Let’s Talk… How do the Hunger Games movies stack up to the books?

In March of 2012, Lionsgate released the movie The Hunger Games to movie theaters across the globe, thereby blowing up the already popular fandom. Quickly, people who never read the books (I had just read the books since my friends were excited for the movies) were getting into the conversation. Over the next 3 years, 3 more movies were released to the world, bringing the trilogy into a 4 movie extravaganza. Also, not sure if ya’ll know this or not, but they are turning the prequel The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes into a movie as announced by the Hollywood Reporter.

I am always skeptical of movies adapted from books. A lot of the time, those movies just can’t really compare, so I always feel like I need to talk about the movies as separate entities. While I will always recommend you read the books before you see the movie, I also understand that there are a lot of people who don’t like to read (which like, thanks for stopping by if that’s you). So with that being said, and because I truly am an entertainment garbage heap, I am here to give you a review on both!

So I’m going to talk about the first two movies, and then I will be discussing the second two. I group them this way, because the first two follow the books almost to a t. There were many times while I was reading where I could perfectly see the movie in my head. There were very few things that were changed or added (thank you for not making us sit through hours of Cato being tortured), and they really were good adaptations.

And then we get to the last two movies. Firstly, I don’t think we really needed the last book to be two movies. And if you are looking at “was the large majority of the book represented in the movies?” the answer is yes. The problem is the amount of filler. While I understand that they wanted to show the unrest in the districts, at a certain point they just put stuff in to make the book into two movies (and I mean, Harry Potter did it, so we had to do it, right?). And unlike the first two, I couldn’t really picture scenes from the movies as I was reading.

I’m always going to have a special place in my heart. While I was really struggling with anxiety issues, I would put these movies on to help me go to sleep (which now that I’m thinking about it, is something I really should talk to a therapist about), so I could probably quote most of the movies. With that being said, read the books. Thanks for coming to my TEDtalk.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

How I Read It: Audiobook

Dates Read: 12/2/19-12/4/19

How I Found It: Goodreads

Let me mention, I am writing this review before seeing the movie (although if you scroll down, you can see my opinions on the movie, too), so this section of the review is only about the book. This book reminded me a lot of Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society in that it is written through a series of letters and the humor behind the stories are similar.

Bernadette Fox was an incredible architect who found ways of incorporating uncommon objects in her projects. When her final project gets bulldozes, Bernadette has to face the grief that comes from that loss. Many years later, Bernadette lives in Seattle with her husband, Elgin, who is a Microsoft leader in robotics, and their 15-year-old daughter, Bee.

Bee decided that she wanted her graduation gift to be a trip to Antarctica. Bernadette, who has become a bit of a recluse, started to freak out over the trip, which exacerbated issues within the family.

Many of the mom’s at Bee’s public school are what Bernadette calls “gnats”. Specifically, Audrey Griffin is the worst gnat of all. Soon, their feud builds to a breaking point, including a mudslide. This behavior begins to worry Elgin, and he decides to hold an intervention to get Bernadette help.

So that’s when things get weird. Elgin began looking for comfort from his admin, Soo-Lin, who is best friends with Audrey, as they prepare for his TED talk and impending trip to Antarctica. When Audrey gets copies of Soo-Lin’s and Elgin’s emails, she warns Bernadette of the intervention. Bernadette ends up sneaking away and eventually was found in Antarctica only to sneak away again. Told from the story of Bee, it shows the love between a mother and daughter and how that connection can’t be topped.

My biggest issue with this book is Bee. The entire time I listened to the story, I assumed Bee had to be younger than she actually is. It threw me off the entire story and constantly bugged me. Also, what 15-year-old is in 8th grade?

I was super drawn into this book, even taking time when I was home from work to listen to the novel. There is a certain humor (similar to Fredrik Backman) that is both cynical and hilarious. My biggest complaint with this book, sans the whole Bee situation, is that it just wasn’t overly memorable. There are books that I will remember forever and there are books that I read just for the sake of saying I read them, and this one will fall in the latter, which is really disappointing, because by all accounts, it should have been niche for me. I am going to have to rank this book 3.5 out of 5 stars, with a “maybe I will come back to it one day”.

After watching the movie, I am impressed by just how close it follows the book. Obviously, time-wise, certain sections of the book were cut out, but more or less the rest of the movie does a really good job. Also, the credit scene of her architecture project is incredible and so satisfying!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Five Feet Apart by Rachael Lippincott

How I Read It: Print

Dates Read: 7/7/19

The box is so cute!

Today I am going to attempt to read the November 2018 box (I know man, I’m late to the party). I have told myself that I cannot watch the movie (although, man, I really want to) until I finish the book. So here we are!

Every box comes with a 3×5 print!
The magical cover!

Page 2

First gift time! I can’t tell you really anything about the story, though the cover is by Stella’s sister. No idea who Stella is other than her lungs suck. Yea, I got nothing.

This one is supposed to be a picture of Stella and her sister. Here’s the thing. Cool idea, but what am I supposed to do with that? I’m not going to keep a picture of 2 girls I have never met for the sake of a box.

Page 210

Wow. A lot has happened. Basically, there is this girl, Stella. She has an amazing personality, but really crappy lungs. She has cystic fibrosis, and thanks to an infection, she is stuck in the hospital. Then there is Will. He has been in hundreds of hospital thanks to an infection of B. cepacia, which basically means that he has a bunch of bacteria growing in his lungs that laugh in the face of antibiotics. Like, antibiotics literally do nothing. For them to be with 6 feet of each other would spell death for both of them. They meet, and as all these types of books go, they begin to fall for each other.

Unlike the first gift, I could actually use this (if I wasn’t useless in the kitchen). It is rubber and it seems durable, so we’ll see if I end up breaking it out every once in a while!

Page 225

Ummmmmm… EXCUSE ME?!?!?!?!

You can’t just do that to me! That was completely uncalled for and I am going to be writing a STRONGLY worded letter!

OOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I love it! It is so cute and so in my comfort zone and I am going to be wearing this! Don’t you worry your little heart about that!

Page 262

AND I’m crying. I normally wouldn’t have ripped open this gift right away (shout out to my fingerprints that immediately ruined my shot, but I was hoping there was going to be a drawing AND THERE WAS! And while I won’t tell you the ending, because spoilers are no fun, I am so incredibly amazed by this book! What a great Sunday!

Five Feet Apart Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6472976/

They did an incredible job of matching the movie to the book. There obviously were details that were taken out, but the movie took the time to match other details from the book that I wasn’t expecting to see in the movie. It wasn’t a movie that I would watch over and over again, but it was a solid book adaption!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/Ebook

Dates Read: 7/4/19-7/5/19

Firstly, thank you for your patience. I know this post is a few hours late, and while I could give you all an excuse as to why I was unable to do it, the main reason was that I was tired. This author series has been so incredibly rewarding, but extremely draining. Thankfully, this series is coming to a close, and today’s post is on one of my “calm down” movies. As I have mentioned in other posts, I struggle with anxiety. My anxiety often manifests itself at night as I lay down to go to bed, and I watch movies to help go to sleep at night. This one is on the list of movies I have seen so often that I not only can recite lines, but I can easily fall asleep to it. Also, who wouldn’t feel instantly relaxed by Scott Eastwood?

This story follows Luke Collins, a bull rider out of North Carolina. He meets art history major, Sophia Danko, at a bar after his ride, and instantly their connection is palpable. The next day they go horseback riding together, and the rest is history. But Luke has a secret that forces him to keep riding, and Sophia has to decide what her next step in life is going to be. Mixed into their love story is the story of Ira Levinson, a haberdasher that happened to love an extremely increible woman, Ruth.

The book is strange. In a lot of ways, I think Nicholas Sparks added in elements that he knew sold well into a love story that really didn’t need those elements. Specifically, Brian. There was no need for the “bad guy” in this story, and it felt extremely clichéd. Even more so with the addition of Marcia.

The Longest Ride Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2726560/

Wow, the movie is its own entity. While the movie is based on the love stories, the overall arc of the movie is completely different than the book. The movie to me seems much more cohesive and the pathway from A to B makes more sense. It also felt very disingenuous that the book didn’t talk about the things that Sophia and Luke are interested in (considering their differing passions were a series of stress in their relationship), and the movie managed to showcase those passions without taking away from the original love story.

P.S. The woman who played Ruth is a phenomenal actress. She is going places, guys.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Choice by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 7/1/19-7/2/19

Man I love this book! This has been one of my favorites (mainly because I love the movie) for a few years, and I am glad to be doing a review!

This book follows Travis, the veterinarian and all-around-player-of-women, and his neighbor, Gaby, a physician’s assistant. When Gaby’s dog becomes pregnant, she suspects Travis’ dog as the culprit. But as they begin to get to know each other, she is forced to choose between Travis and her boyfriend. Overarching all of this is a tragedy, where Travis has to make the ultimate choice.

The ending (in my opinion) was WAY too long. There was no need for half of the last 100 pages. With that being said, I absolutely loved Part One of this book and I could have used more of that! It is one of those situations where you have to pick your poison.

The Choice Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3797868/

Shout out to my Internet for crapping out 10 minutes before the movie ended. It ended up working out because I had to clean up the puddle of tears at my feet, so whatever.

Oof, man. Oof. So some backstory about me. I have told you that my mom died when I was 18. While my mom was in the hospital, my dad stood beside her, took the 2 hour drive every weekend to be with her, and managed to still stay ever so present in my brother’s and my lives. Seeing what Travis is going through in the movie just hit me right in those feels, and I am trying to recover from that.

I think the movie did a better job of spacing the romance with the ending. My only fault is that characters were changed around almost haphazardly, and there were random storylines that were just thrown in there for good measure. But clearly I love the movie, so it doesn’t bother me too much.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Nights in Rodanthe by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/29/19-7/1/19

Meh. This book was okay, but it didn’t do anything for me. The romance was so short-lived and I didn’t really feel it.

This book follows Adrienne as she tells her daughter, Amanda, about her love affair with Paul Flanner. After a stay in an inn in Rodanthe, NC, where Adrienne covered as innkeeper for her friend, they became closer until the moment came that they wanted to bask in their closeness. But life seems to always catch up to them, and they have to make decisions about their love and their futures.

This one definitely was not my favorite, but it happens. While I think that Adrienne is incredibly strong, I don’t necessarily think that this love story was one of his best. With that being said, there are books for everyone and everyone for books, so just because I wasn’t on board doesn’t mean you won’t be!

Nights in Rodanthe Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0956038/

While the movie did a relatively good job of falling the book, I still found it lackluster. (P.S. James Franco is in the movie?!?!?!) At no point did I feel “love” and I just wasn’t into it. I think that the guy who played Robert Torrellson was incredibly good, though!

Side note: When I was in college (which is a great phrase to make me feel old), I told all my dorm-mates that the MOST romantic thing a movie could do is have wild horses running on the beach. They thought I was insane. But here’s the thing: I’m not. I knew it was real, but I couldn’t remember where I saw it. So to all those people: I TOLD YOU SO!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Dear John by Nicholas Sparks

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000OT8GCQ/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/24/19- 6/26/19

Happy Sunday and start of the final Nicholas Sparks week on this blog! Today is one with a lot of ups and downs for me. So, let’s get into it:

This story follows John Tyree, an Army soldier on leave from his base in Germany. When he meets Savannah, the quiet man discovers a new way of looking at his world, and thanks to her help, he builds a relationship with his father. When he returns back to Germany, they continue their relationship through letters. Just when they are within months of his Army career ending, September 11, 2001 happens. Feeling his civic duty, he signs for another tour. Quickly that act puts a strain on John’s and Savannah’s relationship, and they must decide if they can handle this new chain of events.

I personally was not fond of Savannah. She was too pushy and over-the-top for me, and I think that my review on this book would seem really negative if I didn’t say my feelings on the particular character. With that being said, I absolutely loved John. I think that he is exactly like all of us, just trying to understand and interpret the world. And to never really understand his father and to have this “hallelujah” moment of “oh, this is what I need to do to understand and be understood” is nice to see.

One of the things that I found disappointing about this book is the lack of Savannah’s point of view. While most of Spark’s books include both people’s POV, this one didn’t, so everything we interpreted was from John. Since he is clueless (but in a cute way), I never found myself caring about her, and that could account for my negative feelings towards her.

Dear John Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0989757/

Oof, hello surprise tears! I was not expecting to be sobbing, but here I am. I will say that I absolutely loved Channing Tatum as John. I think that he did a really good job of showcasing the confusion and frustration, while also showing the level of affection he had for his father. Amanda Seyfried as Savannah also minimized the things that I found annoying in the book.

With all that being said, I don’t think this movie is at the same level as some of his movies, and I didn’t find it as entertaining as his others.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Lucky One by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/23/19-6/24/19

I feel like the farther into this author series, the harder it is for me to start these. But we are just going to plow right on through! Welcome back to another day which is also FRIDAY, let’s party! Okay, I am not doing well here. Let’s just get into the synopsis, shall we?

Let’s start with Logan Thibault (pronounced Tee-bow). He was a marine in the Iraq war, where he found a photograph. That photograph became his saving grace, and he promised that he would find the woman in the picture and thank her for all the times she saved his life in the war. Using clues from the picture, he walked (along with his dog, Zeus) from Colorado to Hampton, NC to meet the woman, named Beth.

Beth is the granddaughter of the kennel owner, the ex-wife of the deputy sheriff, the mother of a son, and the sister of a marine. When Logan meets Beth, he takes the job at the kennels in order to be close to her. As they began to get close, their feelings began to grow until they completely consumed them. But the secret as to why he is there continues to build, especially as the ex-husband gets more involved.

I really enjoyed reading this book! My only issue with this one is the ending. I was getting closer and closer to the ending and felt nervous that the ending would not have the luxury of description and context the way the rest of the book. My fears were justified, and I wish the ending was given a few more pages of content just so the ending could be explained more.

The Lucky One Poster
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1327194/

I have no idea why I am so surprised when a movie follows a book well. Plus, Zac Efron isn’t bad to look at (don’t mind the blushing). I surprisingly have no complaints about this movie, which says a lot. If you are looking for a Nicholas Sparks movie that follows the book to a tee, here ya go!

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Ebook/ Audiobook

Dates Read: 6/21/19- 6/20/19

WELCOME BACK to a mess of a blog! Another day, another book, am I right? Okay, so it is pretty late at night and I am exhausted, so this is going to be an interesting review to say the least.

This book follows Katie, a waitress who just came to Southport, NC to get her new start in life. She meets Alex, the owner of the small grocery store down the street and the father of 2 children, Kristen and Josh. As she gets closer to the kids, her walls begin to fall down. But as her past (including her husband) catches up to her, her new reality is starting to break at the seams.

I have no problems with the romance, I am all for it. My issue is that it felt REALLY slow. At some point, I was just hoping this book would start to speed up again. I also think that Kevin got brought in really late in the story. I almost wish we got the backstory in bits and pieces than to have it all come out in one moment halfway through the book.

Josh Duhamel and Julianne Hough in Safe Haven (2013)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1702439/

Hold the heck up! You are just going to change the daughter’s name? That’s not cool bro.

Anyway, let’s get sappy. As I have mentioned before, I lost my mom when I was 18. One of the last movies I remember seeing in the theaters with my mom was this movie. We both left teary-eyed and feeling happy that we get moments like these. To rewatch it now, it hits right in the feels.

I like the way they gave the backstory, but the romance was super quick. It felt like her guard dropped way too quick for the past that she went through. It seemed like they tried to condense it for the sake of the movie, while taking away from the original pace of the love story.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!

The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks

How I Read It: Audiobook/ Ebook

Dates Read: 6/15/19-6/18/19

This book is probably one of my favorites by him. I think we have all had moments when we have thought “this would have happened if…”, and this book is the full representation of that. This story follows Dawson Cole, whose family is known for their violence and general negative demeanor. He meets Amanda Collier, whose family comes from the wealthier part of town. Defying all odds, they fall in love, but sadly, their time will come and go. After the death of a mutual friend, they find themselves together again, and they must decide whether their love is worth starting over, or that they should stay on their separate paths.

Similarly to The Notebook, I felt like the movie did a much better job of fleshing out their young love story. The book felt a little rushed over that part, but otherwise, I felt like the story was put to paper really well. I enjoyed hearing Amanda’s thought process as she interpreted every situation she found herself in, and I think that hearing from her how she found herself in the position of loving 2 men gives some perspective.

James Marsden, Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, and Luke Bracey in The Best of Me (2014)
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1972779/

Okay… so I might like the movie more than the book. While they also did a better job with the young love story, they also gave a better story for why Dawson ended up in prison. I felt like Sparks gave an extremely flimsy reason for his arrest, but the movie gives a reason that is not only more personal, but has already been fleshed out with the young love story.

With that being said, I am also glad that the focus was not on Abee and Ted. Their story in the book was a lot more mental conversations that showed how far from normal their mental capacities were, but the movie focused solely on Tommy Cole as the bad guy. Tommy is much more organized and that played well to camera.

If you guys have any thoughts or ideas, feel free to leave a comment, find me on the social medias at @elizabooksblog, or email me at elizabethslick@elizabethsbookstore.blog. And as always, I’ll see you all in the next book!