Book vs Movie: Gone Girl

It’s time for another Book vs Movie. Psycho murder conspiracy edition. I just finished Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl after weeks of only being able to read a little bit at a time. I have a confession though: I watched the movie first. I’ve mentioned before that I actually don’t find it horrible to watch the movie before reading the book. There are some cases when reading the book first is better (and that’s most of the time) but there are some books (like The Maze Runner) where you need that little bit of extra assistance to really get into the book. This book and movie combo is the former.

When I watched the movie Gone Girl it was because I really wanted to see it, and didn’t want to wait until I had read the book. I was too antsy. So I made the executive decision to go ahead and watch it… Holy crap. That movie is one plot twist after another. I won’t say anything to ruin the movie (or book) for anyone because honestly it just has to be seen to be believed. But I watched the movie and thought it was one of the craziest movies I’ve ever seen — so I had to read the book.

I borrowed the book from my sister and started reading right away. For me, the story was kind of slow in the beginning simply because it was almost exactly like the beginning of the movie. It was like reading a screenplay rather than a novel. My issue here was that when I was watching the movie, I was completely enthralled within five minutes. And because the first part of the book (it’s written in three parts) was exactly like the movie, I felt like I was just watching the movie. No extra juicy details they had left out, no different plot twists – just a blow-by-blow of the movie (or rather the movie was a blow-by-blow of the book…hmm…) But nonetheless, the story was great to start out with, I just already knew what to expect.

I was starting to really wish I hadn’t seen the movie first only because the writing was so amazing. Flynn is one of those authors that can make even the most unlikable characters likable, but can also take away any shred of decency in that character in an instant. In Flynn’s case it’s really more of liking the character, unliking the character, liking the character, hating both characters, etc. So, because of all this, I was really starting to get down about it. I thought I had ruined the whole book by seeing the movie. Why did I ruin such a good thing?? But then I hit the last few chapters before Part Two, and oh my god was it amazing! I got to a point where I just refused to go to bed. I was like, “Nope. I know it’s 11:30pm and I know I have to get up early tomorrow, but nope. I’m just gonna keep reading. Que sera sera.”

And thus began my absolute love for this novel. I refuse to tell you anything about the actual story of the book, but I will summarize to you what the back cover/back of the dvd allows its audience to know: On the morning of their fifth anniversary, Nick Dunne reports his wife, Amy, missing. He acts very strangely, and even lies to the police, which causes everyone in their small town, including the police, to wonder if he had anything to with her disappearance.

Sounds like a simple whodunnit, right? Nope. Just…no.

This is one of the most interesting and edge-of-your-seat movies I have seen in a really long time. But this is one of those cases where I just wish I had read the book first. The book had so much more detail, and so many more plot twists. And even the characters were slightly different after the first part! Reading the second half of the book was like someone telling you ahead of time, “Dumbledore dies!” But then reading Harry Potter and finding out *SPOILERS* Snape killed him. It’s knowing one thing and reading another.

This book was excellently written, and wonderfully executed. It was a really great book. But don’t get me wrong! The movie was spectacular!! They chose all of the actors perfectly, and they truly did a better job turning a book into a movie than a LOT of other movies based off of books I’ve seen. I would say the movie was 90% accurate to the book, and that’s a big amount of correctness.

So yes, the movie was great. But hands down the book was better. Book: 3 Movie:2.

My sister argued, however, “The book didn’t have Ben Affleck’s penis in it, so the movie automatically wins.”

Valid point.

Until next time!

Rachel

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I’m Baaaack!

Hello!! It’s been a while! Unfortunately I have been sick for the past week or so and I haven’t been able to do anything except lay down and cough for most of the day. I couldn’t even read for more than a week without falling asleep (can you hear my heart breaking?) so it’s been a pretty sick week and a half. But I wanted to quickly update you on a few things that have happened this past week. So here it goes…

I started writing a book. A real book. With words and everything. I’ve always been the type of person who will say they want to start writing and never get around to it. Or I’ll start writing but I won’t finish it. I’m determined to write this book. It might not be very long, but I’m really happy with it so far and it’s taken up a lot of the time I haven’t just been laying in bed. So I’ll try to get these posts out a good amount, but I’m really going to try to just bang this book out first.

Second. ALL MY DREAMS HAVE COME TRUE! As you all know, I absolutely love the two released Bone Season books by Samantha Shannon. Well, when her most recent book came out, The Mime Order, I had preordered it at least a month in advance because Bloomsbury Publishing had printed 500 copies of a pamphlet, On the Merit of Unnaturalness, that is constantly being talked about in both of the books and were giving them away to the first 500 people who preorder the book once it was available for preorder. I did my best, but I wasn’t expecting anything.

A couple days ago, though, I received a tiny package that said “Bloomsbury Publishing” in faint letters and I was giddy. What an amazing thing to come home to when you’re sick. So I haven’t started reading it yet (I’m still reading Gone Girl  since I haven’t read it in two weeks) but I will be starting it as soon as I get done with Gone Girl!

So that’s what’s been going on. Hopefully I’ll be able to give you a little sneak peak of what I’m writing once I really get into the story! I hope you’ll all like it!

Until next time, happy reading!

Rachel

Judging A Book By Its Cover

Hi, my name is Rachel and I’m a bookaholic. I’ve recently bought a ton of new books: Storm Front by Jim Butcher, Zodiac by Robert Graysmith, The Maze Runner series, and a ton more. Don’t get me wrong! I’m actually pretty proud of my book addiction — at least it’s not meth. But because I’ve bought so many books lately I can tell you without a doubt that I am absolutely a bookaholic… And that I 100% judge a book by its cover.

With all these trips to bookstores, and finding books online, I see a lot of different and beautiful book covers. I’ve always had a real affinity for buying books that I know will look beautiful on my bookshelf. I like to come home and put the books with its other book friends and see them be pretty together on my wall. Is that so wrong?

For as long as I can remember, even going back when I was younger and would go to the bookstore with my family, I would always find the prettiest book on the shelf and say, “I WANT THIS” without even reading what it was about. To my parent’s credit, they had a way of weeding out the books I genuinely wanted and which ones I just thought were pretty so I never ended up getting a thousand beautiful books in one Barnes & Noble trip. Good job, Mom and Dad. Good job. But as I got older I would go to bookstores and be perusing the fiction section when I’d see the spine of a book out of the corner of my eye and be instantly drawn to it. It’s like a magnetism that I just can’t stop. So beautiful. I must have it. Lemme have it!!! It’s so hard to pass up a beautiful book! It’s what people are naturally drawn to with people: attractiveness. That’s our first instinct, isn’t it? To say, “wow that person is really attractive.” without knowing if they are attractive on the inside. It’s the same with books. The only difference for me is that with books, I’ll still buy an attractive book without it having a good story inside. I won’t stick around with people who are not good people on the inside.

That is not to say that I don’t buy books with crappier looking covers, because I do. For example, I have a few books that were repurposed for movies, so they have the movie poster as it’s cover instead of the regular alluring cover. Like The Fault In Our Stars. That cover is awesome – it’s so simple – just light blue with a couple of clouds and the title of the book. It looks great in anyone’s bookshelf. But the movie copy of the book has the two main characters lying on the grass together and not the nice cloudy cover. Who wants that? Give me the pretty artwork! But that said, if there were no pretty copies of a book, or if the book hasn’t been turned into a movie and it has a bland cover but the story itself looks awesome, I’d be more than happy to get it.

I actually have a really tough time with that when it comes to hardcover books. I love paperbacks. I think they fit better in my hands, they fit better in my bookshelf, they feel better when you’re reading it, and there’s no annoying paper dust jacket getting in the way of reading. But sometimes I have to buy hardcovers. That’s the hard truth.  Get it? No? I should just stop trying to be punny. Haha! No one can stop me! I’m a pun machine!

Anyway, I have to buy hardcovers. If there’s a new book, it doesn’t come straight out in paperback, and it usually takes a year or so for it to come out in paperback. I don’t want to wait that long! I want to read now! And obviously when it comes out in paperback there is only one possible cover this book can have… Or is there?

Nope! Because I don’t like the dust jacket, I actually read without them on. I just put them out of the way, and then when I’m done with the book I put it back on and put the book back in my shelf. But sometimes the naked hardcover is amazing. So for a few books I have in my shelf, I just got rid of the dust jacket (from my shelf – I still have the dust jacket in my night table because I can never bring myself to throw them out) and keep the pretty part of the book showing!

So, no, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with judging a book by its cover. Sometimes it’s just nice to own a really beautiful book.

Until next time! Happy reading!

Rachel (AKA Bookaholic #1)

The Scorch Trials (Maze Runner Series)

I’m currently stuck between a rock and a hard place. I’ve finished the second book in the Maze Runner series, The Scorch Trials and while I kinda loved it, I also kinda hated it. Let me explain:

When I finished James Dashner’s The Maze Runner last week, I was so excited about the book that I knew I had to finish this series ASAP. The same hour that I finished the book, I had already gone out to Barnes & Noble to pick up the next two books of the series. That night I started reading the second book, Scorch Trials, about Phase Two of the Maze issue. It started out awesome. And when I say awesome, I mean freakin’ awesome. Exactly 37 pages in I was so shocked at what I was reading (because I just never would have expected it) that I had to reread that page to make sure I had understood correctly. So this book started out so cool, and I couldn’t put it down. It was one of those books that when you’re reading it, you’re super into it, and when you’re not reading it, it’s all you can think about.

But about 3/4 of the way through I started to get tired. The main character was passed out or fell asleep like every other page. All of the “exciting” parts were really not that exciting – sort of anticipated, actually. So I was getting a little frustrated with the book, but figured that when I read the first of the series, Maze Runner, I had a hard time getting into it until about 1/4 of the way through. So I thought maybe that was just how the author writes, but it would pick up again. Nope.

WARNING: SPOILERS – HEED MY WARNING IF YOU DO NOT WANT TO FIND OUT ONE SMALL BUT KINDOF IMPORTANT DETAIL

After a ton of passing out, and sleeping, and just overall boring plot line, there was one interesting part where the main female character, Teresa, turns out to be a turncoat. Who’da thunk? BUT THEN she turns out to have been lying about being a traitor to save the main character, Thomas. Say what now? Here’s my issue with this, because as a writer myself I know that one of the hardest things to do is come up with a really good plot twist that makes sense to everyone and will really rock their view of the book. This twist had the potential to do just that for Scorch Trials but because so much of the series had already been betrayals one after another (even Teresa telling Thomas not to trust her, and that whatever she did or said he should question) I was not the least bit shocked that she triple crossed him. To me it was just a bland plot twist.

So, I finished the book about thirty minutes ago – that’s why this post is a tad rambling… I’m still frustrated! But one thing has been bothering me more than anything else about this book since I stopped reading. I could find a dozen inconsistencies with the novel, but this one just irked me to my core. All of the people from the Glade (where the Maze is) ended up being named after famous people. For example, Alby= Albert Einstein, Newt= Isaac Newton, Thomas= Thomas Edison, etc. So for Christ’s sake, if everyone is named after someone famous, who the hell is Frypan named after??

All in all, if I were to rate it with stars I’d give it 3 stars. I actually absolutely loved the first half of the book, I just couldn’t wrap my head around the last half. That said, I did buy the third book of the series, so I’m going to have to suck it up and see if the third book, The Death Cure, is any better. It has a pretty cool name, so who knows. Maybe it’ll surprise me and CURE my ill feelings! Not a good pun? My bad.

I’m going to wait to read it though – I’m FINALLY going to borrow Gone Girl from my sister. I’ll give myself a break from horrible plot twists and read awesome plot twists instead.

Until next time,

Rachel

Book vs Movie: The Maze Runner

For whatever reason, my book vs movie post from February 24th was somehow deleted. So without further ado, here it is again!

About a week ago my dad and I finally saw The Maze Runner movie. This was a big deal for me because I had tried reading the book of the same name, the first of a series by James Dashner, but was having such a hard time with the names and slang in the book that I gave up. I knew that there was going to be a movie when I had attempted reading it, and thought the concept was so unique and different that I had to read it before the movie came out. But when I tried reading it, it was like every other word was “shank,” or “shuck,” or “greenie,” and it was all substituted for actual words in a sentence and I just couldn’t follow it.

So I decided that I would wait until the movie came out in theaters. The plan was that I’d see it on the big screen and then if I liked the movie I’d read the book. My main hope was that after I see the movie I might understand all the slang better, and get a hang of the names and the story line so that when I read it I wasn’t too lost. Well, unfortunately, I never got the chance to see the movie in the theatre so I ended up having to wait until it was available to rent on demand. My dad and I both wanted to see it, so we had waited for a time when we could watch it together. That was a week ago – more than a month after it came out on DVD and on demand.

I have to say, though, that it was worth the wait. I really loved the movie. All I knew going into it was that this guy shows up in a place filled with all these boys (sort of a Lord of the Flies feeling place) and they’ve all had their memories wiped and are trapped in a maze. That was all I knew. I’m so glad that that’s all I knew, because I thought the movie was really good (as long as you like young adult mystery-scifi stories… and weird looking kids. Because there are a lot of weird looking kids in this movie. They obviously didn’t have the budget for Harry Potter-attractive level actors) and decided I should give the story a second chance.

I started reading The Maze Runner less than a week ago, and I was intrigued while I was reading, but I wasn’t hooked even by the quarter way through mark. So I started to think that maybe I should give up on it – it wasn’t as good as the movie, and it just wasn’t drawing me in. It was almost like the book knew what I was thinking because at the end of the chapter I was reading, it left on a cliffhanger that had me thinking, “Oh, shit! This just got real!!” I immediately began falling in love with the book, and by the midway mark I never wanted to put it down (“I’ll only read one more chapter before bed!…. unless it ends on a cliffhanger and then I’ll read one more chapter before bed!…”)

I took the weekend off from reading to attempt my hand at trying a Kindle (you’ll get that story soon enough) and the second I picked up the book again I felt like no one could stop me. I spend a straight 4 hours today reading the entire rest of the book, and then another hour running out to Barnes & Noble to pick up the next two books of the series, The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. Great book. GREAT book.

But here’s the issue: the movie was awesome – but it was nothing like the book. Granted there was still the same premise, but the entire movie was completely out of order, and glorified, exaggerated, and just different. So from a “book critic’s” point of view, I would have to say that the movie was a poor representation of the book. But as a movie lover, and not thinking about the correlation between the two, I thought the movie was really great! This thought really hinders my book versus movie tally, because as a movie it was freakin’ awesome! But it wasn’t the book.

So for this tally, I’m going to be super lenient and give credit to both. If my main question when figuring out the tally is “was the movie better than the book?” My answer is no, and the book should get the win. But if I think about it, the movie got me interested in the book. I thought the book was boring and hard to follow until I saw the movie. I feel like that in itself should mean something.

So here it is: Second book vs movie tally: Book: 2 Movie:1. You know it’s a weird tally when the movie almost gets the point, and I still absolutely loved the book.

Until next time!

Rachel