Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations (or Some I Still Haven’t Seen But Want To!)

Posted July 9, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 30 Comments

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Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations
or Some I’ve Yet to See!

Movie adaptations are something I’m always afraid of:
will I love them, hate them, will they disappoint me even a little?
For this reason, I often hold off until the last minute or never even see them. 
I know, I’m pathetic. 
Here’s a mixed up list because I couldn’t even easily come up with TEN I’ve seen.

1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.

You know, I enjoyed this movie. I think there was one or two things I would’ve changed but overall I thought it was done pretty well. I went with a group of friends to a midnight showing and I thought it was a lot of fun. The camera action was a bit wonky, which made one of my friends really, really sick (I’m hoping they change that in the next movie so she doesn’t get sick this next time) but overall – nice adaptation, in my opinion. 

Plus, the anticipation leading up to this one was fun. Not my favorite book in this category/genre, but definitely a fun movie. 


2. The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness. 

These books are so precious to me that even though I’ve read them numerous times, I’ve never even been able to blog about them. I’ve read them in print, Kindle, and audiobook and I will keep re-reading them. I’ve read them alone and with friends. The thing is that I have this perfect image in my head of what everything looks like: the characters and the world, etc. So once the movie stills and posters and clips start coming out, EVERYTHING WILL BE RUINED as far as the movie I’ve made for myself. 

And it has to be perfect or I’ll cry forever. 
DRAMA! I know. But still. If you’re a fan, YOU KNOW. 


3. Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy.

Since I’ve (fairly) recently finished this one after taking months to read it 
I’m ready to take the plunge and read it. 
There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY the movie can be just like the book since the book is a chunky doorstopper at approximately 1000 pages, but I’m interested in seeing what the directer and producer have done with this one. As soon as I see this one, I’ll probably blog about my experiences with both the book and the movie. 

I’m nervous!! 


4. True Grit by Charles Portis.

Westerns aren’t my things in terms of BOOKS, but as far as MOVIES go, I ABSOLUTELY LOVE THEM. I love cowboys so much! On the day we decided to watch this movie, I actually went to the library to check out this book and read it before we put the movie on. I honestly didn’t love the book (remember, don’t love western books) but the movie adaptation was SPOT ON. It was amazing. I actually wouldn’t mind seeing it again! It stuck to the book really, really well and I highly recommend it! Great movie. 


5. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald 

I actually am one of the few people that I know that really enjoy this book and I want to see it so badly but I want to read it again first before I do. (#ReadIt1st) I think I’ll audiobook it! (Surprise, surprise) I’ve heard mixed things, but the people that I trust say it’s a very neat adaptation with an amazing soundtrack, so I’m really excited to read it soon and watch it! And then probably download the music. (:


6. The Road by Cormac McCarthy. 

Great book. Great movie. That is all. 


7. The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick.

Absolutely PHENOMENAL book. Just incredible. 
I want to see the movie, but I’ve heard that it isn’t like the book. So I’ll get to it, but at least I’m prepared and thankfully I read it first. (#ReadIt1st).

You guys, I am an absolute stickler for reading a book first. Period. 


8. Divergent by Veronica Roth.

I was not a huge fan of this book when I read it (It was okay, but nothing hugely special to me.) and I never went on to read Insurgent and am not excited about Allegiant because of my lukewarm feelings for the first book. BUT BUT I always give books second chances so before I see this movie, I will be re-reading this one. Pretty soon, too. HOWEVER, I can’t imagine that the movie will be even half as good as the book – even I can say that and I didn’t love the book. 


9. Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.

With the news of the casting of main male character Jamie Fraser this week, I’m terribly nervous about this one. I realize it isn’t exactly a “movie” but it’ll be on Starz, which is like a movie network that I cannot get, so that may as well be a movie to me! This book is so delectably deliciously good, and I’m very nervous but also hopeful that they get it right! Actually, I’m downright scared. Who am I kidding. SO MUCH ROOM FOR ERROR. The fans of this series are numerous and serious about their love for these books, so hopefully they’ll pay particular attention in the making of it. Still, I’m also excited! Lots of emotions about this one. 


10. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

I’ve had this on my shelf for ages but recently decided that I’m ready to read it. I know there’s a movie but OF COURSE I will read it first. (#ReadIt1st). I’m not sure how the movie is in relation to the book or even if I’ll like the book (probably, seems like an Asheley book) but I will ABSOLUTELY have the movie anxiety that I ALWAYS get. But I’ll definitely watch it because I’ve heard James Franco is in it. So, there’s that. 



1. Fantastic Mr. Fox – I loved this adaptation but because the book is so short, Wes Anderson had to add to the beginning and the end of it. The actual book is the part that comprises the middle of the movie, and it is pretty spot-on and wonderful. This is one of my all-time favorite movies and a fantastic Dahl book. 
2. Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief – I absolutely adore this entire book series but the movie: NO. HOWEVER, since the second movie, coming out soon, has Nathan Fillion in it, I will definitely absolutely without-a-doubt be seeing it. (Browncoats forever. Yes, I am a dork.)
3. The Twilight Saga – I will always love these movies. I will always love these books. Are the the best adaptations? NO. But who the heck cares? The last thirty minutes of the last movie made up for EVERYTHING and, well, if you’ve seen it YOU KNOW. No spoilers from me. 


I don’t watch a lot of adaptations! 
Or movies, for that matter! 

I need TONS AND TONS of recs! 
Please help??!!

Share your favorites?? 
Don’t forget to leave me your link and 

I’ll do better this week about visiting back! Promise. 



About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


30 responses to “Ten Best/Worst Movie Adaptations (or Some I Still Haven’t Seen But Want To!)

  1. NATHAN FILLION! I knew I loved you for a reason, Asheley! I have The Lightning Thief on my worst list, but I love the book, and I just LOVE Nathan Fillion, so I might have to suffer through the Sea of Monsters just for him 😉

    Great list, lady!

  2. I'm very excited for the Outlander series. A wee bit nervous but mostly excited. Can't wait to hear more casting news. On to book 4 I go…

  3. They are making Ness's books into movies!!!??? NOOOOO!! I hate when they take my favorite book and make them into movies, its like the book becomes less mine, does that make sense??? LOL.

    Anyways- I think the best movie to book Ive seen is Never Let Me Go….I think the worst- Twilight and The Time Travelers Wife…oh and My Sisters Keeper….and they did a terrible job with White Oleander! Im excited to see Divergent and Gone Girl.

    • Makes perfect sense, Tina! That's exactly the same way I feel about Chaos Walking. Don't want movies!!

      Never Let Me Go is one that I've seen on both best and worst lists today – which is interesting. I haven't read it yet (so I haven't seen the movie, since I'm really particular about that) but I do want to. I have it on my shelves and I have the audiobook to go along with it. I didn't realize they'd made a movie out of White Oleander but I liked that book!

    • I can't wait to re-read Gatsby so I can watch that one. I'm SO EXCITED about it. I wasn't the hugest fan of Divergent, but I do want to see what they do with the movie. Lots of people seem to be super excited for it.

  4. I really enjoyed The Great Gatsby too! And because of that, I am avoiding the movie. They can't possibly do it justice, so why even try? I loved Silver Linings Playbook so so so much. And I did read the book first. But I also loved the movie, but do fully warn you they changed ALOT. But really, its a hard movie to put into play considering just how much of it happens inside Pat's head and it's over a longer period of time. I mean, Pat and Tiffany's relationship takes alot of time and slowly grows in the book. Showing that on screen would have taken forever. So prepare for that, but I really liked it.

    • About Silver Linings Playbook – that book is INCREDIBLE – I wish more people would read it before seeing the movie!! But since I've read and loved it, I'm ready for the movie. And you're right, much of it IS inside Pat's head so it does make sense that it would be difficult to put into the movie – great point. I'm prepared for a difference but still so glad I read it first. Excited for Quick's next book to. 🙂

  5. You definitely must see the new Great Gatsby movie adaption! I saw it twice in theatres and loved it both times. Reading the book again first is probably a good idea (after watching the movie I want to read it again!) but after you do YOU MUST SEE IT. I feel like it's a bit of a hit or a miss amongst Gatsby fans, but you can't kick it till you try it. 🙂

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

    • I feel pretty certain I'll like it – there's so much I've read and seen about it that I already love – but I'm definitely reading it soon so I can watch it soon. I can't wait. It's probably (along with Silver Linings Playbook and Anna Karenina) my most anticipated adaptation that I want to see. The thing is that I just don't watch a love of TV and I hardly ever go to the movies, so the question is WHEN WILL I DO THIS? Soon, hopefully!! 🙂

  6. Good grief, I didn't know that the Chaos Walking series OR Outlander were being adapted for film! I need to get with the program! I loved Eat, Pray, Love (we've discussed this) but I haven't seen the film in it's entirety yet. But the casting of Javier Bardem as the love interest? PERFECT:) Damn he is SEXY.

    Great list!

    • OH GIRL. The guy they chose to play Jamie in Outlander is PRECIOUS. With an accent to boot. But it'll be on Starz and I don't have that channel, so I'll have to figure out how to see it cause it'll drive me crazy that the world is watching without me (even though I'll be nervous).

      Chaos Walking – I can't even. I don't know what to do with that one. I love those too much to even put actors' faces with my own created images. It hurts.

      I'm definitely gonna try to do Eat Pray Love this summer. I have the book on my shelf over there and I just need to DO IT. Even if I have to read it while I'm reading ten other books. I've heard mixed things about both the book and the movie, though, but I don't care. I want to see what it's all about.

  7. I quite enjoyed The Silver Linings Playbook movie – I thought it had a great blend of serious emotion and lighthearted humor – but I haven't read the book yet! Have heard lots of good things though, so I'm hoping I'll like it as much, if not more, than the film.

    • Haha, I just didn't jump onto that one along with everyone else. It was okay (read: meh) but I'll be re-reading it before too long so I can see the movie. Sometimes I just DON'T UNDERSTAND THE HYPE and this was one of those cases!!

  8. I also don't watch that many adaptations it's very hard to impress me when it comes to this). But from all the lists I've visited I know everyone should read and watch The Princess Bride, LOTR series, White Oleander, Pride and Prejudice (2005 version mostly) and The Perks of Being a Wallflower (which I enjoyed personally, as well).

    • I've only recently watched The Princess Bride for the first time EVER a few months ago! Can you believe that? Embarrassing, almost. ALMOST. I still haven't read or seen Pride and Prejudice and that is really high on my list – I'll be doing that one very soon.

  9. I do not always read a book before watching the movie, I tend to be strategic with my reading time and if I'm not super interested in the story I'll just go for the movie. (I feel like I need to duck after that). However I've avoided Silver LInings Playbook, b/c the book sounded so fantastic when you reviewed it that I feel I need to read before I see it. I really liked The Hunger Games and Twilight saga movies as well. No shame! I'm nervous about Divergent, but willing to give it an open mind. I can't even imagine what Chaos Walking will be like! Also, have you seen both True Grit movies or just the most recent one? I've heard the 1969 one is good too, tho I've only watched the most recent.

    • The Silver Linings Playbook is a FANTASTIC BOOK. Just so so good, in my opinion. I could hardly believe it. I've actually only seen the newest True Grit movie but I was told by my trustworthy father-in-law that the older one is fantastic, and I probably ought to watch it one day. I love "cowboy movies" so I feel like I'd probably like it. I didn't love the book but the newer movie was really great.

  10. I can't believe your thoughts on Divergent!! I loved that book! I loved Insurgent too! This just goes to show… ya never know how a person will feel about a book! 🙂
    I've had Eat Pray Love for a long time and never got around to reading it! My mother in law actually took it with her last time she was here. haha

    • EVERYONE loved Divergent! I don't like hype, though, so it was already squashed like a dead bug to me before I even started it. I'll re-read as always and maybe I'll like it when on the re-do. I plan to audio + print for my second go round because I've heard the audiobook is pretty good.

      I've heard really mixed things about Eat Pray Love – I've got it on my shelves and it's been sitting there for ages – it sounds like an Asheley book, to be quite honest – and I loved mixed reviews. And I really want to see the movie. So maybe I can squish that one into my mix before the end of the summer or the early fall. Hopefully.

  11. Haha, so yeah. The only one I've seen here is The Hunger Games. I do want to see Great Gatsby though, even though I haven't read the book (I'm not one of those who have to read the book before seeing the movie, luckily), just not sure when I'll get around to it. And yes to the Chaos Walking, which I also listed. I really have been dying to reread those books as well, since I haven't read them since they first came out. Will do so soon. It makes me happy to see someone else who has reread and still has mad love for them. I'm always worried that I'll reread a book and it won't be as good for some reason!

    • I'm an intense re-reader, sometimes to a fault, I think. I will re-read over and over and over and it only makes me love books more!

      But I'm seriously FUNNY about reading a book before seeing a movie. I finally did see The Silver Linings Playbook the other day and I was VERY GLAD I read the book first. The movie was good but it was so different from the book I could barely believe it! They were both good in their own ways, but the book is FAR SUPERIOR.

  12. I really need to read Silver Linings Playbook, don't I? I wanted to love the movie but some of the constant yelling/shouting just stressed me out. I could feel my blood pressure rising and they were giving me major anxiety with all of the arguing! I still think the movie was well done but I feel like I need to read the book since I'll probably like it much more 🙂

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