Times Where The Books Weren't Better

As you may know, I'm a huge bookworm. So far, I've read 98 books in 2020 with no sign of slowing down. There are plenty of "classic" movies I have yet to see because I would like to read the books first. I am often one of those people who frequently say "the book was better" - in fact, I have a Harry Potter themed wooden bookmark with that phrase engraved. But here is a list of shows/movies that, in my opinion, prove the contrary.

Note: There are definitely spoilers below, so proceed wisely

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This opinion is very biased of me because this book has been a weird anomaly from the start. Namely due to the fact that I never leave books unfinished, even if I dislike the plot - except for this one. Before the show was even announced, I attempted to read the ebook around Halloween of 2017 - and couldn't get through it.

That being said, when season 1 of the show came out on Netflix, I addictively binged it back-to-back in under 24 hours. In the last month, I decided to give the book another shot, and forced myself to finish it this time. There were some main differences between the show and the book - mostly involving the show giving Joe Goldberg, the main character, more of a redemption arc and a trauma-filled backstory, as if to justify his abuse to be cyclical.

While I'm not sure I agree with this choice, it did make for a very bingable first season. I did not like the second season as much, truth be told, and it took me a long time to be motivated enough to actually finish it on Netflix - and I don't think I will be reading the second book in the series anytime soon, either.

Little Fires Everywhere

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I have already mentioned this book/show in multiple articles over the last month, but I'm still not over how good the show was. Don't get me wrong, the book was great too - up until the end. Spoilers ensue, read at your own risk.

As mentioned, I loved this book and was hooked - until the last few pages. The ending of the book made me livid, as Elena (the main character, depicted on the show by Reese Witherspoon) is so "holier than thou" and lacks all form of emotional intelligence or introspection to not even realize that her current situation is the exact one she placed Bebe Chow in.

The lack of growth or realization there almost made be want to throw the book across the room. I was reading the book as I was waiting for episodes of the show to be released weekly at the time, and I was always trying to defend Elena, saying that she wasn't quite a bad person, just delusional. However, the ending in the book made me evaluate the situation as a whole and change my perspective - unlike anything we've seen Elena be capable of doing.

The show changed a lot of plot points to create or intensify conflict. While I usually dislike when this happens, it worked so perfectly in the tone of this show overall. Furthermore, thankfully, the show slightly changes the end of the book to have Elena put in her place, not only by Mia (portrayed by Kerry Washington), but by her own children all working together against her. Karma is REAL, Elena Richardson, and you're not immune.

To All The Boys I Loved Before (#1)

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I read the first book in the series before the first movie was set to premiere on Netflix, and I wasn't the biggest fan. Maybe it was because I was reading them at the age of 23, but I felt too old for the series.

That being said, when the movie came out on Netflix, I was completely smitten. It was so adorable, and such a cute, feel good movie! Even though I rarely re-watch movies (unless they have a nostalgic factor) I have definitely re-watched this, and it puts a smile on my face every time! From Lara Jean's fashion sense, to her instagrammable baked goods, to Noah Centineo (who would of course get an honorable mention).

Because I liked the movie so much, I decided to give the books another chance and proceeded to finish the series in 2018. I was still slightly underwhelmed, and really wanted to know what would happen to Lara Jean and Peter once they endeavor off to college - in fact, there is a series I would love to read! (Jenny Han, if you're reading this, please provide an update!)

That being said, please note that the "movies being better" logic does not apply to the sequel of this movie which came out earlier in 2020. In the movie, they make Lara-Jean cheat on Peter, when none of that ever happened in the book - they also completely overwrote/omitted the biggest plot twist in the book - the Stormi was John Ambrose's grandmother.

Mean Girls

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I'm not sure if this one technically counts, but Mean Girls is actually - believe it or not - based on a self-help book called "Queen Bees and Wannabes." I am currently a third into skimming this book full of parenting tips in regards to how to be solve issues that commonly arise with teenage girls, and how to best respect their privacy, navigate social boundaries, and how to identify if more parental involvement is required (like in cases of bullying or...Mean Girls)

Tina Fey is an absolute genius to take all this advice and create one of the most loved teen comedy's of the 2000's. Mean Girls to this day still has an active fandom as portrayed through various trivia events about the single movie, and has even been recreated as a Broadway production.

The book itself is...drab at best. Unless there are more updated editions, the book was clearly written when social media was more so evolving, as opposed to the multiple channels we have today. Some of the advice is honestly pretty bad, or at the least something I would consider to be "common sense" - despite not being a parent. That being said, if it has helped parents smooth over relationships with their daughters or identify issues along the way, then it's served its purpose. In the meantime, I'll be rewatching the movie for about the 400th time.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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