Book to Movie Review – If I Stay


Today was the release for the popular book-to-movie adaptation of Gayle Forman’s If I Stay. The book made me cry, the trailer made me cry, and the movie made me cry so much I thought I was the one teetering on the edge of death. Okay, that’s a little dramatic, but I know I’m not the only one that slightly feels this way.

R.J. Cutler directed this tear jerking masterpiece, and along with ChloĆ« Grace Moretz as Mia and Jamie Blackley as Adam, this book was done some serious justice. I first read this book a little over a year ago now, and while I wasn’t head over heels in love with it I still enjoyed it. I do have to say, and booklovers don’t hate me for it, but I did enjoy this movie more than I did the book. And I think I have a pretty legitimate argument as to why.

So if you’ve read the book you know how it goes, car accident right off the bat, lots of flashbacks, lots of Mia listening to what her loved ones have to say while she figures out if she wants to live and be an orphan or die and be with her family. Personally I felt like some of the flashback scenes in the book were dry and drawn out. I though it was all written beautifully, Gayle Forman has such a way with words, but I just felt like things were a bit ‘blah’ at times. Since movies tend to cut things out for time I noticed that a lot of those slow moving parts in the book were dropped for a film adaptation. That made me enjoy it thoroughly. I loved this film and I encourage everyone to see it!

Now for the burning questions that all serious booklovers want to know when deciding to see a beloved book turned film: What’s different?

(Spoiler warning!) Continue reading

Book to Movie Review – The Giver

The Giver

Today was the wide release of The Giver, a movie directed by Phillip Noyce and adapted from the beloved novel of the same name by Lowis Lowry. this book is iconic, but I’m not going to scold you if you haven’t read it (like I see some reviews doing). I read this book, but when I was 12. I planned on re-reading before watching the movie, but 1. I didn’t have time, and 2. I honestly didn’t want to judge it against the book. I have a strong belief that an adaptation is called an adaptation for a reason. The definition of adapt is as follows: to make suitable to requirements or conditions; adjust or modify fittingly.

Movies are never going to be just like the books, period. Once you move past that then you should be able to enjoy a film. It’s instances like this that it drives me insane when someone will sit down, watch a great movie, but tear it to shreds because it didn’t follow the book to the T. Enough of my rant though, you came for a review, and that’s just what I have.

Ps. There may be a few spoilers in here, but I’ll let you know when I get to that point.

I was extremely moved by this movie. There were some things I wish they would’ve done different, but for the most part this is an extremely well made film. That’s why it pains me so to see it being bashed by diehard fans of the book. But to each his own and I cannot argue that there were some big changes.

From a total non-book lover standpoint, I adored The Giver. It kept you intrigued with this totally weird society that has no color, no emotion, no lies, and so much more no’s. It may not be dark, depleted, impossible to survive dystopia, but it’s one of the scariest societies I’ve ever witnessed. Morning injections take away everything that makes you who you are, and you truly do become just another one of the “sheeple” just walking around not knowing what real life is like. These people aren’t starving, they aren’t destitute, they are just being poisoned. It gives me the shivers when I think about not being able to love.

Then we bring in Jonas, a boy who doesn’t always feel like he fit in, and they put him in a situation where he finds out he truly doesn’t. The thing that always boggles my mind is that they literally tell him that their whole life is a lie, how can anyone accept that? Just take it all in stride and go about their day like everything’s the same. I don’t blame Jonas for what he did. I think his response was totally natural, at any age. Which brings me to my first book to movie difference (that I think is a perfectly reasonable difference) book Jonas is 12, movie Jonas is 16.

Honestly, I think a 12-year-old would’ve handled the entire situation different, so I think it makes an abundance of sense for him to be aged up. However, Lowis Lowry wrote him as a 12-year-old boy and it worked, but on a personal standpoint I think it works better with an older boy. If all that was happening to me at 12 I would run and hide and never return. Especially after learning the memory of pain. Nope, I’d be outta there. I don’t think I could handle it at 16 either, but I’d at least be able to talk myself down. So the aging up Jonas aspect is upsetting a lot of people, but I think it’s a win.

[ I think things get a little spoilery here ] Continue reading