In general, I subscribe to the belief that the book is ALWAYS better and one should not judge a book by its movie or tv series. But I have found that there are exceptions to this rule! Sometimes a director/writer does a fabulous job of interpreting the text, and sometimes the story itself is actually better suited to be on-screen. Here are some of my favorite examples of books that are better movies or TV shows!
What: To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)
Why: While reading this book about a month ago, I remember thinking, “Why is everyone so in love with this? It would be a much better movie!” I think I even said that out loud to my husband! Flash forward to me now, and since the movie came out a week ago I have watched it 3 times already. I adore it. It kept the cuteness from the book, as well as the smart and funny characters. But it was even funnier and adorable because of the acting and dialogue. Lara Jean’s narration throughout the movie was wonderful, and the actor who plays Peter made him more likable than he is in the book. I was most worried about Kitty in the movie because she was my favorite character in the book. But (even though the movie aged her about 2 years) Kitty was still hilarious and great! The only thing I was missing a bit from the movie was the sister relationship, but honestly it’s fine.
What: Never Let Me Go (2010)
Why: Honestly this movie came out of nowhere for me. I watched it just because Carey Mulligan is in it, and it blew me away. It’s got gorgeous cinematography, the acting is top-notch, and the story unfolds beautifully and emotionally. And the relationship between the main 3 characters is heartbreaking, made even more sad based on their situation (which I won’t talk about because spoilers!). The book on the other hand is much more dry and doesn’t quite pack as much of a punch.
What: Atonement (2007)
Why: Well this is possibly my favorite movie of all time. It’s at least in the top 5. Similarly to “Never Let Me Go,” it’s shot so exquisitely that I can’t help but marvel at it. More time is spent getting to know the core characters and their nature so that we feel the affects of their time apart and how each event impacts their relationship to each other. It really is more of a study on how people can misinterpret and judge one another, and how powerful the strongest of love can be. The book, while very good, focuses more on the historical aspect of the story.
What: The Perks of Being A Wallflower (2012)
Why: This movie is just more uplifting than the book. I felt more sympathy for Charlie in the movie. I also liked his seeing the members of his friend group interact with each other more in the movie. And he has just so many expressive layers in the movie that make my heart ache for him… poor bb. Now if Emma Watson could just have a better American accent, all would be well.
What: Game of Thrones (2011-present)
Why: TBH the books just confuse me! And are so long! In TV format the stories are more action-packed and entertaining, and I can match a name to a face! And I can digest the story in hour-long increments as a show and not a daunting 1,000 page book. The only qualm I have about the show vs. the books is that there is much more unnecessary violent acts towards women in the show (eh hem SANSASTARK), but the book does some pretty terrible things to women to sooooo….*shrugs* All in all I would 100% recommend you watch the show and not read the books in this case.
What: The Vampire Diaries (2009-2017)
Why: I’ll just say it: these books were BORING. Elena was straight up unlikable and the fantasy element of it (vampires, werewolves freaking angels, etc.) was just corny. But this show is addicting as hell! Elena is caring and very much likable, and the other characters – namely Stefan, Damon, Matt, Katherine, and Caroline – are much more fleshed out. Their characters are actually interesting in the show, and the drama is less broody and boring.
What: Love, Simon (2018)
Why: I feel like I should first put the disclaimer that I freaking LOVE the book Simon vs. the Homosapiens Agenda. Like I reread it IMMEDIATELY after I finished it, that’s how much I loved it. That being said, the movie was somehow better?! Like it kept so much of the book in it not just verbatim in the lines, but the spirit of it was on point. Simon’s casting was perfect – his attitude and face and thought process were just my everything and he had the same aura that he had in the book. Abby was a cinnamon roll of adorable. Freaking BLUE and that ending. I LIVE FOR THAT ENDING. I have re-watched that ending at least 5 times. Just seeing Simon with his friend group and the love story all unfold with real people was such a pleasure.