Top 5 Wednesday (freebie topic): Adaptations of Books

It’s Linz, and I’m taking my first crack at T5W. This week is a FREEBIE and there’s nothing I love more than taking whatever direction I want.

While we can all agree the book is *always* better, sometimes a film or show gets close to perfection. So here is my sure-to-be hotly contested top 5 adaptations of books that are NOT Harry Potter.

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You by Caroline Kepnes
I was trash for the book, and I am trash for the show (season 1 now on Netflix!). “You” is about nice guy bookseller Joe, who meets gorgeous aspiring writer Beck, and proceeds to do anything to make her his girlfriend. Like, ANYTHING. It is a DARK concept executed with the exact right tone, and I loved it.

The show’s casting is fantastic–I see you, Penn Badgley and Shay Mitchell–and so many elements of the book are translated on screen so well. My one issue, and it’s kinda big, is that almost every character in the book is some level of human garbage fire, and a lot of people got a glow-up of niceness.

game of thrones

Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin
I know this seems like a total safe choice but honestly, having slogged through all the existing books, watching the show is so much more satisfying as an overall experience. Duh, dragons, Kit Harrington nudity, THE COSTUMES. The book version of the Red Wedding was still better.

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
UGH my heart squees thinking about this. The story is a riff on Cinderella–instead of being a good, kind, long-suffering stepdaughter, this Ella was accidentally cursed as a child with the “gift” of obedience. We have self-discovery, fighting the odds, and romance (of course) in a lovely retelling of the old fairy tale.

The movie stars perennial royal and forever princess of Genovia Anne Hathaway and Hugh Dancy (sigh), and is just fun and escapist. My big issue is just the overall visuals (costuming, color palette) are distractingly cheesy.

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Spoiler-free summary: magic is real, there is magic college that has way more drugs than Hogwarts ever will, and their Narnia is called Fillory. Catch all that? No? Don’t stress, season 4 just started, and the other seasons are on Netflix.

Having read book 1, I find the show far more enjoyable. (But Lev Grossman has also talked about his struggle with depression and how it influenced his earlier writing, so that may be why book 1 feels pretty heavy at times.) Quentin still sucks, but not as hard thanks to some great acting, and the cast overall is amazing. (Bonus: you may recognize Alice Quinn’s voice–the actress who plays her plays Kady Grant on the Illuminae audiobook.)

roald dahl books

Anything written by Roald Dahl
I’m assuming if you haven’t read everything by Roald Dahl, you didn’t have a childhood. Matilda? The Witches? James and the Giant Peach? Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Fantastic Mr. Fox? So many of Dahl’s books have been made into movies because his wildly descriptive writing just lends itself to easy visual translation that meets audience expectations. Even the bad ones (Willy Wonka/Charlie) are still watchable. We’ll see if The Witches remake ruins the streak.

Honorable mention to the cast of Twilight for their glorious overacting, making it so much better than the book.

So what’s entries are on your top 5?



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