Hello there, and happy Wednesday! I’m here today chatting about book-to-movie adaptions. With Netflix and Hulu especially, we can look forward to more (hopefully!) amazing adaptations in the coming years.
Book-to-movie adaptations are hard because usually there’s already an established fanbase of the book. They have certain things that are imperative to following from the books, and some details, unfortunately, have to get left out. Some adaptations are so bad that the author doesn’t even endorse the movie (can anyone say Percy Jackson?).
Today I want to talk about some of the best book-to-movie adaptations that I’ve seen and loved.
Dumplin’ Originally a YA novel by Julie Murphy, this movie hit the small screen on December 7, 2018. Thanks to Netflix, people everywhere (in America at least, I’m unclear about the rights within other countries) were able to see this fantastic movie. This movie follows Willowdean Dickson, the fat daughter of a beauty queen. Grappling with the loss of her aunt, Willowdean goes searching to become the woman her aunt always saw in Willowdean. Willowdean decides to rebel by entering the pageant her mother won all those years ago. Let me tell you, guys, I had so much fun watching this movie! I felt that it was a great one with proper representation. This one is definitely one you want to consider watching over and over again. Be sure to check out the book first! You can add it on Goodreads and read my review of it here.
2. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
I was super excited for this book to become a movie. I absolutely adore Jenny Han, and this series means a lot to me. I was not disappointed! Released in late summer, this movie was perfect to wrap up the season and get people back in the mood for that sweet high school romance. This movie is an ode to sisters and makes itself right at home among the classic 80s movies starring Lana Candor and Noah Centineo. This movie also does a great job with representation thanks to Han fighting for the Song Sisters not to be white-washed. Don’t miss out on this movie! (Unfortunately, it’s only available on Netflix as well.) I highly encourage you reading the book first! Add it on Goodreads.
3. The Hate U Give
For some reason, it took me a little bit of time to really read this book, but once I did, it was awesome. This movie was phenomenal. I saw it twice in theaters, and both times I cried. The story follows Starr Carter, a girl who feels caught between her worlds of living in her poor neighborhood and going to a wealthier private school across town. When she witnesses her childhood best friend get shot by a white cop, Starr becomes the key witness on the case. Tensions rise and sides are taken. Make it a double-feature and add the book on Goodreads.
4. Love, Simon
Originally titled Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this movie is the perfect one to watch on your night in. I absolutely loved the book and when I found out it was becoming a movie I think I squealed out loud. Love, Simon follows Simon Spier, a not-so-out gay teen in Georgia, when he begins exchanging emails with the elusive Blue, another gay student at his high school. As Blue and Simon get to know each other more, their secrecy is threatened when someone blackmails Simon with the emails. Navigating an increasingly tense friend group and his suddenly uncertain relationship, Simon finds he needs to step out of his comfort zone. I highly recommend you read this book first! It was so good, and I love all of Becky’s novels. Add it on Goodreads and read my review.
What are some of the YA adaptations that you have seen lately? Have you seen any of these? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!
Hi and happy Sunday! I’m here again with another installment of Sneak Peek Sunday, and today I’ll be discussing The Antidote by Shelley Sackier. I was given an ARC in exchange for an honest review. Thank you to the publisher!
Title: The Antidote
Author: Shelley Sackier
Expected release: February 5, 2019
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
Magic is not allowed, under any circumstances — even if it could save someone’s life. Instead, there are herbal remedies and traditional techniques that have been painstakingly recorded in lieu of using the mystical arts. Fee knows this, so she keeps her magic a secret.
Except her best friend, Xavi, is deathly ill. He’s also the crown prince. Saving him is important, not only for her, but for the entire kingdom.
Fee’s desperation to save her friend means she can barely contain the magic inside her. And after the tiniest of slips, Fee is thrust into a dark and secretive world that is as alluring as it is dangerous.
If she gives in, it could mean she can save Xavi. But it also means that those who wish to snuff out magic might just snuff her out in the process.
I have to be real with you guys, I didn’t really like this book. It wasn’t really my cup of tea. I found the world to be a bit confusing, and I couldn’t really parse out who I was supposed to ship together and who I wasn’t supposed to like other than Princess Quinn.
Part of what was confusing to me was the world itself. I didn’t really understand the rules. It seems like part of it was a fake country, but they also had the same rules as an old European country, but also they had magic? I felt this wasn’t explained very well and I felt confused the whole time reading it.
I think another part that made me iffy on this book was the dialogue. I felt that it was very stilted and didn’t work in some parts. It didn’t always move the scene forward, and I felt that I got minimal information from it.
In the end, I didn’t quite like this book. It wasn’t my cup of tea, but I think you should give it a try!! My opinion isn’t the end all, so you should read it for yourself.
I’m so excited to be on this blog tour! Here is one of my highly anticipated reads, Our Year of Maybe by Rachel Lynn Soloman. Last year, Soloman debuted with her novel You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, which was also featured right here! Check that out here. I was lucky enough to win an ARC in Rachel’s newsletter.
Title Our Year of Maybe
Author: Rachel Lynn Soloman
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Expected publication: January 15, 2019
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult
My rating: 4/5 Goodreads stars
Aspiring choreographer Sophie Orenstein would do anything for Peter Rosenthal-Porter, who’s been on the kidney transplant list as long as she’s known him. Peter, a gifted pianist, is everything to Sophie: best friend, musical collaborator, secret crush. When she learns she’s a match, donating a kidney is an easy, obvious choice. She can’t help wondering if after the transplant, he’ll love her back the way she’s always wanted.
But Peter’s life post-transplant isn’t what either of them expected. Though he once had feelings for Sophie too, he’s now drawn to Chase, the guitarist in a band that happens to be looking for a keyboardist. And while neglected parts of Sophie’s world are calling to her—dance opportunities, new friends, a sister and niece she barely knows—she longs for a now-distant Peter more than ever, growing increasingly bitter he doesn’t seem to feel the same connection.
Peter fears he’ll forever be indebted to her. Sophie isn’t sure who she is without him. Then one blurry, heartbreaking night twists their relationship into something neither of them recognizes, leading them to question their past, their future, and whether their friendship is even worth fighting for.
Rachel Lynn Solomon lives, writes, and tap dances in Seattle, Washington. Once she helped set a Guinness World Record for the most natural redheads in one place. She’s the author of You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone (out now from Simon & Schuster/Simon Pulse), Our Year of Maybe (1/15/19), and Today Tonight Tomorrow (2020). A short story of hers will appear in the anthology It’s a Whole Spiel (Penguin Random House/Knopf, fall 2019).
This was such a fun read!! I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough. I absolutely loved Rachel’s debut, You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone and I had high hopes for this one. One of the main characters and I even share a name!
I love the dual POV in the book. I felt that Rachel really got into their heads, and it was well written. Sometimes I felt more connected to Sophie, but other times I felt more connected to Peter. I wish I could meet them IRL! I especially liked the new dance friends that Sophie makes. They reminded me a little of Bebe and Denice from Eleanor & Park.
There are a lot of different elements in this book, from religion to sexuality, Soloman writes in a respectful but real way. I’m always captivated by her writing. Each piece is woven in with skill that I admire greatly.
I really like her realistic portrayal of sexual health and masturbation in this book. This is also done in You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone, and it needs to be done much more often in YA. This fights against the stigma, especially for women, in a positive way, and this definitely won points in my book.
Religion is another theme embedded within this novel. I like how Peter wants to find his and what it means to him while Sophie doesn’t really practice. It provides a good picture of how people approach this topic. I related to Peter when he talked about being caught between worlds, how he didn’t feel like he was enough of something to really claim the label. I often feel this way toward my race (Asian) because there is such a stigma and discussion about what makes someone “truly” something.
For the sake of keeping this from getting too long (seriously, I could wax poetically about this book all day), I’m going to wrap it up here. I really hope you guys read this amazing book!
Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the books!
He is the earth, and I am the moon.
I have never been enough, and he has always been too much.
There’s something else, though, something that takes me a few moments to identify—a pang of missing. Like I miss Sophie even though she’s right here, gliding along the ice in her gray beanie, fiery hair peeking out from beneath it.
Prize: One (1) SIGNED copy of Our Year of Maybe.
Terms & Conditions: US only, please read the terms on the rafflecopter
“An intricately plotted, compulsively readable novel that explores not only fascinating crimes but also the mysteries of anxiety, the creative process, contemporary fame, and so much else.” — John Green, author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
Happy new book Tuesday! There are so many amazing releases today (Once a King by Erin Summerill, Queen of Air and Darkness by Cassandra Clare, Fire and Heist by Sarah Beth Durst, to name a *few*). I wanted to take a moment to highlight the release of the amazing book Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson. This book came out this past January, and it was absolutely incredible. I even posted a review on it.
This book is coming out in paperback today, and I highly encourage you all to go get yourself a copy if you haven’t already! It’s perfect for that last minute holiday gift 🙂
Here’s a little more info on the book:
New York Times bestselling author Maureen Johnson weaves a delicate tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a striking new series, perfect for fans of Agatha Christie and E. Lockhart. Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place,” he said, “where learning is a game.” Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym “Truly, Devious.” It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.
Truly Devious returns in The Vanishing Stair
Did you know that the sequel to Truly Devious is coming out in January 2019? You definitely will want to snatch up this follow up novel. I just finished this book on Sunday, and YOU GUYS IT WAS EPIC!!! I’m dying to read book three already!!! Here is the link to the Goodreads page. (I would include the description, but it includes spoilers for Truly Devious!)
Thanks to the publisher I’m giving away a copy of Truly Devious! The giveaway will end on December 11, so make sure to enter by then! U.S. and Canada only please.
Hi there! Let’s start off the day by welcoming this awesome new book into this world!
Your Own Worst Enemy
by Gordon Jack
Release Date: November 13, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Three candidates, three platforms, and a whirlwind of social media, gaffes, and protests makes for a ridiculous and hilarious political circus in Gordon Jack’s second highly satirical novel. Perfect for fans of Andrew Smith and Frank Portman.
They say that with great power comes great responsibility. Unless you’re student body president at Lincoln High School. Then you get all the responsibility but none of the power. And the three candidates running for president know all about that.
Stacey Wynn is the front-runner, but she didn’t count on Julia Romero entering this race. Julia is challenging Stacey for the title while also putting the moves on Stacey’s campaign adviser and only friend, Brian. And then there is Tony Guo, the way outsider. Tony is usually oblivious to the school’s political campaigning, as he’s oblivious to anything that isn’t about getting high and drinking all the Space Cow chocolate milk he can stomach. But when his favorite beverage is banned at school, a freshman political “mastermind” convinces Tony to become the voice of the little guy. But what kind of voice is that, really?
If this were an ordinary high school election, the winner would be whichever candidate was the most popular. But this year, each candidate may have to sink to a new low to win an election that could change the course of…very little.
Gordon Jack always wanted to be a writer. In third grade, he put that on his “What I want to be when I grow up” list, just behind astronaut and professional dog walker. While working towards this goal, he had jobs as an advertising copywriter, English teacher, librarian, and semi-professional dog walker.The Boomerang Effect was his first novel. He lives in San Francisco with his family.
I really enjoyed this book, and I really enjoyed all the different voices represented in this novel. The cast of characters were engaging and dynamic, and they had their own motives for acting the way they did in the novel.
The very beginning was really good, and it hooked me until the end. The more I read, the more I wanted to know more about them. I didn’t really like Stacey and Tony, but I think they were still dynamic characters. They had a lot to grow from. I didn’t really connect to them on a personal level.
I think Julia was one of the most relatable characters. Her feelings of not fitting in because of her culture and the way she looks was something I feel many people can understand. I think it’s important to note that she resisted a lot of the racialization that people did of her.
The premise of the student government was really well done. I really enjoyed reading about the different strategies used by each candidate. I think they really represented different approaches used by politicians today.
Overall, this was a fun read. I wish I had had more time to read it at a time!
Hi, and welcome to a rainy Sunday here in Michigan! I hope you’re having a good weekend so far. It has been quite busy here around campus with Halloween coming up. I’m changing it up here a little to bring you a review of a book that came out this past month. Thank you to The Novl for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected the way I read and review it.
Title: Phantom Wheel
Author: Tracy Deebs
Publisher: Little, Brown BFYR
Release date: October 16, 2018
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
Believing they have been recruited by the CIA, six teen hackers arrive in LA for a hacking aptitude test with the promise of a college scholarship and a job with the CIA after graduation. But one of the teens, Owen, walks out, refusing to participate. The other five decide to stay and complete the tests. When they finish, they leave feeling equally accomplished and unnerved.
Then silence-until they receive a text from Owen: You’ve been played. He’s uncovered evidence that the hackers created “Phantom Wheel,” the most devastating virus ever made. Jacento, the corporation behind it all, plans to use this virus to gain unprecedented access to personal data. And that’s just the beginning of the devastation. Can the teen hackers stop Phantom Wheel-and protect their own secrets from being revealed-before it’s too late?
This book starts a little slow, but it picks up after the five remaining hackers perform their hack. It is heavily plot driven and full of action. This was probably the best part of the book — it kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time.
It’s told from three perspectives, and while this is really nice to see inside their heads, I felt that their voices bled together a little. I got a little lost trying to figure out who was telling the story sometimes. Overall, they were compelling and fun to get to know. I wish I had gotten to hear from the other characters too, but I can see being six voices being hard to keep track of.
I loved the setting and how detailed it was. I felt like I was right there with them as they untangled the web of lies.
As compelling as the story was, it wasn’t quite the right book for me. I wanted to like it more than I did, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t read it.
I highly recommend this to people who love sci-fi and high stakes. It was a fun read nonetheless.
Hello there and happy Sunday!! I’m happy to be here again with another book that will come to you this Tuesday. Thank you to the publicist for sending me an early review copy! This in no way affected how I read and reviewed this text.
Title: The Perfect Candidate
Author: Peter Stone
Publisher: Simon & Schuster BFYR
Expected release: October 2, 2018
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
From debut author Peter Stone comes a heart-stopping, pulse-pounding political thriller that’s perfect for fans of Ally Carter and House of Cards.
When recent high school graduate Cameron Carter lands an internship with Congressman Billy Beck in Washington, DC, he thinks it is his ticket out of small town captivity. When he lacks connections and Beltway polish he makes up in smarts, and he soon finds a friend and mentor in fellow staffer Ariel Lancaster.
That is, until she winds up dead.
As rumors and accusations about her death fly around Capitol Hill, Cameron’s low profile makes him the perfect candidate for an FBI investigation that he wants no part of. Before he knows it—and with his family’s future at stake—he discovers DC’s darkest secrets as he races to expose a deadly conspiracy.
If it doesn’t get him killed first.
This book was pretty good overall, but slow paced in the beginning. It was really hard to get into at first, so I think that’s why I rated it lower than a four. I had a hard time getting used to Cameron’s voice, and I didn’t quite mesh with it.
This story starts right away with Cameron taking a taxi into Washington D. C. I really liked that Stone included a character from Cameron’s past so it threw a potential ally to him. Right away you could tell that Cameron was an outsider to this world. Something that confused me was why he arrived later than his housemates. Right away I liked his housemate Zeph. I could tell he would be a fun character throughout the novel.
The mystery portion of the book doesn’t start until a few chapters in, and I was curious to see how things would go down. I was sad to see Ariel go because she was a cool character, but I knew going into it to not get too attached to her.
I feel like the investigation portion of the book could have been more compelling. I wasn’t as invested as I felt that I should be. I think part of it could have been that I didn’t really connect with Cameron’s voice.
Something really surprising was the ending. I think this leaves the opportunity for a sequel in the least, if I got the final reveal correctly.
Overall, this book wasn’t too much for me, but I really think this could be a good book for someone else. I recommend you give it a try!
Hi!! I know I haven’t been very active, but I’m breaking my silence to talk about this truly incredible book I read. Minutes ago I finished reading A Very Large Expanse of Sea by Tahereh. This is the author’s contemporary being released this October. Let’s jump right into it!
Title: A Very Large Expanse of Sea
Author: Tahereh Mafi
Expected Release: October 16, 2018
My rating: 5/5 Goodreads stars
It’s 2002, a year after 9/11. It’s an extremely turbulent time politically, but especially so for someone like Shirin, a sixteen-year-old Muslim girl who’s tired of being stereotyped.
Shirin is never surprised by how horrible people can be. She’s tired of the rude stares, the degrading comments—even the physical violence—she endures as a result of her race, her religion, and the hijab she wears every day. So she’s built up protective walls and refuses to let anyone close enough to hurt her. Instead, she drowns her frustrations in music and spends her afternoons break-dancing with her brother.
But then she meets Ocean James. He’s the first person in forever who really seems to want to get to know Shirin. It terrifies her—they seem to come from two irreconcilable worlds—and Shirin has had her guard up for so long that she’s not sure she’ll ever be able to let it down.
Wow, I don’t even know how to begin to articulate how much I love this book. It is one of my tops reads this year for sure. It is incredible and raw and nothing I’ve read before in my life.
Shirin is a character I fell in love with right away. Sure, she could have handled her relationship with Ocean much better, but to be frank, I’m not sure I would have done much different in her position. It’s very hard to get out of your own head a lot and to have to do it while facing so much prejudice is harder. I know that Shirin acts immature, but isn’t that the point of the story? Isn’t she supposed to grow from the events in the story? She’s also only 16. She’s had to deal with a lot in those years, and it’s not getting any easier throwing in the hardships of being a teenager in general. She’s someone you can relate to even if you don’t directly identify with her background and heritage.
Ocean was a lovely character contrast for Shirin. He was constantly breaking down her barriers which forced her to rethink the way she viewed the world. It was great seeing how their interactions pushed both characters to face things they were afraid to. For Shirin, it was her anger at the world. With Ocean, he had to see the uglier side of the world that he hadn’t been privy to from his place of privilege.
The breakdancing aspect of the book gave space for Shirin to be herself and let go of things. I know it’s something the author loves deeply and it is conveyed well through Shirin.
This story was very personal, and you can tell by the rawness of the emotion and how real they felt. That’s not to say that every story isn’t personal to the author, but this one especially shines through as one.
I can’t wait for you all to read it this October! Make sure to go pre-order yourself a copy and give them both a lot of love!!!
Hi guys, and happy new book Tuesday! Today I’m bringing you a newly released book — Meet the Sky by McCall Hoyle. This book was sent to me for review, however this has no bearing on how I read or reviewed the book. Thank you BlinkYA books for sending a copy!
Title: Meet the Sky
Author: McCall Hoyle
Release date: September 4, 2018
Source: Hardcover, US
My rating: 3/5 Goodreads stars
It all started with the accident. The one that caused Sophie’s dad to walk out of her life. The one that left Sophie’s older sister, Meredith, barely able to walk at all.
With nothing but pain in her past, all Sophie wants is to plan for the future—keep the family business running, get accepted to veterinary school, and protect her mom and sister from another disaster. But when a hurricane forms off the coast of North Carolina’s Outer Banks and heads right toward their island, Sophie realizes nature is one thing she can’t control.
After she gets separated from her family during the evacuation, Sophie finds herself trapped on the island with the last person she’d have chosen—the reckless and wild Finn Sanders, who broke her heart freshman year. As they struggle to find safety, Sophie learns that Finn has suffered his own heartbreak; but instead of playing it safe, Finn’s become the kind of guy who goes surfing in the eye of the hurricane. He may be the perfect person to remind Sophie how to embrace life again, but only if their newfound friendship can survive the storm.
I feel very neutral about this book. It was good in some parts and okay in a lot of it. I think the reason I couldn’t really invest in the book was because the voice of the main character, Sophie, didn’t speak to me. I couldn’t sympathize with her very well, and I couldn’t invest in her as a character.
The plot of the story was well done. I liked learning more about a hurricane and how Sophie deals with it. I grew up and live in the Midwest, so I’ve never experienced a hurricane besides the storms that blow in north which is nothing compared to the real thing. I was wondering how the author would work out getting Sophie on the island without her mom and sister, and the way it happened seemed very natural.
Something I liked about the book was that Sophie grew. There were a lot of points in the book where she changed and became someone different. Despite this I still couldn’t feel a personal connection with her. I think the non-risktaker-turned-free-spirit trope isn’t really working in this book very well. I do appreciate character growth and change though.
Overall, I rated this book a 3 because there was still a lot of good story to it. It just didn’t work for me, which doesn’t mean it won’t work for you! I really encourage you to try this out and develop your own opinion on this. It might be your new favorite book. I know there are a lot of people out there who really love this book, and you might be one.
Hey there! I’m here again with a review of a book I read earlier this summer, but didn’t quite vibe with. Thank you to the publisher for sending a copy my way. This has no influence on the way I review and read the book.
Title: Final Draft
Author: Riley Redgate
Publisher: Harry N. Abrams
Release date: June 12, 2018
Source: Hardcover, US
My rating: 2/5 Goodreads stars
The only sort of risk 18-year-old Laila Piedra enjoys is the peril she writes for the characters in her stories: epic sci-fi worlds full of quests, forbidden love, and robots. Her creative writing teacher has always told her she has a special talent. But three months before her graduation, he’s suddenly replaced—by Nadiya Nazarenko, a Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist who is sadistically critical and perpetually unimpressed.
At first, Nazarenko’s eccentric assignments seem absurd. But before long, Laila grows obsessed with gaining the woman’s approval. Soon Laila is pushing herself far from her comfort zone, discovering the psychedelic highs and perilous lows of nightlife, temporary flings, and instability. Dr. Nazarenko has led Laila to believe that she must choose between perfection and sanity—but rejecting her all-powerful mentor may be the only way for Laila to thrive.
This book didn’t work out for me the way I hoped it would. I have heard many great things about Redgate’s books in the past, so I was curious to read this one.
I think what I struggled with in this book was the tone and style of the writing. I didn’t feel like Laila would speak and act like this. I’m not much older than 18, and I feel like it wasn’t quite a representation of life as a high school senior in general. Reading it, I felt like she should have been a younger character than she was (maybe earlier in high school).
There are many beautiful lines within the book. I feel that there were a lot of great moments and scenes, but they didn’t connect well. It was almost there, but not quite.
All of this being said, I don’t think my opinion is the end all be all. It’s exactly that — an opinion. I think you should still give a book a try if you think you’ll like it. This may just be the book you fall in love with!