Right now, in the aftermath of Thirteen Reasons Why (see my opinion on this in this post), the book has become widely popular again. The book is back at the top of the best sellers lists. While the book has been about 10 years old, the hype is back, all of this because of the new tv series.
For writers, the new wave of book adaptations is a gold mine, that is, for the writers that wrote the books the adaptations are based upon. Books are sold like hot cakes, and for the fans of the series or movie, it often opens a whole new world (namely that of books). There are a lot of teenage girls (and boys of course) out there that don’t read on a daily basis or even weekly basis, like most of us here in the bookish community do, and for those, sitting down to read a book is the exception instead of the rule. Actually, I got into reading The Mortal Instruments series because of the movie and that lead to me reading all of the books and eventually even more books.
Having such an “easy” way into reading, namely by reading a book with a story you already know and love, can just make the difference between becoming a bookworm and not becoming one.
Sometimes the movie or series captures beautifully the vibe of the book, which is an incredibly hard thing to do. This is something that sets the tone of the entire adaptation and also the way in which it is received by the fans, and if the person is not a fan yet, this can cause some annoyances. Often the fans that are fans because of the movie/series, and not because of the book, are often considered not real fans, which is, of course, nonsense, because the word itself already implies that all you need to do to be a fan is loving something.
Examples of amazing series are not hard to find, The Hunger Games is one of those, with amazing acting, it’s a beautiful book-to-screen adaptation with almost all the original aspects kept. Thirteen Reasons Why, of course, needs to be put on this list, and the Harry Potter movies obviously as well.
Personally, I’m not always on the bright side of the adaptations, for example, the Shadowhunter series, I think is a bit “meh”. There are many things changed, which is a disadvantage of adaptations. Many of these adapted books already have a big fandom, and when the book is adapted to the screen, this can cause a lot of disappointment and even anger under these fans. The adaptation doesn’t always do the book justice or simply changed so much it’s barely the same story anymore.
I don’t like it when the actors in the movie don’t match the idea in my head, and that image on the screen then adapts the entire image in my head. The characters of the adaptation then merge together with the original and somehow form an entirely different image, which is something that I don’t particularly like. Especially, when the characters are very different. I can no longer see Clary as how she was in my head (you know, with actually bright red hair and being very short), all I see is a merged picture of Katherine McNamara and Lily Collins.
Several examples of series that were on the “meh” side of book adaptations (according to me) are Shadowhunters (the characters are changed a lot and not always in good ways, acting isn’t very good, but on the other hand, there is a lot of diversity added), The Hundred (ugh just horrible, those characters, I can’t stand them and how dare they delete my somewhat favourite character), Wayward Pines (the first season was amazing, the second not. at. all.).
There are many many tv-adaptations or movies I haven’t watched yet, simply because I’m afraid it won’t match up to my expectations. So whether it would be better there was no adaptation at all or whether there is a bad adaptation, that’s a question yet to be answered. I don’t know. I guess having more people in the fandom and creating a reason for people to read more, is amazing, but the adaptation can also be very disappointing.
What’s your opinion on adaptations, good or bad? Would you want to see an adaptation of your favourite book or series? I would love to see an adaptation of the Lunar Chronicles, but what if it’s not like I imagine it to be, it would be extremely disappointing. Which book would you want to see adapted? What’s your favourite adaptation?