There is nothing better than finding a book that makes us feel all the feels. And that moment, when you read the final page, you put your head back and close your eyes, envisioning exactly what the characters look like and how their houses are decorated is pure bliss. When I first read the Harry Potter series as an adult, I delighted in imagining the Weasley’s tree house, Harry’s hideaway under the stairs and Hagrid’s beard. Hogsworth came to life in my head and it was perfection.
When I heard that Harry and his friends were coming to the big screen, I was leery. What if they screwed up my version of Diagon Alley? What if Hermione didn’t look as I’d imagined? What if Dobby scared the shit out of me? It was almost too much to bear: because we all know how much it sucks when movie producers mess with our beloved books, right?
How many times have we heard, “Meh, the movie was good but the book was better?”
Thankfully, JK Rowling and her crew didn’t disappoint and Hogsworth was even better than I’d imagined. Though, Dobby still made me want to hide. I was able to watch the movies and not be completely ticked off that a Hollywood director had not completely ruined my imagination.
While there are plenty of books that have hit the silver screen that have made us run for the hills, there are a few that we love. Even if they are a little cheesy. Don’t judge okay? Book movies are HARD.
Set in Jackson, Mississippi in 1962, Kathryn Stockett’s book The Help was a smash hit when it hit the shelves. With the backdrop of the civil rights movement, Stockett wove a tale of a young white woman who fought to tell the stories of the black women who cared for her and her community. And the story was epic. The movie? Even better. Because three words: The. Pie. Scene. Trust us on this one.
Based on the book Simon vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, 16 year old Simon Spier is a not out yet average teen. But, his truth threatens to be exposed when an email he writes lands in the wrong hands. “Simon has to find a way to step out of his comfort zone before he’s pushed out—without alienating his friends, compromising himself, or fumbling a shot at happiness with the most confusing, adorable guy he’s never met.” The book was transcendent. The movie will leave you cheering.
A long summer weekend proves life changing for a mother and her son when a mysterious man comes into their lives. With her masterful storytelling, Joyce Maynard takes us on an unforgettable journey. You will devour the book and the movie will be your sexy dessert. And, let’s face it: staring at Josh Brolin for two hours doesn’t suck either, right?
“Nights in Rodanthe”
Okay, yes, this one is arguable. But, come on: the Outer Banks beach setting? Richard Gere and Diane Lane? Romantic scenes that make you want to swoon and feel sand in your toes with your beloved? Oh, and Viola Davis playing the best friend? Yes, please. Sorry, folks, but I’m declaring this one a win.
“The Hate U Give”
Just. Watch. This. Movie. When. It. Comes. Out. In. October. Enough said.
“Crazy Rich Asians”
Okay, listen: Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians is a mega best seller. Think Amy Tan meets Sophie Kinsella, only, it’s a dude. If you love books with dysfunctional families who wear couture in Asia, run don’t walk to buy Crazy Rich Asians, trust. I loved it! And, sidebar: Kwan’s subtitles and footnotes are HILARIOUS. And now, the movie is coming in August? Sign. Us. Up.
For anyone who has ever felt out of place or awkward because of their body, Wonder reminds us that beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder. August Pullman, affectionately known as Auggie, is a 5thgrade boy with a facial deformity who wants to attend school like the other “normal” kids. Lovingly written by R. J. Palacio, Auggie has taught us more about being kind to those around us in 320 pages than we’ve learned in a lifetime. Choose Wonder. Choose Kind. Always. And then watch this movie so you can cry your eyes out and feel good about humanity.
We love books, yes, but we also love the escapism that movies bring to our lives. Also? We love an excuse to eat popcorn smothered in more butter allowed by law but that’s a different story. The point is that the book will always be better than the movie but, sometimes, Hollywood magic comes together in just the right way to make the books we love shine.