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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

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From Book to Film, A Fan's Emotional Journey

You pick up a book. You think, maybe I'll like this. And maybe it starts off great and you know immediately that you were right. Or perhaps it's a slow starter, but once it get's going you know it's something special. Either way, you know you're reading a great book. And when it's over, you really don't know what to do with your life. You think, "Would it be weird if I started it over again right now?" You're hooked, you're in, you're a big fan and this is now on your list of favorite books.

And you live in that fandom for a while. You read it again, convince your friends to read it so you can have someone to talk to about it, and if they won't read it, well God damnit, you're going to talk to them about it anyway. And then, something happens, something that could be really good or really bad. It is announced that one of your favorite books will become a movie.

Let the emotional roller coaster begin.

Being an avid reader myself, I'm familiar with this roller coaster and have been on it time and time again. And the ride all depends on how good or bad the adaptation is.

Take Life of Pi for example. I didn't read it in school like a lot of other people I know. I borrowed it from my boyfriend's bookshelf and decided to check it out in my downtime at work. Two days later it felt as if it was a part of me. It is the type of book that lingers with you long after you've finished it. So when I heard it was going to be made into a movie, I was super excited, but also super nervous. Would they be able to capture everything that I felt? I knew they couldn't keep everything, but would they capture the heart?

And although the doubt remains, excitement builds. You hear news about the cast, you see posters, you get to see a trailer, and then only excitement remains when you finally sit down in the theater. At least, that's how it was for me sitting down for Life of Pi.

And then the movie started, and then I was bored. And then I was a little angry. And by the end of the film, I was just disappointed. They didn't get it. In my opinion, that movie did not touch on the heart of the book. It kind of tried, but it didn't even come close. That movie would not have inspired me to read the book it's based on.

So after this stage, it's about a week before you can get over it. If perhaps you did like the adaptation, well then it's about a week before you think it's acceptable to go back and see it again. But from here on out hearing people talk about the film based on one of your favorite books you will have a very emotional reaction whether good or bad. 

And this roller coaster never really ends. If it's a really good book, odds are someone is going to try and make into a movie, and the nail biting will commence all over again. I'm an emotional wreck over seeing the trailer for The Giver, because IT LOOKS SO BAD, COME ONNNN! I recently heard that Eleanor & Park, one of my all time favorite reads of last year, is going to made into a film, so that's stressful. Aaannnd I just found out a few weeks ago that Counting by 7s, one of my favorite reads of this year is going to be made into a movie soon too! Looks like I'll be excited and nervous for a long time to come.

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