Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Book to Movie Adaptations

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

It’s been forever since I did a TTT, but I finally carved out some time to put this together!

This week’s prompt is Top Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I’m Looking Forward To or Ten Book To Movie Adaptations I Still Need To Watch. I’ve tweaked it slightly, so I’m doing Ten Book to Movie Adaptations I Own.

  1. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2: Yes, I know, a lot of stuff was missing from the movies, and I’ll never get over how Ginny’s character was treated, but they were still enjoyable and rank among my favourite films ever!
  2. The Princess Bride: “Hello, my name is Inigio Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die.” Enough said.
  3. Northanger Abbey: My friends and I swooned over Henry Tilney when we watched this for our Austen course in university. And it’s my favourite Austen novel (sorry, Pride & Prejudice, you’re a close third – after Persuasion).
  4. Stardust: Mostly, I just remember Robert de Niro as a gay pirate, but as a Neil Gaiman fan, I love everything about this.
  5. Coraline: Ditto (minus the gay pirate, of course).
  6. A Series of Unfortunate Events: Again, there’s a lot missing from this adaptation and they gave it a whole different ending, but visually, it’s so much fun.
  7. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants: While I didn’t love the sequel (because it skipped the middle books and changed the story lines a lot), this first one is girly fun at its best!
  8. The Princess Diaries: One of the rare times I saw a movie before reading the books, the only thing that makes me sad is how Grandmere is not nearly as sweet as Julie Andrews makes her out to be (also the fact that it took THREE BOOKS for Mia and Michael to get together!!).
  9. Beautiful Creatures: I enjoyed the books (though after hating the sequel series, I’m not sure if I can re-read them), and while the movie deviated somewhat, it was still cute.
  10. The Great Gatsby: Visually gorgeous. Plus who can resist the always-charming Leo DiCaprio??

cheers_leonardo_dicaprio

BONUS:

  • 10 Things I Hate About You: Based on Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, this teen romcom is one of the greatest things to exist. Come for a young Joseph-Gordon Levitt, stay for Heath Ledger-with-his-Australia-accent (RIP, Heath).
  • Easy A: Based on Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter. I’ve said it before: the only unbelievable aspect is the idea that someone as gorgeous as Emma Stone could be invisible to her classmates.
  • She’s the Man: Also based on Shakespeare (Twelfth Night), this was Amanda Bynes at her funniest. Also a then relatively unknown chap by the name of Channing Tatum who sticks a tampon up his nose. Hilarious.

All three of these bonus movies are high on my list of favourites; I’ve always loved retellings!

What adaptations made your list? Are there any I should check out immediately?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Ten Characters Who Are Fellow Book Nerds. A couple of these characters are more “word nerds” (or writers) than “book nerds”, but I think all book nerds have an appreciation for words in general.

1) Matilda from Roald Dahl’s Matilda
2) Daphne de Luce from Alan Bradley’s Flavia de Luce series
3) Hermione Granger from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series
4) Catherine Morland from Jane Austen’s Northanger Abbey
5) Sadie from Sara O’Leary/Julie Morstad’s This is Sadie
6) Vander Burke from Page Morgan’s The Dispossessed series
7) Liesel Meminger from Markus Zusak’s The Book Thief

186233b18c7f878bc8771e0875b34f4d

Word Nerds/Writers
8) Ambrose Bukowski from Susin Nielsen’s Word Nerd
9) Mia Thermopolis from Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series
10) Lydia Jaackson-Oberman from Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Year of Secret Assignments

Those were the ones I could think of, though I’m sure I’m missing someone obvious. Who made it onto your lists?

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Authors I REALLY Want To Meet

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt is Ten Authors I REALLY Want to Meet. That list is pretty much identical to my Top Ten ALL TIME Favourite Authors, and that seems like a cop-out to post a link to a previous list (even though I totally just did), so I’ve added five other authors who I’d love to meet if I could go back in time i.e. if they were still alive.

1) Jane Austen
2) Oscar Wilde
3) Bram Stoker
4) Lewis Carroll (aka Charles Dodgson)
5) Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel)

Though really, I don’t know what I would say to any of these authors (on either list) if I met them because I would be too busy fan-girling to speak.

mr darcy

Sidenote: one time, I met Libba Bray and we swapped glasses. It was epic.

Who would be on your list?

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who…Have Great Sibling Relationships

toptentuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This week’s prompt was: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who _____ (are musically inclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor, etc.)

I stared at my bookshelves all weekend until a random thought popped into my head: a YA protagonist is often an only child. Sometimes they have siblings, but if they do, most of the time those siblings are tragically killed/sacrificed/missing for half the novel or are kept secret until the BIG CLIMACTIC SCENE (I’m not mocking the “secret sibling” plot line, I’m totally guilty of doing it in my own writing). So, as the youngest of four children myself, I thought I’d look at books where the characters have siblings who play an important role. Because family is important.

stitch

1) The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May, & June – Robin Benway

First of all – heck yeah to the Oxford (or serial) comma in the title. This is my second favourite Robin Benway book, and I absolutely love the relationships between these three very different sisters. May is my preferred sister because she’s sassy/snarky, but the other two have their own sass-filled moments too.

2) A Series of Unfortunate Events – Lemony Snicket

Obviously the Baudelaire orphans are on this list. They’re loyal and supportive and genuinely loving toward each other. Even when they have moments of frustration, they would never think of betraying/leaving each other. They’re the true definition of “ohana” (nobody gets left behind or forgotten).

baudelaires

3) Every series – Ellie Marney

Come for the ridiculous chemistry between Rachel Watts and James Mycroft, stay for the best brother-sister relationship ever between Rachel and Mike. Mike quickly became one of my favourite secondary characters; he constantly has Rachel’s back, even when he thinks she’s about to do something stupid/crazy (i.e. when she flies to London in Every Word). He’s also great comedic relief and you can’t help getting attached to him.

4) The Dispossessed series – Page Morgan

Okay, fine, I’m more than a little obsessed with this series right now, but since it revolves around twins (Grayson and Ingrid), and their younger sister (Gabby), it makes sense for them to be on this list. The relationship between Grayson and Ingrid is the reason I cried while reading the third book.

5) Flavia de Luce series – Alan Bradley

I’ve read the first three books so far (I’m working on the fourth), and Flavia’s relationship with her older sisters (Ophelia and Daphne) is the stuff of legends. While Feely and Daffy tend to be absolutely horrid and Flavia spends a lot of time plotting her revenge, there’s still a certain amount of love behind all their actions. Plus they’re just hilarious in general.

6) Vampirates series – Justin Somper

I realize that saying “vampire pirates” makes people go “WHAAAAT?” but seriously, this was such a good series. Again, it focused on twins – Connor and Grace – who, even though they are separated for at least the first book (I can’t remember when they meet up again), their affection for each other literally spans across the seas.

7) Sisterhood series – Ann Brashares

On the one hand, these books are about the bonds of friendship. On the other, if Lena didn’t have a slightly jealous younger sister (Effie), the last half of the fourth book would not have happened. It’s also interesting to see how Lena interacts with her sister-like friends compared to her relationship with Effie (sometimes you feel sorry for Effie, who was often pushed aside in favour of Bridget/Carmen/Tibby).

8) The Reluctant Journal of Henry K. Larsen – Susin Nielsen

Technically this falls into the “sibling who tragically dies” category, but since the plot is based on Jessie’s death, it’s fascinating (and so sad) to see how his actions affected his younger brother, Henry. I’ve now read all of Susin Nielsen’s books, and I’d have to say this one is my favourite. It’s also the most emotionally draining.

9) The Two Princesses of Bamarre – Gail Carson Levine

I desperately need to re-read this one (my niece just read it for the first time and every time she mentioned it, I was like “AWW, SUCH A GOOD BOOK”), but Addie and Meryl’s dependence on each other is so sweet, especially once Meryl gets sick. I remember being heartbroken near the end, but it all wrapped up so beautifully. They were like the original Anna and Elsa – self-sacrificing and all.

10) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

Did you really think I could make a list like this and not mention the Weasleys? They’re one of the best fictional families to ever exist!! And while they may have their own problems (i.e. lack of money), they were nothing but loving toward each other (for the most part…*cough PERCY cough*) and always made sure to include Harry. I love how in later books, the boys all recognize that Ginny is more powerful/talented than they are, but they continue to treat her like their baby sister.

the weasleys

My biggest issue with the movies is that we never see Charlie Weasley :(

BONUS:

Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Because the Bennet sisters are surprisingly well-rounded, considering most of them are supporting characters.

Lydia, Kitty, Elizabeth, Jane, Mary

Lydia, Kitty, Elizabeth, Jane, and Mary

Who makes it on your list of favourite fictional siblings?

10 Books That Have Never Left You

There’s a “thing” (a Facebook note or something) that’s been going around asking a variation of the question: what ten books have stayed with you (in some way) after reading them?

I found out about this from a Writer’s Digest post, and decided to try it myself. The point is that you’re not supposed to think too hard, but I over-think everything, so this took me longer than it should have.

Sidenote: these aren’t in order and they’re not necessarily my favourite books (not all of them, anyway). They’re just books that stand out for me.

Also: SPOILERS ABOUND. You’ve been warned.

1) Ella Enchanted – Gail Carson Levine

I’ve read this book so many times, my 16 year old copy is falling apart and there’s tape on one page from when I accidentally ripped it (and cried), but it’s one of my absolute favourites. Don’t talk to me about the movie, though.

Favourite chapter: Hard to choose, but I’d have to say the letters between Ella and Char. No matter how many times I read it, I still feel all warm and fuzzy the first time Char tells her he loves her.

2) Audrey, Wait! – Robin Benway

The characters are so real, I want to be friends with them. Plus so many music references – as Audrey said, “You’re finally speaking my language!”

Favourite quote: “If you really want to know something about me, you should know this: I like my music loud. I mean loud. I’m not talking the kind of loud where your parents knock on your bedroom door and ask you to turn it down. Please. That’s amateur hour. When I say loud, I mean you-can’t-even-hear-your-parents-knocking-and-the-neighbors-are-putting-a-FOR-SALE-sign-on-their-house-and-moving-to-another-block-because-they-can’t-handle-the-constant-noise-anymore loud. You have to turn it up so that your chest shakes and the drums get in between your ribs like a heartbeat and the bass goes up your spine and fizzles your brain and all you can do is dance or spin in a circle or just scream along because you know that however this music makes you feel, it’s exactly right.”

3) Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

Do I even need to say anything?

Best back story: Prisoner of Azkaban (it was my favourite for the longest time) – the Marauders were amazing; and

Best series ending: Deathly Hallows – I love how she tied everything together.

4) Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Probably my earliest experience with death in a book. I remember being devastated when Charlotte died (I was about 7. This was also the one and only time I was sad about a spider’s death). My oldest sister (Vanessa) read it to me around the same time we read Anne of Green Gables together and it was an emotional year (Matthew’s death traumatized me for life).

Tearjerking moment: when three of Charlotte’s children decide to stay with Wilbur…even though the idea of a sack of spider eggs freaks me out.

5) Coraline – Neil Gaiman

Ask me again in a couple of years, and I’ll likely have replaced Coraline with Neverwhere (heck, half this list will probably be Gaiman-ized by then). A lot of Coraline’s story stayed with me in the 10+ years between my first and second reading of it: the dismembered hand, the button eyes…Scary but oh so good.

Creepiest scene in a children’s book: the three ghost children behind the mirror, especially when they explain that the Other Mother has their souls.

6) The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

We read it in grade seven and it was my favourite book we were ever required to read. Plus Hinton was only in her teens when she wrote it, which makes it even more impressive. My dad read it relatively recently and I kept flipping through it whenever he put it down. The ending made (makes) me cry.

Memorable quote: “Stay gold, Ponyboy.”

7) Wicked Lovely series – Melissa Marr

Easily one of the best YA fairy series I’ve read (sounds specific but you’d be surprised at how many YA fairy series there actually are). Extremely well written and fascinating. Also had one of the best series’ ending.

Best bromance despite being from separate courts: Seth, the Summer Queen’s beloved/the High Queen’s adopted son, and Niall, the Dark King – especially in my favourite book, Fragile Eternity (#3). They’ve always been my favourite characters, and I loved that they both had bigger roles in the second half of the series.

8) Gemma Doyle trilogy – Libba Bray

Admittedly, I don’t remember many of the details from this trilogy, but Libba Bray is one of my favourite authors and I’ve always loved her writing style. On my “to re-read” list.

Memorable scene: That time when Kartik turned into a tree and fans had a collective heart attack. I was distraught, at the time, but the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. Plus The Sweet Far Thing was the first book to set me on the “endings don’t always have to be happy” route, which has definitely influenced me as a reader and a writer.

9) Archer’s Goon – Diana Wynne Jones

It took two readings before I fully figured out what happened. She took a basic idea (boy who doesn’t know he has powers) and exploded it into something completely new. You think you know what’s going on but then there’s the bombshell at the end and you’re all “WHAAAAAT the heck just happened?” Extremely well done.

Best set of siblings: Torquil and Hathaway. And Awful gets a shout out because, despite what her nickname suggests, she was hilarious.

10) Northanger Abbey – Jane Austen

A bookworm who has trouble separating fiction from reality – I relate to Catherine Morland on so many levels. (Sidenote: the “retelling” by Val McDermid is only good if you like stupidly stereotypical teen protagonists).

Best (Austen) hero (in my opinion): Henry Tilney. Mr. Darcy’s great and all, but you have to give Mr. Tilney props: he knows full well how naive and silly Catherine can be and yet still puts up with her. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is.

Northanger Abbey – Val McDermid

In third year, I took a Jane Austen course. It was delightful (I recommend any English lit course with Dr. King who is basically a legend), and I came away from it thinking “Pride and Prejudice is great, but I like Persuasion and Northanger Abbey better.”

This week, I read a modernized “retelling” of Northanger Abbey.

“Cat Morland is ready to grow up. A homeschooled minister’s daughter in the quaint, sheltered Piddle Valley in Dorset, she loses herself in novels and is sure there is a glamorous adventure awaiting her beyond the valley’s narrow horizon. So imagine her delight when the Allens, neighbours and friends of her parents, invite her to attend the Edinburgh Festival as their guest. Armed with a sunny personality, show tickets every night and a few key wardrobe additions, Cat begins to take Edinburgh by storm and is taken into the bosom of the Thorpe family, particularly by eldest daughter Bella. And then there’s the handsome Henry Tilney, an up-and-coming lawyer whose family home is the beautiful and forbidding Northanger Abbey. Cat is entranced by Henry and his charming sister Eleanor, but she can’t help wondering if everything about them is as perfect as it seems. Or has she just been reading too many novels? A delectable, note-perfect modern update of the Jane Austen classic, Northanger Abbey tells a timeless story of innocence amid cynicism, the exquisite angst of young love, and the value of friendship.”

First, let’s talk about the things I loved:

-It took place in Edinburgh. I’ve never been to their Festival (though I would love to go), but I’ve been to the city so it was relatively easy to imagine.

-Henry Tilney has always been my favourite Austen-hero*(since taking that course a few years ago), so imagining him with a Scottish accent made him absurdly attractive in my head.

*This might be because I loved him in the 2007 movie. He was wonderful.

-Catherine Morland is a fantastic heroine because – no matter which version – I can relate to her: a bookworm who prefers fiction to reality and has a hard time separating the two aka a synopsis of my life.

-The fictional “Hebridean Harpies” series, which I wish was real because they sound fabulous and I would read them so flippin’ fast.

-I could still feel the Austen vibe, despite the modernized language and plot elements.

Things I didn’t like:

-Apart from the “Hebridean Harpies” books, the only other book Cat constantly referenced was Twilight. On one page she compared the sleek interior of Northanger Abbey to the Cullens’ home, but then 20-30 pages later, she made almost the exact same reference. Because we all know Twilight is the only young adult vampire series to exist in the entire world. *rolls eyes*

-Bella and John Thorpe…though to be fair, I hated them in the original too. There were some Bella moments that brought back bad memories of a failed friendship so I was impressed about how realistic she was (and also a little discomfited).

-I don’t want to sound condescending or ageist or anything, but I’ve noticed that when authors of an older generation write in the “younger” voice, they ALWAYS use stereotypes. Their characters always text in abbreviations (that I can barely understand because I never used them myself); they always have to mention social media in multiple forms (i.e. “Don’t worry, you can check Twitter and Facebook later” “I’ll be on Twitter and Facebook all the time” “No wifi means I can’t check Twitter and Facebook”); and the pop culture references are always (I’m going to sound like such a hipster, I’m so sorry) mainstream (such as the aforementioned obsession with Twilight). It might just be a personal pet peeve, though.

I’m not sure what category this retelling falls into (it could technically be YA, but because it’s a classic, is it considered something else?), but I did really enjoy it. If you’re a fan of the original, I definitely recommend it.