Nothing motivates me to read more than knowing a book is or will soon be made into a film or tv show. It’s one of my favourite things. To see how the film makers can take the authors words and translate it on screen. Bringing the text to life in ways you may not have thought of. The aesthetics they create, the music perfectly chosen to reflect the themes and moods. The actors breathing new life into the characters. Everything that can really bring a story together. In doing this I really feel like you get more out of the stories. And if you’re a fan of the book, it’s a chance to spend even more time with the characters you love.
Of course, it goes without saying Normal People.
This has blown up massively. I actually wasn’t a fan of the book, finding it to really drag on. I didn’t feel any connection to the main characters and took a long break half way through. There’s so much left unsaid between the characters, and from an outsider perspective, I missed the insights of their inner thoughts. However, the realness of the story is why so many other people love it. But in saying all that, I loved the show. Watching it I felt way more attached to the characters and I felt what they felt. And it was more interesting to see the complexities and intimacies of Marianne and Connell’s ever changing relationship through the years. The things that bothered me in the book, made sense on screen. And I suspect if I were to reread it, I may even change my mind about the book. I loved how beautiful it was, especially the scenes in Italy which gave me Call Me by Your Name vibes. And I’d be lying if I said I haven’t listened to the soundtrack since. But most importantly, although the ending bothered me whilst reading, on screen it felt right.
Noughts and Crosses.
Now, in lockdown, is the perfect time to get your teeth stuck into a series. And that’s exactly what I’ve been doing with Noughts and Crosses. This was recently adapted by the BBC which acted as my motivation to give this series a go. For some reason I never jumped on board when all of my friends read this in school. This was not a closely followed story from book to screen, in fact it had a different ending entirely. But it’s well worth reading and watching both as they do complement each other. The book was raw and heartbreaking. Whilst the show was rich and really brought the new world to life in ways I hadn’t imagined or considered. The little things that make so much sense, almost hidden in between the words on the page. Everything from the influences on fashion to the hairstyles and music, really added to the story and drove home how different the world could be. It’s also interesting as although it is fiction, it involves topics such as race, police brutality and privilege. Which really makes you think about the world we live in today.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
This is a pretty random pick, but there was a time recently where it seemed everyone collectively decided to watch this on Netflix. And I figured it was time to give it a reread and see how it felt as an adult. When I initially read this book, I found I didn’t really understand a lot of the themes. And honestly, I got bored and confused by the big reveal which seemed somewhat unexpected and random. However, I loved the movie and the old school vintage vibes. It was quite influential for me, inspiring my love for The Smiths in probably the right period of my life. On rereading this book, I felt I appreciated it so much more and could begin to notice the subtleties within. And of course, re-watching the movie took me back to my youth and was incredibly nostalgic. Plus, it’s such a short book, you could definitely read it and watch the film across two days. A pretty good weekend if you ask me!
Another series worth mentioning is The Hunger Games.
I’ve been itching to reread the series for a while as I loved the books so much growing up. And this is such a pleasure. The books are so rich, and I always feel so sucked into it. Each book is split into parts with so much going down in each. Some of my favourite parts are those that take place outside of the actual games, which actually makes up a large majority of the books. I’m currently reading the second in the series, Catching Fire, which has always been my favourite. It’s so clever and exciting! I really devour the pages. I don’t feel I need the films to add to these books. But they are just as thrilling and it’s exciting to see the fantasy on screen. Again it’s fun to see the world brought to life especially the people of the Capitol in all their colours. These are some of my favourite fantasy books, alongside Harry Potter, which really are timeless to me. I love them no matter what age I am. Not to mention the prequel book recently released last week, I cannot wait to get my hands on it.
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