Book to Movie Adaptations

film-stripI’m the kind of girl who prefers to read the book before she surrenders herself to the screen’s adaptation. And it needs to be in binded form. None of this eReader crap. I enjoy being able to imagine the author’s creation in my mind, to create my own adaptation of the author’s world. The only way I can successfully do this is if I avoid watching the movie first. Below, you’ll find lists containing my personal favorite and least favorite book-to-film adaptations. Take them for what you will.

[Note for dates: (book published/movie released).]

Some Favorites

Yeah, there are mixed feelings about these. They’re impossible to rate, so these books-to-movies are in no special order. Just listed as they come to mind.

  • The Notebook, Nicholas Sparks (1996/2004)
  • Blue Smoke, Nora Roberts (2005/tv 2007)
  • Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling (1998/2001)*
  • Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, JK Rowling (1999/2002)*
  • Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, JK Rowling (2007/2010)*
  • The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925/2013)
    -(Book was terrible. Movie was great.)

Movies That Do Their Books No Justice

And then there are these films. The books vary on a scale of pretty good to great. The film adaptations scale, however, goes from pretty crappy to downright awful.edward's ashes

  • Girl with a Pearl Earring, Tracy Chevalier (1999/2003)
  • Twilight, Stephenie Meyer (2005/2007)
  • New Moon, Stephenie Meyer (2006/2009)
  • Eclipse, Stephenie Meyer (2007/2010)
  • Breaking Dawn, Stephenie Meyer (2008/2011)**
  • City of Bones, Cassandra Clare (2007/2013)

Books I Have Yet to Read

And yeah, there are a few movies I’ve watched in cases when I didn’t realize that they were adaptations until after I saw them…or I just got sucked into watching them because “they’re just so good, you have to!” I was told. I’m not planning on reading It anytime soon, however.

  • A Walk to Remember, Nicholas Sparks (1999/2002)
  • It, Stephen King (1986/1990)
  • White Oleander, Janet Fitch (1999/2002)

Shoot me some recommendations in the comments, if you’re brave enough. 😉


*Although I do enjoy all the Harry Potter movies, most of them don’t do the books justice. I suppose I consider them separate entities, if you will. The movies listed here are ones I think with directors who did their best to keep to the storyline and leave out as little as possible from the books.
**The second date here is in reference to Part 1. I think the acting is pretty poor and most of the films come across as extremely low-budgeted. I did, however, enjoy Part 2, which is why that date is excluded from this particular list.


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