4 stars · adult · mystery

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn: loved it as much as the movie

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gone girl

author : gillian flynn

pages : [paperback] 415

memorable quote :

There’s something disturbing about recalling a warm memory and feeling utterly cold.

favorite character : amy

summary :

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

review :

I really enjoyed this book. I’m not one for thrillers, or mysteries, or the like. On top of that, I watched the movie before ever picking up the book, so I knew what all of the twists would be before page one.

And I still enjoyed it.

Gone Girl is . . . Well, I’m sure almost all of you have heard of it, even if you haven’t seen or watched it. At its core it’s a crime novel, following the timeline of an investigation and considering the impact that modern TV and film has had on police work. Not to mention how public perception tends to warp opinions long before anything goes to trial.

I loved that the book has alternating points of view. We hear from Nick, husband of the missing woman. We hear from Amy, who disappeared with hardly any clues left behind, through her past diary entries. The disparity between the written word and the first person account of Nick’s POV was surprisingly compelling. Flynn doesn’t underestimate a reader’s intelligence. She isn’t one of those authors who feels the need to hold the audience’s hand and walk them through step by step what is happening. Instead she trusts them with the mystery and the suspense, leaving them the pieces to draw their own conclusions. It works well.

I think another thing I loved about this book, that would perhaps turn off others, is how realistic and flawed all of the characters are. None of them are very likable. None are portrayed as perfect. Sure, it makes it easy to hate all of them, but by then you’re so wrapped up in the story you don’t care. You don’t know who to root for. You don’t know how you want it to end!

I will definitely read more by this author. I love that she’s unexpectedly won me over and who knows? Maybe I’ll love this genre a little more because of her.

4/5 stars

 

4 stars · science fiction

New Suicide Squad, Volume 2: Monsters

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New Suicide Squad Volume 2: Monsters
Volume 1: Pure Insanity

author : sean ryan

pages : [paperback] 144

favorite character : harley

summary :

A breakaway fraction of the League of Assassins has their eyes locked on the Suicide Squad. With new recruits in tow, influtrating the deadly group requires extreme measures and dead squad members. Who will push the limits and who will fall? How will Harley deal with her greatest enemy: boredom?

review :

I picked up this volume because I really enjoyed the first one. Now all I’m thinking about is how long it’s going to be until the next volume comes out and I can request that at the library too.

This New Suicide Squad is slightly different because the team is different. Joker’s Daughter is apparently off in an asylum somewhere, replaced by . . some guy who has boomerangs. Their mission this time splits the team in two, with three infiltrating an elite cult organization and the others waiting to bust them out when the time is right and the undercover villains know what terrible weapon this cult has in store for the world. Except it isn’t the greatest idea, is it, to send actual villains into a facility that is also run by villains. Nothing can go smoothly for the Suicide Squad, so naturally chaos ensues.

I thought that this was interesting because, with my not having read anything else with the villains in it, this volume helped to develop the characters for me a little more. Just seeing how they reacted to this oppressive regime really struck home how different even the baddest villains can be. No two people will react the same to any situation, and I found myself respecting villains because of their choices where otherwise I might have hated them.

I enjoyed this volume more than the first just because I feel like the collection was more cohesive in general and I personally liked the storyline a little more. Like I said before, I can’t wait to read more and see if the team is a little different in the third volume as well.

4/5 stars

books to movies · young adult

Trailer Talk: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I recently realized that I somehow never got around to watching the official trailer that was released for the film adaptation of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. I remember reading and loving the first book (don’t worry, I’ll get around to the others eventually!) and particularly liked the use of old, odd photographs in the book’s pages. To be able to see the entire book visually will be awesome.

Judging by the trailer, the film certainly will be exciting. I’m still unsure of how close it will match up to the book. I mean, I read it a long time ago, but even I saw the trailer and wondered where the heck they’d gotten some of those scenes from. Still, as long as it’s done well and they justify what they’ve had to take away, I don’t really care how much they add to it.

Check out the trailer below and let me know what your thoughts are on it. Are you excited? Disappointed? Indifferent? I’m feeling the urge to re-read book one and then marathon the other books as well.

books to movies · Uncategorized

Film Friday: Macbeth

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I have a Shakespeare class this semester, which means that I’ve been inundated with different versions of Macbeth so we can compare them. One of the films we watched in class was this version with Patrick Stewart playing the titular role. It was significantly creepy and awesome.

First of all, the setting was updated. Macbeth’s war features updated military weapons, yes, and also an updated backdrop, as his intense military tactics and murderous dictatorship are portrayed to be something akin to Germany or Russia in the 1940s.

Then there are the witches, who are CRAZY. I literally gaped at the screen when they first appeared, dressed as nurses, pretending that they were going to save a soldier, before they ripped out his heart and spoke their first lines. And this is all in the first scene, setting the mood for the entire film.

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There’s a lot of blood and death, but where would Macbeth be without all of that? Because it’s a film and not a play, there’s the chance to make it all a little more intense, a little more gruesome. Particularly when Macbeth & crew go around murdering innocent people and children. It gets to the point where you realize he’s going to kill anyone who may even think about getting in his way, and you see how utterly mad with power he is now that he’s fulfilled the witches’ prophecy.

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Still, the play is pretty long, and the film does drag in some points–which is a little unbelievable, what with all the action they have to work with in the text. Patrick Stewart as Macbeth and Kate Fleetwood as his Lady are wonderfully conniving, despicable, and compelling characters. They pull through where I feel the intensity starts to wane, somewhere between the initial murder and then the build-up to all of the insanity culminating in a brutal finish.

book tag

Ten Movie Adaptations that Might Have Been Better Than the Book

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week was a freebie week and because I’ve had movie adaptations on my mind lately, with The Fifth Wave releasing in theaters last weekend, I decided to count down my favorite movie adaptations of books. Some that–hold your breath–I watched before I was convinced to read the book. Some that were so good I might have decided not to read the book. (And, please, don’t bash me for that blasphemy.)

1.  Atonement

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“A person is, among all else, a material thing, easily torn and not easily mended.”

I read and absolutely loved the book when I was assigned to read it in school. Afterward, I found out about the movie adaptation–and that it has James McAvoy in it, whom I love. It was so well-done that even though it changed some pieces of the book, I still loved it.

2. The Help

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“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.”

I didn’t ever think that I’d bother to read the book, until I ended up seeing the movie. It helped me to decide to read it, which was a great decision because otherwise I would have missed out on that fabulous writing.

3. The Hunger Games

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“You don’t forget the face of the person who was your last hope.”

I’m pretty sure that I’m not the only one who was excited when this movie came out. While it wasn’t perfect, it did live up to my expectations, and the sequel was even better.

4. The Book Thief

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“I have hated words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right.”

I absolutely LOVED this book so I was super excited to see the movie. There was a lot of time in between my reading and when I watched the film; I think that the longer I let a book sit with me so I forget the details that might not be included in the movie, the more likely I am to love the movie.

5. The Notebook

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“So it’s not gonna be easy. It’s going to be really hard; we’re gonna have to work at this everyday, but I want to do that because I want you. I want all of you, forever, everyday. You and me… everyday.”

Like most people, this was my first introduction to Nicolas Sparks–to romance movies in general, really. Now, I feel like Sparks’ work is overly repetitive, but I remember how I felt so strongly about this movie when I first saw it, so I had to include it.

6. How to Train Your Dragon

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“Twelve days north of Hopeless and a few degrees south of Freezing to Death”

It took me a long, long time to even know that this movie was based on a children’s book series. Well, loosely based, I should say, because I read the first book after watching and the two are so different. I’d hardly even call them related!

7. Rise of the Guardians

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“To understand pretending is to conquer all barriers of time and space.”

Just like with #6, I hadn’t realized that this movie was based on a children’s series. And it was phenomenal. I absolutely love the movie and the books are fantastic as well–though very different.

8. Peter Pan

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“To die will be an awfully big adventure.”

Peter Pan is one of my favorite stories, plays, movies, Disney-esque things . . ever. I’ve loved so many versions of it, but this is the first movie I can remember clearly seeing in theaters. Though I’m sure I must have seen the Disney movie first, this is what stuck with me.

9.  The Silver Linings Playbook

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“I don’t want to stay in the bad place, where no one believes in silver linings or love or happy endings.”

For this I honestly can’t remember: Did I read the book first or watch the movie? I really enjoyed both, so neither made me dislike the other, at least.

10. The Princess Bride

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“When I was your age, television was called books.”

Obviously, this one tops all the rest. The whole movie is filled with lines so catchy, you can’t help but remember and quote them. The novel is written in the same voice and style so it’s a real joy to read.

What movie adaptations have you enjoyed? What have you hated?

 

 

5 stars · adult · fiction · history

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

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The Help

author : kathryn stockett

pages : [hardcover] 451

memorable quote :

You is kind. You is smart. You is important.

favorite character :

summary :

Three ordinary women are about to take one extraordinary step….

Twenty-two-year-old Skeeter has just returned home after graduating from Ole Miss. She may have a degree, but it is 1962, Mississippi, and her mother will not be happy till Skeeter has a ring on her finger. Skeeter would normally find solace with her beloved maid Constantine, the woman who raised her, but Constantine has disappeared and no one will tell Skeeter where she has gone.

Aibileen is a black maid, a wise, regal woman raising her seventeenth white child. Something has shifted inside her after the loss of her own son, who died while his bosses looked the other way. She is devoted to the little girl she looks after, though she knows both their hearts may be broken.

Minny, Aibileen’s best friend, is short, fat, and perhaps the sassiest woman in Mississippi. She can cook like nobody’s business, but she can’t mind her tongue, so she’s lost yet another job. Minny finally finds a position working for someone too new to town to know her reputation. But her new boss has secrets of her own.

Seemingly as different from one another as can be, these women will nonetheless come together for a clandestine project that will put them all at risk. And why? Because they are suffocating within the lines that define their town and their times. And sometimes lines are made to be crossed.

In pitch-perfect voices, Kathryn Stockett creates three extraordinary women whose determination to start a movement of their own forever changes a town, and the way women–mothers, daughters, caregivers, friends–view one another. A deeply moving novel filled with poignancy, humor, and hope,The Help is a timeless and universal story about the lines we abide by, and the ones we don’t.

review :

Okay, I have to admit–this is one book where I saw the movie before reading the original novel. I know, I know–but I also have to admit that I never thought I’d be interested enough in the story to actually read it. And it was on TV one day, alright? Don’t judge me.

The Help was everything and nothing like what I’d expected. The writing was much better than I’d anticipated and, even though I knew some of the plot twists because they happened to be in the movie, this book made the characters that much deeper and more interesting. (But I still enjoyed the film, so you should check that out, too. I actually want to watch it again now that I have the book read.) Obviously, the most interesting people ended up being the help themselves. These women went through so much every day just to make a living, and a terrible wage at that. And they were forced to be strong enough to pretend to be grateful to the white women who were single-handedly ensuring that they stayed beneath the poverty line.

But, interestingly, there are good moments in the book. Not every scene or chapter is dedicated to violence and racially-charged tension. There are also the quiet, tender moments between a woman paid to raise a child who isn’t her own–a child who loves the help more than she loves her own mother. Moments of hope, where women who’ve been down and out for so long are willing to risk it all just so someone else in the world might be able to read about their true experiences. I particularly loved Aibileen, who I think could have been a fantastic writer on her own (and, in my mind, went on to write whatever she wanted without Skeeter’s help after the book) but just needed a little nudge to get things rolling. She was such a great role model and a great friend.

I hope that more people will continue to pick up this book because it’s so interesting. It’s nothing like anything else I’ve had the chance to read lately. Maybe that’s because it’s so realistic; I read at the end of my edition that the author based some of the story on her own experiences with ‘the help’ growing up. That’s what’s most shocking, I think. Most people out there forget how recently these events all took place.

I had a friend recommend this book to me and I think that I’ll be recommending this one to others as well. Not only is it one that needs to be read, the writing is great, and I can’t wait to pick up something else by Kathryn Stockett.

5/5 stars

 

2 stars · science fiction · young adult

Jumper by Steven Gould

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Jumper

Jumper #1

author : steven gould

pages : [paperback] 345

summary :

Davy lives alone with his father. But the truth is, it isn’t much of a home. When things get so bad that Davy decides to run away, his big question is, Where? And how will he live?

The magical answer: anywhere Davy wants!

Davy discovers he has the power to “jump” from one place to another. Not just a few feet. But hundreds, even thousands of miles! And as Davy explores his new power he learns that the world is literally his for the taking. But there are consequences too, as Davy will learn.

review :

I was so excited to read Jumper because ages ago (close to eight years, I think) the movie adaptation was released and I fell in love with it. I was young enough to overlook its faults; mostly, what I loved about Jumper was the concept of teleportation. What would you do if you were a teenager and suddenly found out that you had this ability? Davy Rice decides to run away from home, steal some money, and set himself up for life. I remember daydreaming a lot about what I would do, if I would help people, and what might happen if the government realized that there were people out there with these abilities. And, unfortunately, the ideas that fueled my imagination were greatly changed, when they were lifted from the book to the movie adaptation.

In this book, Davy has a tough life. The book gets dark, fast. His father is abusive and when Davy leaves home, everything that could go wrong does. He’s mugged. Someone tries to rape him. He’s nearly stabbed over using a bathroom for too long. Surprisingly, though, whenever he makes any huge decisions (like the aforementioned decision to steal money) that doesn’t blow up in his face. At least, not immediately. With his ability to teleport or ‘jump’, as Davy calls it, to any location that he can recall very well in his memory, he’d be able to jump halfway around the world if something terrible did come to find him.

While Davy experiments with his powers, the book starts to drag. I was looking forward to the action that I thought would be in here, big confrontations with a ‘bad guy’ or some government figure. Most of the book reads more like a character study, which is . . . fine. I could understand the loss of action scenes that were added purely for the benefit of moviegoers. The only problem is, I didn’t really like Davy as a person. I gave him a lot of leeway because of how terrible his childhood and young adulthood has been. At some point, though, when he had the means to support himself and move to a nicer situation, I started to feel less sympathetic. And it was mostly because of Millie.

Millie was Davy’s romantic interest in the book and I have no idea how they managed to stick together (and, apparently, they’re still together in the rest of the series, which I’m not sure I’ll be reading). Millie is several years older than Davy, which is fine, except she’s in college and Davy shows absolutely no respect for that. I remember a specific passage where she said that he couldn’t stay an extra day one weekend because she had a big test the day after. Davy literally complained to her about it until she decided to give up some other day to him, like he deserved it. I honestly have no idea if it was ever even mentioned what she’s studying in school. That’s the thing; for as much space and time that is dedicated to every minute thing that Davy does, I know absolutely nothing about Millie except that she’s his girlfriend and willing to put up with his quirks. They start up a long distance relationship after hanging out together in New York for about a week or two. It was just . . . crazy.

So, honestly, even though I haven’t watched the movie in a while and know that it isn’t that great, I think that it manages to carry a better story than the original book.Jumper disappointed me, and I hate to say that because I’ve been looking forward to reading this book for years. I didn’t mind that it was grittier, more realistic because of the horrible things that happen. I just wish that the story and characters had been shaped differently.

2/5 stars

books to movies

Book to Movie: The Maze Runner

I’ve been so excited for this movie! When I first read the book, it was back when young adult movie adaptations were just getting started (think Twilight) and I was so sure that The Maze Runner was going to see the spotlight one day. I’m so excited that I got to see the movie on the day that it came out, after years of waiting!

I’d definitely recommend checking out the trailers for this movie because I think they did a fantastic job capturing some of the suspense and intrigue that really make this trilogy special. I’m no expert on film but really loved the angles used and how those few minutes really captured the emotion of the book as well as the movie.

Our leading man, Thomas,  is played by Dylan O’Brien. I’ve only seen a few episodes of Teen Wolf and he has a small appearance in The Internship but I always had it in my mind that he was a great actor so I was excited when I heard that he was Thomas. I think he did a fantastic job creating Thomas’ character even through the confusion and memory loss Thomas experiences. Because I haven’t seen O’Brien much on screen, I think that also made it easier for me to imagine him as that character.

The same was true for most of the boys. Some of them began to get mixed up with one another (because in a pack of all boys, things can get confusing) but overall I was happy with the group. Chuck was appropriately adorable. Alby was a great leader. I wish that we’d gotten to see a little more of Minho and Newt. Also, it’d been a while since I read the book, so I completely forgot Frypan’s name and they never directly introduced him in the movie. I was sitting there in the theater thinking, What are they calling him? Fred? Frank? until it clicked.

As with all book to movie adaptations, I was terrified that The Maze Runner was going to tear apart one of my favorite books. Instead, it showed off some scenes that looked absolutely amazing done in film. I think that the Grievers were awesome and terrifying, even though they were nothing like what I’d pictured in my head (think Robosnail from Rugrats, except smaller and more terrifying). The maze scenes were awesome, with all of those moving parts and great effects. The Glade was less impressive but I think that’s because it can do nothing but pale in comparison to the awe of the maze.

There were some parts of the book that were completely left out. I won’t point out anything very specific because I think you could watch the film, like it, and then go to the book to get another great story that’s slightly different. There was so much between Thomas and Teresa that just wasn’t included, so I don’t know how they’ll skirt around that when it comes to the next movie. I think that overall I wasn’t too annoyed by anything that was taken out of the film because it’s been so long since I’ve read the book. I’ve learned my lesson not to reread the book right before the movie or I’m almost guaranteed to dislike the film!

The great thing about reading the book before the movie? You get to enjoy the theater’s reaction to a plot twist you know is coming. Yeah, maybe I was a little too smug, looking to see how my friends who hadn’t read the book were reacting to what was happening. There was a particularly funny part for me when everyone thought the movie was over, but I knew that the action was just getting started. I feel like with The Maze Runner, which absolutely thrives on plot twists, there’s never any way of knowing where the story’s going to go next.

The ending disappointed me a little. I hate enjoying an adaptation and then leaving the theater unsatisfied because they just needed to change up the ending. It happened with The Giver. Divergent. Now The Maze Runner. The end is important because it’s the last thing I get before I leave so of course I want it to be on a great note. Not that I’m saying they completely changed the end of this; they just left it off at a different part and didn’t go quite as far with the plot as the book does, which is annoying.

Overall, I was so impressed with The Maze Runner that I need the sequel immediately. I’ve heard that they’re planning to make one, but it isn’t coming until 2016. How can I wait that long? If this movie does well in the box office, I’m hoping that means The Scorch Trials will have an even better budget for a greater movie–not that I’m saying the visual effects in this first installment didn’t impress. Far from it. The maze was terrifying realistic and the Grievers . . yep, part of my nightmares now.

I’d recommend this movie to fans of the book, those unsure of whether they want to read the series, and people looking for a movie filled with suspense and action. This is a book that I read and thought would be even cooler as a movie. I’m glad that the film proved me right.

books to movies

Books to Movies: The Giver

A few weeks ago one of my favorite books of all time, The Giver, was released in theaters. I had mixed reactions when I saw the trailer; this book has been a part of my life for so long. My first meeting with it happened in the fifth grade when my teacher would read us a chapter or two after recess. The story blew my mind; up until then I’d never known plot twists like those that were thrown into this book. It sparked my love of books that could surprise and shock me; it heightened my imagination.

I really didn’t want it destroyed by film, even if that would never change my love for the text. The trailer was terrible, really, and it confused me that they showed clips of things that happen at the very end of the book. Why would they want to give so much away? I decided to give the movie a try anyway, thinking it better to hope for the best than never know what the film is like.

It was . . . interesting. Certainly not as bad as I feared it would be but not one of my favorite adaptations and I have no idea how people who haven’t read the book will take this novel. Surprisingly, when I went to see the film the theater was filled mostly with older people so I wonder if their reaction to the movie was different than mine was.

There were some scenes in this I was absolutely excited to see, that I’ll cherish because I think they were captured so well. I loved whenever Jonas was with Gabriel because his changing reaction to the baby really showcased his altered personality and emotions. I also liked seeing him receiving the memories, particularly the sled ride and when he first experiences painful memories on his own.

From the trailers, I was afraid that they wouldn’t incorporate the literally colorless environment of the book, yet my fears were unfounded. I loved how they visually showed Jonas’ transition from a world void of color to one vibrant and alive.

What didn’t I like about this film? Two things immediately come to mind:

1. The fact that Taylor Swift was part of the cast. She had a minor role and if they make the other books into movies she’ll never appear again but she’s definitely a singer, not an actress. While I have nothing against her music, I’ll definitely start disliking her if she throws herself into other movies. I really think that getting some unknown actress would have been a better choice because she would have been able to deliver Rosemary’s few lines with much more feeling. As it was, I felt nothing for Rosemary’s tragic past, nothing for the Giver and his loss, because Taylor Swift’s bad acting was too distracting.

2. The end. Well, not the very end- I think they did very well in showing how the book finished. I’ll try to explain without spoiling anything. Basically, Jonas’ friend has to make a decision that was never there in the book and the whole scene wasn’t well put-together, anyway, so I wondered why they threw that in instead of what actually happened in the novel. It was so awkward, forced, and drew me out of their world because I was thinking about how that would have never happened.

Overall, I enjoyed my time watching this movie. I really recommend you watch it, yet perhaps it’s one better seen on demand than in the theater. I didn’t really end up minding how they aged up the characters as much as I thought I would. Jonas was still Jonas, which was the important thing, and I think he captured that most brilliantly in his scenes with the Giver. I don’t know why this movie isn’t getting more recognition because it isn’t great but it’s nowhere near terrible. Give it a try! If you’ve seen it already, let me know what you thought of it.

books to movies

Book to Movie: If I Stay

If I Stay by Gayle Forman is a fantastic novel. While I haven’t had the chance to read it again for a few years, I’d highly recommend it for anyone looking for a quick, dramatic contemporary read. Recently the book was turned into a film and I had the chance to see it on opening night last week.

I’ve figured out that the longer it’s been since I’ve read a book, the better a chance there is that I’ll enjoy the movie adaptation. Contemporary novels also seem easier to translate to screen because we don’t need any time to be immersed in that world; it’s the one that we’re already living in. Knowing that I loved the book and not quite being able to remember the details had me going into the movie excited but with little expectation. I’ve also learned not to get my hopes up.

I’ll start with my impression of the material released before the movie was out. I really liked the animated posters made for If I Stay; in fact, I even like the book cover for the movie, which is the same as the poster pictured above. Capturing other aspects of Mia’s life, rather than simply having a cover of the actress who plays her, was a fantastic choice. I also think that they did a great job with the covers, being able to show the story to people who might never have heard of the book before. I did tear up at the trailer.

Now on to reviewing the actual movie. I was a little worried about the actors chosen for the film because I’d never seen Chloe Moretz in a film like this and knew nothing about the guy they chose for Adam except (like most of the time) he didn’t fit the image I had in my mind of what Adam might be like. And, well, I expected him to be more conventionally handsome. I feel like throughout the movie, Moretz did a better job of convincing me that she was truly her character, but I also came to accept Adam because I think he nailed his personality exactly.

One thing I didn’t like about the two? Well, it wasn’t the actors, but the fact that the director decided that they needed to have so many scenes making out. Okay, I get it. You love each other. That doesn’t mean that we need to spend five minutes every fifteen minutes staring at you while you ever so slowly kiss each other. I mean, it was touching at first, but after a while it kind of felt like they were those people who make out in public places, the ones you just kind of want to nudge out of your way and try to forget.

One of the most powerful scenes for me was when Mia’s grandfather came to speak to her in the hospital. Up until that point, I’d been teary, but with that performance I completely lost it. It makes you think of those you lost and how maybe they were in pain and just needed to let go, even if you didn’t want to lose them. It reminds you of how lucky you are, if you’re healthy and you’re loved ones are, too. It’s something that we don’t really appreciate it until we realize it’s gone and we have no way of immediately getting it back for ourselves. I have no idea what the actor’s name is, who plays her grandfather, but he was my favorite.

I wish that the film had focused a little more on the relationships Mia had with people such as her grandfather, her friends, and maybe a little more time with her family, too. Sure, I liked seeing all of the cute scenes with her and Adam, but he isn’t the only one who factors into her decision of whether or not she should stay in this world or decide to let go.

If you haven’t read If I Stay, I’d say you could decide whether or not you want to read it before the film. The ending might be more spectacular if you read it first; it was fun seeing how all of the people in the theater who hadn’t read the book reacted! But if you see the movie first, you’ll enjoy it and then be compelled to learn more about the characters. Maybe even picking up the companion novel, Where She Went, too.

I’d give this book to movie adaptation 4 out of 5 stars and will be recommending it to others.