Rose’s comprehensive list of the best book-movie adaptations

   With the COVID-19 pandemic, we are stuck inside of our homes more than ever. In response to such an unprecedented turn of events, I became a book/movie critic. Netflix became my second home, and it soon felt like I had watched everything. The site Thriftbooks was bookmarked on my computer, and I did not look back.

   Starting in November, I thought of an experiment I could do to make watching movies in isolation more exciting since it was becoming a real drag after six months of the same thing. Combining my love for reading, I set out to rank some of the most popular book-movie combos. I took both the book and the movie into consideration, and I only chose series that I had already read.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The books in this series were amazing. Collins does a wonderful job of setting the dystopian feel of the novel and immediately grabbing the reader’s attention. The movies, however, were underwhelming. The first movie, depicting the first book of the trilogy, was delivered by Jennifer Lawerence playing the strong female lead, Katniss Everdeen. I felt lost by the second movie with the onslaught of sudden deaths that were not explicitly explained like those of the novels.

  1. Divergent by Veronica Roth

Admittedly, I read this trilogy a long time ago when my mom had grounded me and I had nothing else to do. I think that fact can allude to my thoughts on the books. While I was consumed by the first book, similar to the first movie of The Hunger Games series, the third book was a bit of a  disappointment. The writing was great, but I felt as though the ending of the trilogy did not really match with not only the prequels before but the movie itself. The movies focus more so on the romance between characters Tris and Four (but what else can we expect from Hollywood?).

  1. Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Lord of the Flies is a classic amongst avid readers, and I am no exception. The story follows the journey of a group of boys that are left stranded on a tropical island and their desperate attempts to form some sort of structure amidst one another. I loved the book so much that I had my club read it during my junior year along with a movie day to conclude. The novel is relatively short, and there is only one of them rather than a series, so it is an easy read for those who are not as inclined to spend all of their time with their nose in a book like me. I strongly recommend it.

  1. Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

What kind of person would I be if I did not include Harry Potter in this list? I grew up reading the books, watched all the movies in my teens (I was too scared of Voldemort when I was younger), and fell in love with its lore. The only reason why this is not number one on my list is because of Rowling’s problematic behavior. Her writing and storytelling serve as a template for me whenever I delve into my own world-creating and lore writing; however, I can’t support some of her opinions, and her words hurled toward others. Respect the art and not the artist, I suppose.

  1. Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit trilogies by J.R.R. Tolkien

Like Rowling, I grew up on Tolkien. There was not a day where my father did not have the black covers of the first trilogy sitting atop our fireplace on full display. Lord of the Rings is one of the first series I ever read. Along with (re)-watching the movies, I also recall seeing the movie, Tolkien, with my dad when it came out in 2019 which tells his story from fighting in a World War to penning the first pages of his novels. It touched me and left me with more motivation to do what he did but with my own world more than ever. It was inspiring, and the movies are not short of inspiration either. The movies are beautifully done and it is one of the most accurate book-to-movie transitions I have seen. The magic of Middle Earth is not lost in the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. This is a staple in my household.