Book or Box Office

The long-contested debate of whether to read the book or see the film is one that many have strong opinions. There is an underlying conflict among book lovers when a cherished book is in the works of becoming a film adaption.
Students and staff shared their criteria for what makes a good book-to-film movie: consistency of plot, characterization and audience appeal.

Read it or Watch it Criteria

Consistency of plot
“The plot, conflict and characterization — if they’re going in-depth or if they’re just skimming the surface. If they’ve skipped a whole bunch of things and just concentrated one of the conflicts instead of all of them.”
~Dr. Debra Brenegan, associate professor of English

Characterization: effectively captured characters
“Accuracy, consistency, capturing the characters, making sure it’s the same. It’s always disappointing when you watch a movie and the characters are completely different.”
~Maria Diny, graduate student in occupational therapy

Audience Appeal: connects to viewers
“A book that makes the best film adaptation is one that has a character that connects to other people well. For me, I like it when it has a strong human element.”
~Sarah Klippel, Haggerty Library librarian

DISCLAIMER: The “Watch Its” are still great stories to read, but if pressed for time, the movie still packs a punch.

Read AND Watch

“The Fault in Our Stars” The fault in our stars

Book by John Green (2012), movie directed by Josh Boone (2014)

“I had seen the movie first, and I liked the movie, so the next day I went and bought the book. I disliked how much of the actual emotion and detail that they took out of the movie from the book.”
~Heather Briley-Schmidt, senior majoring in business administration and English – writing for new media


Movies That Met Criteria – Watch Them






“Gone Girl”Gone girl

Book by Gillian Flynn (2012), movie directed by David Fincher (2014)

“The movie captured [the book] perfectly. No one really knew the name of the actress who played the main character, but I thought that was what made it perfect. I personally like Ben Affleck as well, so I thought that was perfect, too.”
~Courtney Furlow, sophomore majoring in fashion merchandising and management







(Hunger Games Trilogy)

Book by Suzanne Collins (2010), movie directed by Francis Lawrence (2014)

“I like that it was a thriller and I loved the cast … that was great. I think that it was pretty accurate … they can’t get every detail, which sucks. I didn’t think that the last book had to be split into two movies, but that’s just me.”
~Tiffany Ouwerkerk, sophomore majoring in fashion merchandising







“Fifty Shades of Grey”Fifty shades of grey

Book by E.L. James (2011), movie directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson (2015)

“The movie was very visual and did the book justice.”
~Teyah Thompson, sophomore majoring in fashion merchandising







Movies that Didn’t Meet Criteria – Read Them

“The Scorch Trials”Scorch Trials
(“The Maze Runner” series)

Book by James Dashner (2010), movie directed by Wes Ball (2015)

“I liked the book better than the movie because of the details in it and I liked how there’s more conflict between the characters.”
~Zakia Wells, freshman majoring in art therapy







“The Great Gatsby”great gatsby

Book by F. Scott Fitzgerald (1925), movie directed by Baz Luhrmann (2013)

“I thought (the movie) was kind of disappointing. It was a long movie, so of course they had to cut stuff out. They just cut out scenes that were in the book that I wanted in the movie.”
~Maria Diny, graduate student in occupational therapy








Book by Stephenie Meyer (2005), movie directed by Catherine Hardwicke (2008)

“The actors and actresses were bad, especially Kristen Stewart. She didn’t fit the persona of the character and didn’t show enough effort.”
~Iyanna Turner, junior majoring in psychology





Do you agree with the list?? Let me know in the comments!

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