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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buddy review

Buddy Review: Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life. The car abandoned miles from home. The note found at a nearby hotel. The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together. It happens all the time. Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over. She doesn’t want to be found. Or at least, that’s the story. But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

The night Molly disappeared began with a storm, running out of gas, and a man in a truck offering her a ride to town. With him is a little girl who reminds her of the daughter she lost years ago. It feels like a sign. And Molly is overcome with the desire to be home, with her family—no matter how broken it is. She accepts the ride. But when the doors are locked shut, Molly begins to suspect she has made a terrible mistake.

When a new lead comes in after the search has ended, Molly’s daughter, Nicole, begins to wonder. Nothing about her mother’s disappearance makes sense.

Nicole returns to the small, desolate town where her mother was last seen to find the truth. The locals are kind and eager to help. The innkeeper. The bartender. Even the police. Until secrets begin to reveal themselves and she comes closer to the truth about that night—and the danger surrounding her.

Welcome to another buddy review! This time we’re once again tackling another thriller. We have found that it’s nice to be able to discuss the suspense and our theorycrafting as we read through the book simultaneously. Below we have outlined the main elements of our discussion, enjoy!

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4.5 star, buddy review

Buddy Review: Punching the Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam

From award-winning, bestselling author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam of the Exonerated Five comes a powerful YA novel in verse about a boy who is wrongfully incarcerated. Perfect for fans of Jason Reynolds, Walter Dean Myers, and Elizabeth Acevedo.

The story that I thought

was my life

didn’t start on the day

I was born

Amal Shahid has always been an artist and a poet. But even in a diverse art school, he’s seen as disruptive and unmotivated by a biased system. Then one fateful night, an altercation in a gentrifying neighborhood escalates into tragedy. “Boys just being boys” turns out to be true only when those boys are white.

The story that I think

will be my life

starts today

Suddenly, at just sixteen years old, Amal’s bright future is upended: he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit and sent to prison. Despair and rage almost sink him until he turns to the refuge of his words, his art. This never should have been his story. But can he change it?

With spellbinding lyricism, award-winning author Ibi Zoboi and prison reform activist Yusef Salaam tell a moving and deeply profound story about how one boy is able to maintain his humanity and fight for the truth, in a system designed to strip him of both.

Welcome to our newest buddy review for Punching the Air! Now this is a truly special one, a book in a category that neither of us really have that much experience in. What better way to explore a new genre than to do it together in a buddy review? This time, we thought it would be fun to have kind of in a mini Q&A format, to perhaps show off a bit more of our individual voices.

Punching the Air is a novel written in verse, although when I say novel here, I really mean it as more of a collection of poems, separated into three main sections, but each comprised of many individual short poems. Through these poems, the authors paint a sadly realistic story of a Black teenager, Amal, who gets put through the American prison system, and the perspectives and views from the inside looking out.

How was the structure and formatting in the book? Did you like it?

Fives: Not a question normally posed, but quite pertinent in this case. Here the authors really employed all sorts of techniques to create emphasis and meaning in their poems. There was good rhythm and flow, and the use of spacing and lines were well done. Another great element in this book was the use of concrete poetry, which uses a visual element to enhance the meaning or emphasis of a poem. For example, to describe being boxed in, the text is literally written in the form of little square paragraphs, symbolizing the actual boxing in of Amal’s freedom and humanity.

The authors also used repetition a lot, for emphasis, but also to show the change and growth of a motif as it came back each time. With each repetition the imagery became more powerful, and they would transform the motif a bit each time too, to indicate increasing pressure or weight. Overall, I really enjoyed all these elements that they put into the book. And the message of the book aside, the poems in itself are already powerful enough – which is really saying something.

Andge: I think this was something Fives mentioned in our discussion, but this is the only time I can say a book has made good use of their white space. While I can appreciate art and the overall look of the book, I really have to commend the writing. The repetition for emphasis when needed, the allegories and metaphors describing Amal’s every situation. Fives mentioned the boxing in. Amal also describes the friends around him in prison as Corners, protecting him but also acting as another form of repression.

Another example is the heavy weight that always chokes him and presses on his chest. We see how it progresses from a stone in his throat and a brick in his chest to a mountain and a building and then to a country and a city. We can understand and grasp what that sensation is like, as well as the its enlargement as situations make it harder and harder to to feel free. When Amal finally deals with some things that allow him to hope and breathe easier, we can feel it too as the stone in his throat and the brick in his chest drops away. These are only a few examples of the different lyrical tools the authors put to use to help us feel in Amal’s shoes – and it is absolutely brilliant.

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