Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Playing Some Hunger Games at Twilight in the City of Bones

Sure - people have been turning books into movies for a really long time. Gone With the Wind, anyone? Wuthering Heights? But, is it just me, or has it become a new theme lately? Especially with regards to books that were written for teens and tweens. It seems to me that the recent popular trend started with the Harry Potter juggernaut. Then, a little thing called Twilight came along.

I'm betting that, if you're reading this blog, that you've probably read the books. Heck - you've probably already seen Breaking Dawn Part 2 that just opened in theaters last Friday. I'm not ashamed to say that I have. And I loved it. But, that's a conversation for another day.

The question I have is, are these movies stifling our creativity and imagination? When you picture Katniss Everdeen, does the girl in your head look like Jennifer Lawrence?

I started reading the Harry Potter books about halfway through the movie releases. I caught up right before the seventh movie was released. But, while I was reading all of the books, I had movie stills in my head while reading. Might I have pictures Hogwarts differently had I not seen the movies first?

And, it seems as if the phenomenon isn't contained to just the silver screen. It's been known for awhile now that the CW is looking to turn The Selection into a series. And, more recently made known is the plan to turn the ridiculously popular novel Outlander into a series on Starz. 

It seems like 2013 will be the year of the YA book movies. Warm Bodies, Beautiful Creatures, City of Bones, Catching Fire - you better get reading, my friends. Or not. It seems that, even if you don't want to read the books, someone else will show you how it's supposed to look.

So, what do you think? Do you enjoy seeing your favorite books being made into movies? Or, would you rather use your own imagination to picture the characters and worlds in your head?


  1. Great post, Krista. I do love seeing my favorite books brought to the big screen, but most of the time I try to read the book first because it's nearly always better and I hate spoilers. They don't get bigger than the big screen.

    That being said, it's really not that big a deal for me personally, because of the way I process books. I'm not very visual about them. Often my mental impression of a character doesn't match how they are described in the book let alone cast.

    For example, the author might describe the heroine as a brainy blonde. I undoubtedly will NOT picture her as blonde at all. Setting aside the stereo type for a second (it's just easier to explain useing one) what I'm really getting at is that I more feel the characters than see them. So having the movie try to set the mental image for me really isn't that big a deal for me.

  2. Yeah I'm the same. I don't really visualize everything, but if I've seen the movie/series before reading the story. I'll visualize the characters as they are in the book.
    The important thing is the overall feeling. Does it correspond with the feeling the book gave me? It's kinda hard to explain, but the feeling/mood from the Hungergames movie corresponded great with the feeling I've got while reading thebook. Which, for me, makes it a great booktomovie translation.

  3. I agree with Ren about the 'feeling' thing. The feeling I get when the camera swoops round Hogwarts is so similar to the 'feeling' I have when reading about the layout/descriptions in the book so is fine.

    I'm looking forward to all the movies coming out next year. I'm interested to find out how well they will do in comparison to Harry Potter & Twilight.

    Ooh and don't forget The Host! :)

  4. For me the way characters look is a bit of a feeling, but often when I see a movie I do realize I pictures that character very differently. For example Harry Potter, in the movie his hair looks way too neat, while in the book it is always being mentioned how messy it is.
    I do like to see the movies, but I prefer the images I have in my head. I agree with Ren about the Hunger Games, that movie had mostly the same feel as the book. Although I did picture some characters and events differently, katniss does look like I imagined her mostly.

  5. Great post Krista! I have to agree and say that I must read a book before I even see previews for the movie. I don't want the actors to be who I picture when I read the story, you know? Oddly enough though, the Harry Potter cast vividly looks like who I pictured in the books (which I read years before the movies came out).

  6. Love the post. For me I like seeing the books on the screen but I prefer reading them generally. I like to form my own opinions first about what the characters look like and the settings as well. MY imagination is quite visual for the most part. I do agree with other comments though that the feeling is the most important part