First, there are so many elements to the world building that either don’t get picked up by the adaptation (especially in movies which are time-limited) and second, the important scenes in the books are written over or skipped completely for “new direction” by the producers/writers. However, I think this was a really enjoyable action movie that taught enough of the world building (obviously not all of it) while making it exciting in movie format.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

Synopsis: A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.

This one’s a no brainer but I think many fans were pleasantly pleased with the production of this Netflix film. The chemistry between leads was there while the culture of the Song-Covey family was still highlighted and explored. I think this was an example for others what a good adaptation that gives respect to its source material looks like, and they continued to do so with the following movies in the series.

What do you all think? I know, we may not agree on all of them, but let me know what adaptations you think were done well (or even better than the source)! I’d love to check them out.

book vs movie, recommendations

Valentine’s List: Romance Books Adapted to Movies

Today’s a day I used to consider unimportant because who do I have to be with to celebrate? But whether you are defiantly and boldly celebrating you, or with someone special, I think this time of year brings out the romantic side of ourselves to the forefront.

Now, I sometimes am in the mood to read or just to binge watch something on the weekends. I don’t know about you or your current moods (I’m totally an emotional reader), but in case you’re either today, I’ve curated a list of romantic books that have all been adapted into films over the last two decades.

Something Borrowed

Rachel always had a crush on Dex, her fellow student in law school. Now, that her best friend Darcy is getting married to Dex, will Rachel, her maid of honour, express her feelings to Dex.

Can You Keep A Secret?

A young woman spills all of her secrets to a stranger on a plane when she thinks it’s about to crash. She later meets the man and discovers he is her company’s new CEO, and he knows all of her humiliating secrets.

Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Simon Spier keeps his sexual orientation a secret from his family. However, when a blackmailer threatens to reveal it, he goes on a roller-coaster journey to come to terms with his identity.

To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (series)

A teenage girl’s secret love letters are exposed and wreak havoc on her love life.

As her relationship with Peter continues to grow, Lara Jean reunites with another recipient of one of her old love letters.

The last chapter of Lara Jean’s high school life and navigating the ups and downs of her relationship, love and family.

Confessions of a Shopaholic

A college grad lands a job as a financial journalist in New York City to support where she nurtures her shopping addiction and falls for a wealthy entrepreneur.

Pride and Prejudice

Mrs. Bennet insists that her daughters find rich husbands and settle down. When a wealthy bachelor starts living near them, Mrs. Bennet’s happiness knows no bounds.

Crazy Rich Asians

Rachel, a professor, dates a man named Nick and looks forward to meeting his family. However, she is shaken up when she learns that Nick belongs to one of the richest families in the country.

The Fault in Our Stars

Two teenage cancer patients begin a life-affirming journey to visit a reclusive author in Amsterdam.

Me Before You

A girl in a small town forms an unlikely bond with a recently-paralyzed man she’s taking care of.

Call Me By Your Name

In 1980s Italy, romance blossoms between a seventeen-year-old student and the older man hired as his father’s research assistant.

The Notebook

Duke reads the story of Allie and Noah, two lovers who were separated by fate, to Ms Hamilton, an old woman who suffers from dementia, on a daily basis out of his notebook.

Let me know in the comments if you have watched or read most of these! And know that this day is for all of us and what we make of it, single or not.

Happy Valentine’s, friends!