Last month I won the Calendar Girl special Spring Time Whirl Book Bingo challenge and got to choose this month’s theme. I decided to go for favorite adaptation as there are so many great screen adaptations of books being made today. The old truth that the book is always better is simply no longer true!
We have for example the great Netflix adaptations of books such as To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, All The Bright Places and Quicksand.
Netflix has also made the series adaptation of The Shadowhunters world that is well in line with the books (the movie was a classical example of the book clearly being better, but the series is really good). Other movies that are wonderful adaptations and true to the story and ambience of the book are Call Me By Your Name and The Hunger Games.
Then there are movies such as Love, Simon and the new Hulu spinoff series Love, Victor. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda is one of my all time favorite books, and even though the book was better than the movie, the adaptation was very well executed.
And not to mention the new amazingly well done BBC/Hulu adaptation of Normal People. I’m so in love with this adaption! It’s so true to the original and catches the unique voice from the book. Even though the book revolves around the relationship between Marianne (the school’s weirdo) and Connell (the school’s popular jock) from high school through university, it’s not a very romantic story. It’s more of a deep psychological study of two people struggling to maneuver through life and how the two protagonists develop as people. I’m so impressed how that is manifested in the series as well. It could so easily have been transformed into a cliché romance, but it’s not at all. The darkness and intensity, the raw and honest portray of modern love, class and politics and the lasting effects of trauma from the book are all still there in the series as well.
There are also some adaptations that are not only as good as the books, but even better (in my opinion). For example Ready Player One where I liked Wade’s character so much better in the movie. In the book he and Aech’s friendship was not at all as strong and easy-going as in the movie. In fact, the way Wade and Aech talked in the book irritated me. And the part in the book where Wade was hiding out alone in his apartment and turning from chubby to super-fit just felt out of place for the story line, so I’m glad that was left out completely in the movie.
Another example is Noughts & Crosses where the screen adaptation is better, tighter and with a better love story than in the original story in the book. In the HBO series the love story makes much more sense as they are older when they really fall for each other and more aware of the consequences. The role of Sephy’s parents are also better portraited, and not to mention Sephy herself. In the book she comes across as quite childish at times. (But I do love the book too, and especially to get more background to Sephy’s and Callum’s friendship.)
But my winner is ...
I don’t think that Harry Potter, or “the boy who lived”, needs much of a presentation... we all know the story about the orphan Harry, who, on his eleventh birthday, learns he is a wizard and gets a visit from Hagrid who tells him he’s been accepted to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. At Hogwarts Harry practices magic under the guidance of the kindly headmaster Albus Dumbledore and other school professors along with his best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. Harry also discovers that he is already famous throughout the magical community, and that his fate is tied with that of Lord Voldemort – the internationally feared Dark Wizard and murderer of his parents, Lily and James. The series revolve around Harry’s struggle to adapt to the wizarding world and defeat Voldemort.
The reason why I chose Harry Potter as my favorite book adaption is because the movies are not only true to the wonderful, magical universe that J.K. Rowling created, they even expand upon and enrich the novels from which they were adapted. It’s just amazing how they have managed to give life to the setting and characters of the book’s magical world and how many of the world’s best actors that have been part of the film ensemble. It’s also very special to be able to follow the lead actors growing up and growing into their roles as the characters that I love and carries with me in my heart forever. I truly believe that Harry Potter is one of greatest characters of all times, both in the books and in the movies. With her Harry Potter books, J.K. Rowling has helped so many troubled and lonely children, giving them hope and bringing them joy, in a way that is utterly amazing.
For those who are new to Calendar Girls, it is a monthly blog event that was inspired by the Neil Sedaka song, Calendar Girl. Just like the song, each month has a specific theme, voted on by the participants, where we get to talk about a particular book we love or think fits the theme the best. The blog event was created to incite fun bookish discussions and to spread the blogger love by introducing us to new bloggers and/or books that we have not come across before. If this sounds like something you would enjoy, make sure to head over to the Calendar Girls info page!
You must also check out these amazing posts about favorite adaptations by Darque Dreamer (The Mermaid Behind the Books) and Dani (Mousai Books)!
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