Top 10 Tuesday: Book Adaptations I’d Like to Watch

This week’s Top 10 Tuesday topic is a freebie relating to Page to Screen. As I’ve already done two lists on great book adaptations and another on books I wish would be adapted, this time I’m doing a list of adaptations that I haven’t yet seen but would like to! Admittedly, I haven’t read many of the books these films & shows are adapted from, but I guess that doesn’t really matter all that much.

There are a lot of books out there where the rights have been purchased for adaptation or an adaptation is currently in the works but still a way off. For the purposes of this list, I’m just focusing on adaptations that have already been released or will be very, very soon.

Killing Eve (2018 – Present, Series)

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This series has been “killing” it lately (Drums: Ba dum tsh). But really, I have yet to hear a negative thing about it and it’s winning a bunch of awards. I love the fact that it features two strong female leads and Sandra Oh is absolutely fabulous. It’s about an MI5 agent, Eve, who becomes obsessed with catching a talented assassin known as Villanelle, leading to a high stakes game of cat and mouse between the two. The series is based on the Codename Villanelle novella series by Luke Jennings.

Good Omens (2019, Limited Series)

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Okay, technically this adaptation isn’t out yet but considering it’s set to be released at the end of the month, it counts. Based on the book by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, the series follows a demon, Crowley, and an angel, Aziraphale, who team up to prevent the end of the world following the coming of the anti-Christ. The series has a fantastic cast, with the two leads played by Michael Sheen and David Tenant (who are both amazing!). It just seems like it’ll be a lot of really weird fun.

Gone with the Wind (1939, Film)

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Both the book and movie adaptation of Gone with the Wind are considered classics. It’s one of those films that you see pop up every so often, mostly because people are quoting Rhett’s parting line. I’ve always been curious about seeing it and almost did watch it on a international plane trip but somehow it’s never happened. Maybe because it’s about 3 hours long? Still, I’d like to give it a go and see for myself how the failed romance between good old Scarlett and Rhett went so very wrong.

The Green Mile (1999, Film)

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People have been telling me how good The Green Mile is ever since I was a kid. It’s considered to be one of the better Stephen King adaptations and what can I say, it’s pretty much impossible not to like Tom Hanks. The film (& book) tells the story of an African American man who is charged with the murder of two young girls and brought to a correctional facility. Shortly after, the guards begin to notice him performing what appear to be miracles of healing. I’ve actually seen a few small snippets from this but I’d like to see the whole thing. I know the ending is sad, but I’m sure it’ll be a good watch.

The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018, Film)

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I’m not entirely sure why I’m keen to watch this one, I just am. The word is that Cameron Post is supposed to be a decent coming of age film with wit and emotion. It tells the story of a lesbian teen in the 90s who is sent to a conversion therapy centre by her conservative relatives after she’s caught kissing a girl on prom night. It’s always good to see stories not shying away from some of the murkier parts of history and featuring sexually diverse characters. At the very least, I think it’ll be something different from my usual.

V for Vendetta (2005, Film)

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I’ve been putting this one off for years now. Worse, we even have it on DVD and I STILL haven’t got there. Like, what are you doing, Ashley? Technically this one’s based off a comic series (by Alan Moore & David Lloyd) so I’m stretching the whole “book” thing here, but it’s an adaptation so I’m counting it. I like Hugo Weaving and Natalie Portman so the idea of seeing them portray masked vigilantes using terror tactics to fight back against a fascist regime sounds pretty darn cool.

A Walk to Remember (2002, Film)

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Yes, yes, we all like to make fun of old Sparky and his tear-jerker books, but there’s always a time and a place for them. This movie was extremely popular back when I was at school and yet, somehow I completely missed seeing it. Who knows how? I don’t mind The Notebook and I like Safe Haven, so I may end up enjoying this one. Next time I’m up for some emotional manipulation and a chance to get reacquainted with the black hole of sadness in my chest, I’ll pop it on.

After (2019, Film)

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Yes, you read that right. This dumpster fire of a film is on my to-watch list – just look at the poster, for crying out loud. I haven’t read the book but after watching the trailer for the movie, I feel the desire to watch the damn thing just to see if it can possibly be as bad as it looks. Well, that and because guaranteed there will come a time in the future where I need some trash viewing. Come on, we all do it. I’m hoping to find a heap of so awkwardly bad moments, much like Fifty Shades (the toast!), that it ends up being funny.

The Expanse (2015 – Present, Series)

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Finally! A book I’ve actually read…that’s part of a series of seven other books which I have not read. Regardless, I like a good bit of sci-fi and I’ve heard great things about this series. Its fans love it so much that Netflix actually saved it when Syfy decided to cancel it. The plot is complicated – a ragtag crew of ice haulers travelling across the universe, a conspiracy that threatens galactic peace, and a police detective tracking down a missing woman. I’ve had this on my to-watch list since it first started but I’ve just never been in the right mood for it. I’m hoping I’ll get there soon.

The Man in the High Castle (2015 – Present, Series)

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I love a good period piece and the concept of this series just sounds great. Based on the novel by Philip K. Dick, it looks at what would have happened had the Axis powers won WWII. The series is set in alternate 1962 and details what happens when several people mysteriously find reels of film showing Germany actually losing the war. I was a history major at university, so this kind of thing is right up my alley. Now that I’ve got an Amazon prime subscription, I should probably sit myself down and finally watch it.

And there we have it, ten adaptations I’d like to see. Sometimes adaptations are good, sometimes they’re…well downright terrible. I haven’t read the source material on a lot of these but I feel as though that can often be beneficial because there’s nothing to compare it to. Guess I’ll have to find out.

What book adaptations have been on your to-watch list for a while?

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The 80s Movie Tag (Original Tag)

While looking at book tags last month, I came across one labelled the 90s movie tag. I thought it was a really great idea for a tag, and it got me thinking about other movies I consider classics worthy of many, many rewatches. As it turned out, a bunch of the ones that came to mind were 80s movies, and so this tag was born!

There are so many popular movies from 80s. However, finding prompts for them that wouldn’t be ridiculously difficult to answer and hadn’t been done a million times already was very difficult. So if I haven’t included one of your favourites, it’s probably because my silly brain couldn’t come up with a decent prompt for it (You have no idea how sorry I am to skip The Breakfast Club, GhostbustersThe Terminator, and Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back).


80s 1A Book That Kept You Up All Night

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Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (J. K. Rowling)

When I first got into Harry Potter, I was about four years old. My mum and I would read the books together and we did this until about book four. By the time Half-Blood Prince came out, I was in my teen years, a very competent and quick reader, and just dying to get my hands on it. I read it during school lunch break, in between netball quarters, in the car, and late into the night. I just couldn’t put it down, I needed to know what happened next! I definitely gave myself a headache from eye strain but it was so worth it.


80s 2A Wonderfully Quotable Book

The Perks of Being a Wallflower (Stephen Chbosky)

While I definitely quote Harry Potter A LOT, The Perks of Being a Wallflower has some really lovely lines about life, growing up, friendship, and love. Many of them actually made their way into the movie which is wonderful. Here are some of my favourites:

“We accept the love we think we deserve.” 

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“And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” 

“I just want you to know that you’re very special… and the only reason I’m telling you is that I don’t know if anyone else ever has.”

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“Things change. And friends leave. Life doesn’t stop for anybody.”


80s 3A Character Who Loves Breaking the Rules

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Kady Grant (The Illuminae Files – Jay Kristoff & Amie Kaufman)

With Kady, if you tell her one thing, you can pretty much guarantee she’s going to do the exact opposite. Kady purposefully fails the testing to place refugees from Kerenza into service and then spends the rest of Illuminae hacking into whatever the hell takes her fancy as well as running around parts of ships she probably shouldn’t. Told to get rid of the crazy AI? Nah, let’s just save it to a datapad. You can also be sure that no matter what’s happening, she’ll be putting her two cents in.

(P.S. How cool is the Illuminae character art by Kira Knight??)


80s 4A Book Couple That Took An Eternity To Get Together

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Damen & Laurent (The Captive Prince Trilogy  – C. S. Pacat)

So, you start this series and get a general idea of the kind of books they are – it’s fantasy but mostly romance involving a lot of questionable content (don’t say I didn’t warn you). It also happens to involve a great deal of banter, sexual tension, and loads of sexual references. For this reason, you’d expect the two leads to get down to it some point soon, right? NOOOOPPPE. You’ve got to make it through the whole of book one AND THEN about two-thirds of book two before you get just about anything. This series redefines slow burn romance. If you’re into these kinds of books (book 2 is a lot better than book one and with far more substance, just sayin’), be prepared for a long wait.


80s 5A Book Involving Time Travel

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11.22.63 (Stephen King)

I read this book after watching the mini-series across a few international flights. It’s a bit of a change of pace for Mr King but it’s very well done. Time travel is key to the plot in that it revolves around an English teacher travelling back to the early 60s in an attempt to stop the assassination of JFK. The characters are good, there’s some mystery and romance, and as usual for King, the writing is great.


80s 6A Character With Unique Style

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Magnus Bane (Shadowhunters Books – Cassandra Clare)

If there are two things we can say about Magnus Bane, it’s that he’s (a) sassy and (b) got some interesting fashion sense  (or perhaps ‘flamboyant’ would be a better word). Glitter, shiny fabrics, bright makeup, leather, crazy prints, Magnus does it all and somehow makes it work, even when he’s running around to help save the world. It’s definitely out there but it’s also an essential component of his character.


80s 8Your Favourite Book involving the Training/Mentoring Trope

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Eragon (Christopher Paolini)

I was definitely not short on choices for this one – you guys know how much I love this trope. So I’ve gone with Eragon. I really love this book. It’s so tropey in general but I don’t care. I enjoy Brom teaching Eragon how to fight, use magic and just generally be a decent dragon rider. Eragon’s a bit of a rash idiot at the beginning but he gets there eventually and this relationship has a big impact on him for books to come.

Special mentions: The Final Empire (Brandon Sanderson) & Nevernight (Jay Kristoff)


80s 9A Book with a Trip that Doesn’t Go to Plan

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The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue (Mackenzie Lee)

Poor Monty, Percy and Felicity. All they wanted was to see a bit of Europe and get away from their stuffy parents for a while. Next thing you know, they’re being held up by bandits and on the run from a very angry French aristocrat whilst trying to protect the work of a famous alchemist. Boy, travel is stressful.


IndianaA Book with the Central Character’s Name in the Title

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The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)

I’m going with my most recent read for this one, which I loved immensely. Evelyn is the heart of this story and the book details the events of her life from her teen years up until her 80s. She’s not perfect but she’s certainly interesting.


80s 11A Female Character who Comes out of her Shell

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Piper McLean (The Lost Hero – Rick Riordan)

Piper was my favourite of the newly introduced demi-gods in Riordan’s The Lost Hero. For large parts of the book, Piper’s quite down on herself. She doesn’t realise the full potential of her abilities, chastises herself for not being able to do more in bad situations, and lets herself get pushed around by others. By the end, she realises her value and power, and finds a new sense of confidence. She plays a crucial rule in saving the day, stands up to a bully, takes leadership of the Aphrodite cabin, and convinces herself she’ll win “back” her guy. Go Piper.


80s 10A Death That Took You By Surprise

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XXX (Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor)

Avert your eyes if you don’t want to be spoiled. Sarai’s death is actually disclosed in the first few pages of Strange the Dreamer but for some reason, my brain just didn’t process it as being real. I was like, maybe it’s the past or a dream? Even when I got to the scene in context later in the book, I was like…nahhhhhh, Sarai can’t be dead. Later: Wait, she’s actually dead? Now she’s a GHOST. WHAT THE HELL? Let’s say I wasn’t expecting the story to take the direction it did going into book two.


80s 12An Ending that Left you Both Happy & Sad

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The Hate U Give (Angie Thomas)

THUG was such a fantastic and yet gut-wrenchingly real book. The conclusion to the main storyline isn’t satisfying but it’s sure as hell realistic. The fact that this was the way things turned out made me feel absolutely awful for the characters, especially Starr, but worse still because this is what actually happens to African-Americans in the United States. At the same time, Starr’s final pages of monologue are extremely empowering and positive – she’s found her voice and won’t let anyone stop her from standing up for what’s right. She’ll keep fighting. The fact that it’s necessary is terrible but it’s a really strong and wonderful way to end the novel.

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And that makes an even dozen. There are actually two movies on this list that I haven’t seen, Nightmare on Elm St and Pretty in Pink. The first is because I don’t do scary movies and the second, I just haven’t got around to it. Perhaps in the near future?

How many of these 80s classic films have you seen? What’s your favourite 80s movie? 

I Tag 2

I know I actually tagged a list of people when I created my Six of Crows tag a while back but this time around I’m sticking to my usual practice and not tagging anyone. If you’d like to give my 80s Movie Book tag a go for yourself, please do! I would love to see your answers so make sure to tag me!!

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Page to Screen: To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before

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I’m back with another edition of ‘Page to Screen’ and today we’re looking at the new Netflix adaptation of Jenny Han’s To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before. Having just recently finished the series for the first time, I was very eagerly awaiting this release. There are definitely some changes but was I disappointed? That would be a no.

TATBILB centres around sixteen-year-old Lara Jean Covey. For every intense crush she experiences, LJ writes a highly personal love letter which she keeps locked away inside a hat box in her closet. One day, all five letters are mysteriously sent out, leaving LJ in an awkward position as one of the boys happens to be her sister’s ex-boyfriend, Josh. In order to convince Josh she’s moved on, LJ makes a deal with Peter, another of her letter receivers.  By them pretending to be in a relationship, LJ can throw Josh off the scent and Peter can make his controlling ex, Genevieve, jealous.

What’s Different? (Beware – Book Spoilers!)

  • The End: One of the biggest changes from the book here is that the last third of the movie meshes in a few elements from book two in the series, PS. I Still Love You. This includes the drama resulting from a dodgy hot tub video taken at ski camp but also the ending of the film. If you’ve read the first book, you’d know that its ending is quite abrupt and really forces you to read on to find a happy ending. The movie, thank god, doesn’t do this and in true rom-com fashion ends with the reunion that kicks of LJ and Peter’s relationship in book two. I was very much on board with this change. The only thing I wish had been included was Lara Jean’s reconciliation letter to Peter which is pretty dang sweet. Why you gotta deprive me of my aww moment Netflix people?
  • Less Filler: Due to time constraints a lot of the activities that Peter and LJ do together during the novel, like baking and antiquing, which help cement their bond have been cut, but this is easily forgiven. I mean, it’s only a 1 ½ hr or so movie. However, we do get to see them watching movies together and going to parties. There’s also a lovely conversation regarding the death of LJ’s mum and Peter’s father walking out on him which lays some huge groundwork for their changed feelings.
  • Kitty’s Motivations: In the novel, Kitty spitefully sends out LJ’s letters after a heated argument. Here, she mails them with more positive intentions, in the hopes it’ll help her sister connect with someone. This was another change I really loved and it was nice to see Kitty acting with more pure intentions which seemed much more in tune with her ‘I know what’s best’ kind of personality.
  • LJ’s reaction: Unlike in the book, LJ has a much stronger reaction than a mere shrug to finding out Kitty sent her letters. It’s more realistic but still manages to remain sisterly and amusing.
  • Josh x LJ: In the novel, there’s a love triangle between LJ, Peter and Josh in that LJ’s letter pushes Josh to tell her that he’s previously had feelings for her as well. This creates a lot of confusion for LJ as she’s unsure if she still likes Josh but at the same time, she has to consider the fact that he’s her sister’s ex. The focus in the movie is much more on Peter and LJ’s relationship, and in a healthier approach, Josh simply accepts it when LJ tells him that she’s over him. No awkwardness and no messy kiss that causes major problems between LJ and Margo.

Other Thoughts

  • The Cast: Whoever did the casting for this movie was spot on and in my opinion, each of the actors fit their roles perfectly. Lana simply is Lara Jean; she plays her with the perfect combination of sweetness, romanticism, strength, and vulnerability – exactly how I imagined the character to be. Likewise, Noah does a great job in capturing Peter’s cockiness and charm while still doing justice to his softer side. The two have good chemistry and watching them interact with one another on screen is very enjoyable, especially when they’re taking photos of each other with silly faces. I also have to give points to Anna Cathcart as Kitty (straight off the page with all the necessary sass) and Madeline Arthur as Chris.
  • Hallucinations: One of the things I wasn’t such a fan of was the film’s approach of occasionally having Josh, and at one point Peter, talking to LJ as almost hallucinations to help her sort through her feelings. Yes, LJ is a bit dramatic at times, but I felt like this inclusion was perhaps a bit odd and silly. It also just randomly stops out of nowhere making me wonder why they bothered with it at all.
  • Slow Start: The movie takes a few minutes to get into the swing of things and find its groove. For those of us who know the story and characters, this is fine, but for others who don’t, it may be a bit slower to get into the feel of things.
  • Comedy?: TATBILB is marketed as a rom-com and while I do agree with this, it’s more of a high school coming of age, romance film than a comedy. Think John Hughes (Sixteen Candles is actually referenced in the film). Sure, there are a few amusing moments but it’s not something you’ll burst out laughing at, as infectious as Lara Condor is as LJ.
  • Representation: YAAAAS an Asian female lead in an American Romantic Comedy. WOOO!

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AS AN ADAPTATION: Pretty good! Changes are for valid reasons and mostly good deviations.

AS A FILM: The adaptation of ATBILB has the charm and adorableness of the novel. If you’re looking for something short, fun, breezy and sweet, this is a great choice. 7/10

You can find my review of the book here.

Love Ashley

 

The Ultimate Harry Potter Tag

You know me, I never go too long without expressing a lil’ bit of the old Harry Potter love. Tomorrow night I’m attending an HP trivia, dress up, and treasure hunt event at my favourite bookstore so it seemed like the perfect time to tackle this chunky HP Q&A tag. It’s an oldie, but a goodie. I’ve no clue where it originated from but if you know, pop it in the comments and I’ll give them the credit they’re due.


1. Favourite Book?

Goblet of Fire has always been my favourite. I love the challenges (come on, dragons anyone?), Draco Malfoy as a ferret, the Quidditch world cup, introduction of the other schools onto the scene, and dramatic ending. Plus, it’s the last book before things become dark and serious.

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2. Least Favourite Book?

Order of the Phoenix. It’s not that I don’t like Order of the Phoenix, I do, it’s just a lot heavier (in tone and physically) than the previous books. Harry’s extremely angsty through large chunks of it, Sirius dies at the end, and I hate how Dumbledore spends the entire book blowing Harry off. Also, Umbridge. She’s worse than Voldemort.

3. Favourite Movie?

I adore Philosopher’s Stone because it’s the very first and has such a purity to it but my favourites are probably Prisoner of Azkaban (Buckbeak, Lupin, time turners, werewolves, so much to love) and Deathly Hallows Part 2 (it’s not exactly true to book but I love the epicness of the fight sequences).

4. Least Favourite Movie?

Order of the Phoenix. Now, this was a book that could have used two films. They stripped that novel down to the barest of bones and left it feeling hollow and bleak. There’s barely any of the character building elements other than the DA and I feel sad when I think about all of the wonderful side plots that were missed out on.

5. Favourite Quote?

There are so many wonderful quotes in this series, I couldn’t possibly pick just one so here are some of my favourites (which I’m sure you’ve all heard many, many times before):

“…[T]he world isn’t split into good people and death eaters. We’ve all got both light and dark inside us. What matters is the part we choose to act on. That’s who we really are.” – Sirius Black

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals” – Sirius Black

“Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.” – Albus Dumbledore

And a quote that’s especially important to remember in the world of today:

“We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided.” – Albus Dumbledore

6. Favourite Weasley

Fred and George – they’re a package deal. They never fail to make me laugh and I enjoy every scene they’re in.

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7. Favourite Female Character?

Hermione Granger – it may seem a bit cliche but Hermione was one of my favourite characters growing up. She was brave, hardworking, smart, and without her, poor Harry would have been a very dead chosen one not far into the series.

8. Favourite Villain?

This is a tough one. Umbridge, for example, is a “good” villain but she also happens to annoy the hell out of me. I think I may go with Barty Crouch Jr/Mad Eye Moody for this one. Mad Eye is such an entertaining character in Goblet of Fire, but because it’s not actually him, I guess it’s Barty I find so enjoyable. I like the unpredictability, the thought and patience that went into his plans, and the backstory to him ending up masquerading as Moody.

9. Favourite Male Character?

I have a bit of a soft spot for Neville. He’s such a sweet character – clumsy, forgetful, and loves plants. How could you not love that? I also like the fact that over time he gets more chances to showcase just why he got selected for Gryffindor house – deep down, he’s got the heart of a lion (well, except where Snape and his Grandma are concerned).

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10. Favourite Professor?

Minerva McGonagall – that woman is amazing. The sass alone is enough but she also happens to be a badass who can shapeshift into a cat. Need I say more?

Lupin gets points as well for always having a stash of chocolate on hand.

11. Wash Snape’s Hair, or Spend a Day Listening to Lockhart Rant about Himself?

Snape’s hair because I’m sure there’s an easy spell for that somewhere.

12. Duel and Elated Bellatrix, Or an Angry Molly?

An angry Molly because Bellatrix is freaking scary and crazy as hell. At least Molly could probably be reasoned with. Probably.

13. Travel to Hogwarts Via Hogwarts Express or Flying Car?

The Hogwarts Express, hands down. Watch all the beautiful scenery go by and eat a million sweets from the trolley at the same time, yes, please!

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14. Kiss Voldemort, or Give Umbridge a Bubble Bath?

Er, neither. Is that an option? If not, maybe the bubble bath provided I get earplugs and a blindfold.

15. Ride a Hippogriff, or Ride a Firebolt?

Definitely a Firebolt. As lovely as Buckbeak is, I’m not so big on birds (terrified of them actually) and hippogriffs have eagle heads so that’d be a no. Broom all the way.

16. Is there a Character you felt Differently about in the Movies VS the Books?

Ah, Ginny. I really, really like Ginny in the books – she’s such a strong character but she’s massively shortchanged in the films to the point where she’s almost a non-entity unless the plot specifically requires her to show up e.g. Chamber of Secrets, romancing Harry. So disappointing

17. Is there a Movie you preferred over its book?

I do love the movies, but no. The books are better.

18. Richard Harris or Michael Gambon as Dumbledore?

I think Richard Harris is absolutely the perfect Dumbledore. Visually he’s fantastic and just has the perfect combination of quiet strength, quirkiness, kindness, and intelligence that Dumbledore possesses. However, there are moments where I wonder how he would have done with some of the more action-packed parts of the books such as the fight with Voldemort in book 5, especially since Michael Gambon managed these very well. Guess we’ll never know.

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19. Your Top Thing (Person or Event) which wasn’t Included in the Movies that Annoyed you the Most?

God. Just one? Peeves, SPEW and the house elves (especially Winky), Hermione & Ron’s prefecture, Hermione blackmailing Rita Skeeter to help Harry, Cho blowing up at Harry in some teeny-tiny teashop, there are so many things I wish had been included but I recognise the fact that a lot of them weren’t necessary to the overall plot.

20. If you could Remake any of the Potter Movies, which would it be?

Order of the Phoenix, surprise, surprise. I’d split it in two and add in more of the side plots from the book to enrich the characters and story.

21. Which House was your First Gutfeeling you’d be a Part of?

I think everyone wanted to be a Gryffindor when they were little but as I got older I came to realise that Hufflepuff is where my heart truly lies. Loyalty, honesty, and dormitories right near the kitchen. Sounds about right.

22. Which House were you Actually Sorted into on Pottermore?

Back before Pottermore was re-vamped, I did the quiz and got sorted into Hufflepuff. After the changes, I had to do the quiz again for some reason and ended up in Gryffindor, surprisingly. I guess I’m more a Gryffinpuff (or Huffledor) than I realised.

23. Which Class would be your Favourite?

I think Charms would be a lot of fun – levitating feathers, freezing things, making your wand light up, and so on, but Defence Against the Dark Arts could be exciting as well.

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24. Which Spell do you Think would be the Most Useful to Learn?

Lumos would certainly be useful when you need to do something in the middle of the night without waking everyone up (or stepping on a cat, in my case), but I’m extremely lazy so Accio would probably be my pick.

25. Which Character do you Think You’d Instantly Become Best Friends with?

Hagrid – I could teach him how to bake better and he could convince me to get out of the house more. Plus the hugs would be amazing, and I’d get to pat Fang.

26. If you Could Own One of the Three Hallows, Which Would it be?

The invisibility cloak. Nobody should have the power of the Elder Wand, plus I don’t want people murdering me for it.  The stone scares me a little and it seems a bit unhealthy in encouraging you not to let go of those who’ve died. However, I can’t deny that it’d certainly be cool to have conversations with some famous dead people.

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27. Is there any Aspect of the Books You’d Want to Change?

Hm, I haven’t read them in a few years now so things aren’t as fresh in my mind as they could be. The only thing that comes to mind at the moment is maybe the first section of Deathly Hallows. There’s a lot of what feels like nothing and during my first read, it did get a bit boring. I wish there’d been more direction, less bickering.

28. Favourite Marauder?

All of them are great except Peter but if I had to pick, probably Lupin as James and Sirius did some bullying in their teen years which I’m not a fan of.

29. If you could Bring one Character Back to Life, which would it be?

Hedwig. I don’t even like birds and her death was bloody traumatising. I get it was supposed to be about the loss of innocence and all that, but really, WHY??

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30. Hallows or Horcruxes?

Hallows. I’m not really up for (a) murdering people, (b) tearing up my soul, or (c) living forever. Nope, nope, nope.Divider

There we have it, 30 questions done! Some of them were quite difficult, too. Doing this definitely made me want to do a re-read of the series. It’s been AGES. But when do I find the time? The TBR just never stops growing (aka. I never stop buying new books, so it’s my own fault).

Enough from me, tell me all about your own HP favourites and disappointments! What’s your house, favourite book, and fave character?

Love Ashley

Top 10 Tuesday: Best Book to Movie/TV Adaptations, Part 2

I wasn’t really in the mood to do this week’s TTT post because (a) it’s winter here, (b) then I have to ask, what the hell is a “winter read”, and (c) I’m likely to do a TBR post soon. Instead I’m doing an older topic from The Broke and the Bookish‘s archives which is top ten best/worst book adaptations. The criteria for making this type of list is always hard because is it a matter of how closely the adaptation followed the source material or is it about the quality of the actual adaptation? In my case, it’s usually a bit of both. I’m cool with the adaptation making changes to the book’s story as long as they’re good changes and don’t mess with my enjoyment of the movie/show. I actually did this same topic for a top ten last year but since then I’ve seen a few other adaptations that I’ve thought were pretty good. Then there were others that missed out on my original list. Besides, no-one’s ever said you can’t do the same topic twice. And well, if they have…er, my blog, my rules, I guess.Divider1

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Gone Girl – Gillian Flynn

This is a dark and slightly odd book with a significant shift right in the middle. The movie does a great job of matching it’s eerie tone and remains very close to the book’s plot. Rosamund Pike is perfect as deranged “cool girl” Amy, while Ben Affleck also does a great job as her imperfect husband, Nick. The only thing I wish it’d done was include the couple’s final lines of dialogue.


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Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Controversy aside, in my opinion TRW is a good adaptation of Jay Asher’s book and in a lot of ways, I think it even surpasses it. Often where adaptations deviate from their source material, it’s a bad thing but with this one it works well. The decision to spread Clay’s experience with the tapes over several days instead of one night and actually taking the time to flesh out each of the characters involved enhances the story and ideas of the novel rather than damages them.


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Call Me By Your Name

Call Me by your Name – Andre Aciman

This is a beautifully written book, and although it’s difficult to transfer prose and imagery over to film easily, this adaptation manages to capture the tone of the novel instead through scenery, music, camera angles, and expressions. The set locations are stunning and the casting is absolutely perfect. Also, while the ending is a little different from the novel (which is sort of an extension on the film), it’s still fits the spirit of the story whilst still being damn heartbreaking.


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Love, Simon (Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda) – Becky Albertalli

I had high expectations for this one and to my relief, it met them. This is another adaptation where there were a few changes made to the plot, mostly in terms of cuts (likely for time reasons). However, the movie never strays from the feeling of the book and is always true to the characters. It’s super adorable, majorly feel-good, diverse, and an easy movie to re-watch.


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The Martian – Andy Weir

The success of The Martian as a book rests heavily on the humour, sass and strength of it’s main character, Mark, and this translated extremely successfully over to the adaptation. Matt Damon is fantastic in the role, as is the rest of the cast of famous faces. The movie’s funny, visually striking, and also manages to get a bit less bogged down in some of the scientific elements than the book, which is a big plus.


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The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood

I had heard that this particular series was quite different from the book but after recently, finally, watching it, I found it to actually be quite similar. Yes, some of the ages are different and you get a lot more background with regards to the characters and how Gilead came about, but for me these additions have enhanced the story and answered a lot of questions that I know I had while reading the book. The acting is great all around and the show itself is extremely addictive, even if it’s sometimes hard to watch.


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It – Stephen King

I don’t usually do horror movies, at all. I am the biggest wuss you will ever meet but I was determined to see the 2017 movie adaptation of this book and despite looking through my fingers at several points, I really, really enjoyed it. The child actors are all great in their roles and Pennywise is damn scary. Although the movie only focuses on the child part of the book, it’s still a HUGE book and they did a great job cutting down the story while still keeping the important parts intact. Definitely looking forward to part 2 next year.


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And Then There Were None – Agatha Christie

There have been a lot of adaptations of this particular story, because it’s just so good! In this instance though I’m referencing the 2015 BBC mini-series. This version dwells on the darker undertones in Christie’s story, making it a little bit more modern somehow but it still remains both stylish and true to the novel, right to the very, bitter end. Also, it doesn’t hurt that there’s some eye candy in the form of Mr Aidan Turner.


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Divergent

Divergent – Veronica Roth

Say what you will about the later entries in the series, both films and books (*cough* they sucked *cough), but I really like the adaptation of the first book (Yep, judge away, I know). I’ll admit, they did cut out and strip down some characters (e.g. Edward), and rework certain plot elements but I liked the casting and the story changes never really impaired my enjoyment of the movie. Now I just happily watch it as a stand-alone.


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The Fault in Our Stars – John Green

Alright, I’m not a huge John Green fan but having read the book and seen the movie for this particular one, even I have to say that it’s a well done adaptation that should have satisfied fans of the book. The actors are chosen well  (Shailene does a great job as Hazel), the plot sticks closely to the book, the tone of the movie is very JG-esque, and the ending is still grab your tissues worthy (okay, well, for those people that aren’t me).


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The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Stieg Larsson

Two adaptations were made of this novel, one English speaking and the other in Swedish and surprisingly, both of them are not only very close to the book but well done too. The actors in each version do a great job bringing the characters to life, especially Rooney Mara and Noomi Rapace as Lisbeth, and the plot is mysterious and engaging. Be warned though, this isn’t a lighthearted book and neither movie shies away from the darker content.

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And there we have it, another top ten done and dusted. Was there a favourite of yours that I missed? It might have been on my first list on this topic published last year. You can find that Top 10 here.

What are some recent adaptations that you’ve enjoyed?

Love Ashley

 

Page to Screen: Ready Player One

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Today I’m adding a new segment to my blog (woo hoo!), ‘Page to Screen’, where I’ll look at book adaptations, compare them to their source material, evaluate what worked and what didn’t, determine which medium reigned supreme, and so on. First up to the plate is Spielberg’s adaptation of Ernest Cline’s, Ready Player One.

Let me say, first and foremost, there are some huge changes from the book in this one. So, if you’re a purist or massive fan of the novel, you’re likely going to be uncomfortable or mad for at least the first half hour or so before you adjust. Prepare yourself.

THE CHALLENGES

The biggest change from the book was the clues and challenges to find Halliday’s egg. In the book there are three keys and three gates, each with its own test. In the movie there’s one gate and the tests are limited to the keys ONLY. This cuts down a lot of the book but for time constraints, it’s perfectly reasonable. Additionally, almost none of the challenges in the movie are taken directly from the book and it’s for one obvious reason: to make the movie more understandable and marketable to the masses.

The movie begins with the test for the first key which is, believe it or not, a freaking car race. I almost spat the dummy right then and there. But once Wade actually had to do some thinking and research to beat the challenge, I calmed down a bit. By the time we’d reached challenge two, which involved a fantastic sequence set inside the film, The Shining, I began to realise that these changes were probably a good thing. While they aren’t a direct adaptation of the book, they remain largely in the spirit and tone of it.

THE WORLD

As this is a movie, there’s a lot less time to spend describing the conditions in the real world or the nature of The Oasis in lengthy detail. The film does its best through the use of Wade’s voice over and a short, flashy sequence at the beginning but the book has the one up on this one purely due to available time for exposition.

Also, in case you weren’t aware, ¾ of the movie is CGI Oasis. The real world is showcased a bit more in the second half but you’re going to be looking at the characters’ avatars A LOT, so get used to it fast.

CHARACTERS

Wade

I’ll be blunt: Wade’s character is lacking here. The degree of  credit he’s given in the film is increased but at the same time, the amount of stuff his character actually does is less. There’s no period in which he re-evaluates his priorities and shapes himself into a mentally and physically stronger person, and no infiltration of IOI (the bit from the book that really does show him off as the hero Cline wants him to be). And still, we get a scene in which Art3mis tells Wade he’s the best of them all and that he’ll win because of it. I mean, really?

Art3mis

On the flip side, Art3mis is given a lot more screen time and things to do, taking over some of Wade’s roles. Compared to the book, we see her in the real world far earlier and it’s Arty that ends up stuck in IOI. At first this seems like it’ll just be a rescue situation but then she starts kicking ass, and I’ve come to see it as another solid deviation choice. Extra depth is also added to Art3mis’s back story regarding IOI and her father. She’s given motives aside from simple altruism and a role in the film’s so called resistance (an unnecessary new element that isn’t really developed or explained).

The Other Top 5

Diversity was maintained here and one character survived where their book counterpart did not. However, notably, Shoto and Daito do get short changed in the development department as the section of the book in which they go questing with Wade has been cut. It’s a sad but understandable loss but then again, even with more screen time, some of the other major characters are still somewhat difficult to connect with at times.

IOI & Sorrento

IOI and Sorrento remain very much the same – they’re still complete dicks and very much the greedy corporation, desperate for power and money. Sorrento comes off as a bit of a lame villain at times and is perhaps given maybe a touch too much screen time whilst his side kick of sorts, Zandor, is a tad wooden for my liking.

OTHER MINOR POINTS

  • Time constraints also restrict the development of Art3mis and Wade’s relationship, with him dropping the L bomb ridiculously and creepily early in the time line.
  • The climax of the movie drags on too long. Sure, giant robots fighting and watching IOI goons get wiped out is fun, but there is a limit.
  • I liked how the film dealt with James Halliday’s character – he’s a sad figure with good motivations behind his actions but I wish we’d been able to see more of his history

Overall, the film manages to improve on some of the weaknesses of the novel but it comes with new flaws of its own. Yet, despite its problems, Ready Player One was an entertaining way to spend a few hours and I’m glad I went to see it.

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AS AN ADAPTATION : Not good, a lot of changes from the book.

AS A FILM : Entertaining, but not amazing. 6.8/10

You can find my review of the book here.

Top 10 Tuesday: Yummy Foods in Books

It’s Tuesday, and you know what that means….another Top 10 brought to you by the lovely folks at The Broke and the Bookish. So, I’m sure you guys probably know by now that when I see a topic for top 10s that I either don’t like or seems really, really hard, I act like a toddler, fold my arms and say ‘NO’. Then I pick a much easier topic. This week however, I am determined to challenge myself. I barely remember my favourite lines of dialogue from my books, let alone what the characters were bloody eating at any given point. I already feel like this list is headed for disaster. Hello Titanic, meet iceberg. Alright, brace yourselves…

1. Basically every food item in the Harry Potter Series

Phew, an easy one to start with. The food in Harry Potter is pretty much food heaven. Chocolate frogs, butterbeer, cauldron cakes, pumpkin and cornish pasties, holiday feasts loaded with platters upon platters of scrumptious mains and desserts…*insert drooling here*. Honestly, I just about die and go to heaven whenever I see the feast scenes from the movies.

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2. Circus Stalls (The Night Circus)

It’s said that the food at the Night Circus is absolutely amazing and you don’t need much of an imagination to see why. Anywhere that can offer me dumplings, cinnamon rolls, chocolate covered strawberries, and caramel covered popcorn all in close proximity to one another is essentially the dream. Feed me already!

3. Strawberry Tarts (The Selection)

When America tells Maxon that she’s pretty much just here to enjoy the fancy food, I was like: I feel you. It’s definitely understandable when she’s being handed scrumptious sounding stuff like strawberry tarts. They’re so good that America’s willing to make a bet with Maxon that her sister would cry in happiness eating one. That’s pretty damn good. Rebecca over at Sugar & Soul even made her own The Selection inspired tarts complete with the added perfection that is Nutella:

https://www.sugarandsoul.co/strawberry-nutella-tarts-recipe/

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4. Sansa’s favourite Lemon Cakes (A Song of Ice and Fire)

I love cake. I love lemon. It’s therefore not hard to work out that I adore lemon cake. It’s so sweet and tangy and wonderful. I have a great recipe that I make at home which is served with a mix of mascarpone and lemon curd. YUM!  But as I can’t be stuffed typing it out for you, check out Nerdy Nummies for a different but still fab recipe:

http://rosannapansino.com/blog/recipes/game-thrones-sansas-lemon-cakes/

5. Nina’s Waffles (Six of Crows)

I think by now you can tell that I have a bit of a sweet tooth. Okay, a big sweet tooth. My sister and I love eating pancakes and waffles. I bought her a waffle maker last Christmas and it was honestly the best thing ever. Except that every time Nina mentioned waffles during Crooked Kingdom, I wanted to rush down the stairs, pop that machine into the power socket and start mixing up some batter. Good thing I didn’t because then I’d be the size of a house. Regardless, I ❤ waffles.

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6. Willy Wonka’s creations (Charlie and the Chocolate Factory)

If you didn’t feel yourself salivating and your stomach grumbling while reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory either (a) good on you for having self-control or (b) you big, fat liar. There’s a river made of chocolate. A freaking river. Plus a whole host of amazing other sweets perfect for making a dessert nut like me extremely hungry.

7. Cider (Caraval)

No-one said I couldn’t include drinks. I’m not a massive alcohol person – if I can taste the alcoholic part, usually I’m out. If it’s sweet, I’m on board. For this reason I drink a lot of cider – sweet, bubbly and minus the strong alcohol taste. So I was definitely a little jealous of the characters in Caraval getting their hands on some absolutely fantastic burnt sugar cider. The way it’s described in the novel with its gorgeous, lingering scent sounds pretty amazeballs.

8. Potatoes (The Martian)

Yeah, I know, I’m stretching it here but I just finished this so it’s fresh in my mind. Potatoes are one of my favourite food items ever. They’re the most versatile thing. In The Martian, Mark’s only able to have microwave cooked potatoes which would probably be pretty bland but the minute I hear the word potato my brain has already hit overdrive. I’m thinking about potato bake, mash, wedges with sour cream and sweet chilli, hash browns, stuffed jacket potatoes, cubes in soup and curries, potatoes dauphin… okay, better stop now. I’ll make my stomach grumble.

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9. Peeta’s Cheese Buns (The Hunger Games)

Bread is another one of my favourite things *cue The Sound of Music soundtrack*. The smell of fresh bread is honestly one of the most perfect smells in the world. It’s so warm and welcoming, and…*sigh*. I adore bread, and bread and cheese is a match made in heaven. If you’re looking for a great recipe and some drool worthy pics, try Yammie’s Noshery:

http://www.yammiesnoshery.com/2012/08/peetas-stuffed-cheese-buns.html

God, they look so good. Marry me Peeta and keep me in a constant supply of bread.

10. Pasta Puttanesca (A Series of Unfortunate Events)

GIVE ME CARBS! If there’s one thing the Italians know, it’s food. In particular, pasta. I love pasta. Pasta is so good. Part of me dies a little when Count Olaf turns his nose up at a beautiful pasta dish and asks for roast beef. Like really? Roast beef over pasta? I think not, mate. Load me up (minus the anchovies though). I’ll eat it til I can’t move and you have to roll me down the street home. And here’s an easy breezy recipe from the Fiction-Food Café:

http://www.fiction-food.com/2014/02/pasta-puttanesca-from-series-of.html

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Okay, you know what, that actually wasn’t so bad after all. Except now I’m hungry. Good thing I’ve got this handy Caramello Koala next to me (a caramel filled chocolate in the shape of a koala to the non-Aussies out there).

What are some of your fave fiction featured foods?

Love ash 2