Friday, August 17, 2018

DISCUSSION | What Do I Value in Film Adaptations?

Hello everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today we're going to be discussing book adaptations. Whether it be television shows, movies, web series, etc., book adaptations are abundant. 

For today, I'm going to self reflect on my experience watching YA book to film adaptations, and ask myself,  "What do I look for in an adaptation?" As a reader, do I look for accuracy and staying true to the source material? Do I hope that the adaptation stays true to the heart of book, but am okay with certain changes? As a viewer, do I  care that a film is even adapted from something, or am I just looking for a quality film? When the two intersect, reader and viewer, what do I value the most?

As a critical reader and viewer, I want whatever media I consume to be first-rate. I've come to learn that what I value most in an adaptation is dependent on my relationship to the book. For instance, I read The Darkest Minds years ago, and frankly, did not enjoy the book that much. If I were to watch the film, I would hope that the film's plot followed that of the book, and that key scenes were the same or similar. However, I wouldn't mind if a character's name or appearance was changed. I also wouldn't mind if the plot was altered, if the adaptation maintained the core of the novel. This is not the same for an adaption of a book that I loved, though. When The Fault in Our Stars was coming to theaters, I absolutely loved the book. I was so worried that the movie wouldn't include certain scenes, even lines, from the source material. I don't care about this for The Darkest Minds, but I did for The Fault in Our Stars, because I had a much stronger connection to the source material at the time. When I'm watching an adaption but haven't read the book, I then simply look for well-produced and well-acted entertainment. I have never read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, so when I watch the film, I don't compare it to its source material. Instead, I take in the movie as a separate entity, as individual. When I do this, I tend to enjoy the film more, as I'm not nit-picking the movie, and instead taking everything all in. Even then, some film adaptations have fallen short.

It is not a secret that Young Adult Adaptations have had a tumultuous relationship with critics. Some films and franchises, like Harry Potter and The Hunger Games are critically applauded. Other adaptations, such as Twilight, Percy Jackson, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones, are critically reviled. Let's look at some of the most recent films based on young adult literature, and their Rotten Tomatoes scores, as of 8 August 2018. 
  • Love, Simon - 91%
  • Maze Runner: The Death Cure - 41%
  • Every Day - 63%
  • Midnight Sun - 17%
  • Ready Player One - 73%
  • The Darkest Minds - 19%
  • Everything, Everything - 47%
  • The Miseducation of Cameron Post - 80%
  • Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - 63%
  • Allegiant - 12%
As you can tell from this sample of 10 movies, YA adaptations are a mixed bag. The scores above aren't a grade, exactly, but the percent of critics that enjoyed the movie. Out of these ten, five of them were "fresh", or above a 60 percent approval rating. These "fresh" movies range from a 63% approval rating to a 91% percent approval rating. The other five, however, have much lower approval ratings, ranging from 12% to 47 percent. The average percent of these 10 movies is 50.5%. This isn't a horrible score, but shows that, at least with critics, there is much more room to improve upon when it comes to YA adaptations.

We might not all agree with critics, or even watch movies critically, but the evidence is clear: there are some bad film adaptations, and some quality ones. However, I would argue that these film critics aren't reviewing the movie based on whether the movie stayed true to the book. These critics are professionals and know what to look for in movies to determine is something was well made or not. Odds are, they haven't read the book the film is based on, and if they have, they would try to keep the two separate from each other. Since I am both reader and viewer,  it can be difficult to separate book from movie. When I do, I get the most rewarding results. 

I can with strong conviction that Love, Simon was an amazing film. I also thought the book, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, was equally amazing. When I watched the movie though, I didn't go in thinking, "I can't wait for this specific scene, etc.!" Instead, I immersed myself in the movie and attempted to not make comparisons. Because of this, I was able to shrug off changes made and just enjoy the movie for what is was. Since the movie also stayed true to the majority of the book, I am able to watch it with the book in mind, and still enjoy it! 

My resolution, from here on out, is to separate adaptations from the source material upon first watching. That way, I am not nit-picking the movie, and I am just watching the film for what it is. If the movie follows the book closely and is good, that is the best of both worlds! But if the film takes major detours, there is a better a chance I'll still enjoy it since I'm watching as a film and not an adaptation. If I watch the movie and dislike it, it's not because the movie made changes from the book, as that's to be expected. Instead, it will be because it simply was not executed well. 

What do you value when watching adaptations? 

Thank you so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!

Articles Refrenced:
Epic Reads
Box Office Mojo
Screen Rant

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard

Title: Red Queen
Author: Victoria Aveyard
Series? Yes, the first in a series of four books
Pages: 383
Publication Date: February 10, 2015
Publisher: HarperTeen
Source: I bought Red Queen during a book event!

This is a world divided by blood - red or silver. The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power. Fearful of Mare's potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime. But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance - Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Thoughts While Listening To... | I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing something a little different. Instead of writing a review on I've Got Your Number, I wanted to dot down some of my thoughts as I listened to the audiobook! Here are some of my thoughts!
I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

1) As someone who loses items quite frequently, this whole ordeal with Poppy losing her ring in stressing me out! I actually lost my class ring from my high school graduation a couple weeks ago. I found it (thank goodness), but I was freaking out. I can't imagine losing such a valuable family heirloom! 

2) This Scrabble game reallly makes me want to play the game! I'm just like Poppy, I would put down words like "raw" or "pig"!

3) I'm actually really liking the footnotes throughout the book. I was a bit surprised that I did, because I hated them in Nevernight by Jay Kristoff. I think it's because I'm listening to the audiobook, so I don't feel like my reading is interrupted.

4) I really don't like how Magnus never listens to Poppy. It seems like he just wants her for sex. He never is worried about her feelings, or how hard this whole situation (wedding, meeting parents, excluding her on important details) is for her. He even goes so far to endanger her career, which is outrageous. It just shows that Magnus doesn't actually respect Poppy! 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Stars Above by Marissa Meyer

Title: Stars Above
Author: Marissa Meyer
Series? Yes, this is a bind up of short stories set in Meyer's Lunar Chronicles series.
Pages: 400
Publication Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: Feiwel & Friends
Source: I checked out the audiobook of Stars Above via Libby. 
The enchantment continues....

The universe of the Lunar Chronicles holds stories—and secrets—that are wondrous, vicious, and romantic. How did Cinder first arrive in New Beijing? How did the brooding soldier Wolf transform from young man to killer? When did Princess Winter and the palace guard Jacin realize their destinies?

With nine stories—five of which have never before been published—and an exclusive never-before-seen excerpt from Marissa Meyer’s upcoming novel, Heartless, about the Queen of Hearts from Alice in Wonderland, Stars Above is essential for fans of the bestselling and beloved Lunar Chronicles.

The Little Android: A retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Little Mermaid,” set in the world of The Lunar Chronicles.
Glitches: In this prequel to Cinder, we see the results of the plague play out, and the emotional toll it takes on Cinder. Something that may, or may not, be a glitch….
The Queen’s Army: In this prequel to Scarlet, we’re introduced to the army Queen Levana is building, and one soldier in particular who will do anything to keep from becoming the monster they want him to be.
Carswell’s Guide to Being Lucky: Thirteen-year-old Carswell Thorne has big plans involving a Rampion spaceship and a no-return trip out of Los Angeles.
The Keeper: A prequel to the Lunar Chronicles, showing a young Scarlet and how Princess Selene came into the care of Michelle Benoit.
After Sunshine Passes By: In this prequel to Cress, we see how a nine-year-old Cress ended up alone on a satellite, spying on Earth for Luna.
The Princess and the Guard: In this prequel to Winter, we see a game called The Princess
The Mechanic: In this prequel to Cinder, we see Kai and Cinder’s first meeting from Kai’s perspective.
Something Old, Something New: In this epilogue to Winter, friends gather for the wedding of the century...

Friday, August 10, 2018

TAG | Life's a Beach Book Tag!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing another tag. After doing the Cake Flavored Book Tag and having such a wonderful time making the graphics and picking out the books, I wanted to do another right away. I saw this tag from Krystianna from Downright Dystopian. Check out her tag post here

The ending of The Empress by SJ Kincaid left me reeling. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into. I've read several second books in sci-fi/fantasy series, but all my expectations were shattered. Things went off the rails, and weeks (and months) after reading the book, I keep thinking back to the book. I am eagerly anticipating the third book! 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

BOOK REVIEW | Bad Romeo by Leisa Rayven

Title: Bad Romeo
Author: Leisa Rayven
Series? Yes, the first in the Starcrossed trilogy
Pages: 417
Publication Date: December 23, 2014
Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Source: I bought Bad Romeo via BookOutlet.
When Cassie Taylor met Ethan Holt at acting school, sparks flew. She was the good girl actress. He was the bad boy about campus. But one fated casting choice for Romeo and Juliet changed it all. Like the characters they were playing, Cassie and Ethan's romance seemed destined. Until he broke her heart and betrayed her trust. Now the A-list heartthrob is back in her life and turning her world around. One touch at a time.

Cast as romantic leads once again, they're forced to confront raw memories of the heartbreaking lows and pulse-pounding highs of their secret college affair. But they'll also discover that people who rub each other the wrong way often make the best sparks.

Monday, August 6, 2018

Music Monday #5

Hey everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni and today I'll be participating in my second Music Monday post! Music Monday is hosted by  Lauren @ Always Me.  

Here are the rules:
Every Monday share one or two of songs you've been enjoying lately.  It doesn't have to be a specific genre, new, or one of your favorites - just something you'd like to share with others.  If possible, share a music or lyric video of the song and your thoughts on the song(s), artist(s), and/or music video(s).

This past weekend I saw Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again in theathers, and really liked it! Of course, after the movie I had so many ABBA songs in my head. These were the two that were on repeat, and are two of ABBA's biggest hits. I saw the first movie, Mamma Mia, when I was 9 years old, and fell in love with it! I was obsessed with the movie soundtrack, and have seen the film countless of times. I'm ecstatic that it got a sequel, and with such highly produced musical numbers!

Both of these were sung in the first movie as well! For Mamma Mia, Lily James sings instead of Meryl Streep, who sang in the first movie. Lily plays the same character as Meryl, but right after she graduates college in 1979.

 The whole cast chimes in for Super Trouper, and it was so fun seeing them all dance and sing! 

Besides Mamma Mia songs, I have another song that I want to share! God is a Woman by Ariana Grande has been on repeat in my head!

This song is just so catchy, and it's amazing to dance to! Plus, I'm all about the feminist message! I'm not an uber-fan of Ariana Grande, but I do generally enjoy her singles. Her newest music has been more of my taste in comparison to some of her earlier work!

And those are the songs stuck in my head this weekend! There are a couple others, but I'll be talking about them next Monday. :) 

Have you listened to these songs? Do you like them, or are they not your taste? 

Thanks so much for stopping by and I'll see you soon with another post!

Happy Reading (and listening)!

Genni @ Ready, Set, Read!


Thursday, August 2, 2018

TAG | Cake Flavored Book Tag!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be doing the Cake Flavored Book Tag! This tag was originally created by Cait from Paperfury, and I saw it recently on Jessica's blog, A GREAT Read! I normally don't do tags that often, but the cake was calling to me! 

A Dark Book that You Loved

Throughout Reign the Earth, there is almost never a light-hearted moment. Things keep getting worse and worse for Shalia. The tension keeps ramping up, and Shalia gets herself in some very dangerous situations. The ending is heartbreaking, and I can't wait for the sequel. 

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

July Wrap Up!

Hi everyone and welcome back to my blog! I'm Genni, and today I'll be looking at what I read in July!July was a month of contemporary reads for me. No matter what, I was in the mood to read about romance, which is obvious in this wrap up.

Now, onto the 13 books I read this past month!

1) Ice Kissed by Amanda Hocking

Ice Kissed is the second book in Hocking's Kanin Chronicles, which is comprised of three books. I wrote a review on the first book here. I didn't write a review of Ice Kissed, because I started to read the third and final book, Crystal Kingdom, right away. I thought Ice Kissed was okay, but not much in terms of conflict was accomplished. In fact, the plot became more complex and added more characters. This would have been fine if the series was four or more books, but it left a lot to cover in just one book. 

2) Say You'll Remember Me by Katie McGarry


Whew, you guys, I'm sad to say: I did not like this one at all. The plot was okay, but the way Katie McGarry handled sexual assault was insulting and disturbing. McGarry regularly blames the main character, who experiences the assault. In this new age of paying attention and holding people accountable for sexual violence, I was shocked to see such blatant victim-blaming. Ugh.