I Liked the Movie Better…

I like to stay out of the book vs. movie debate.

Book-lovers everywhere love to argue about how accurately film versions portray their beloved stories, but I’ve never thought it made sense to compare books and movies. To me, it’s like comparing a painting to a song. Books and films are two completely different mediums in which to tell stories.

Books of course can contain many more details and story lines than can be included in a two-hour movie, but movies are a chance to see a story truly come to life. And in some cases—even as a book-lover and as a writer—I like the movie versions even better than the books.

This past month I watched the new movie To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and thought it was amazing. Since I liked it so much, I picked up the book from the library. While I thought both were good, I definitely liked the movie version of this story more, and so I wanted to write about it and the other movies I like better than their respective books.

Some of the books of which I like the respective movies better

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Over the past couple years, I’ve been getting more and more into the romance genre, and this story is just too cute. I saw the movie first, and was smiling the whole time because of how fun it is. I really enjoyed the writing in the book, but I thought it didn’t have a good ending. The movie wrapped up the story in a much better way, in my opinion. I’m waiting on the other two books in this series from the library.

The Hunger Games Series
As I’ve wrote about before, these movies were made for the screen. The author was a screenwriter, and I think that just comes through in the writing of the books. I think the essence of the story just works better in a movie.

The Harry Potter Series
It’s not that I don’t like the Harry Potter books, it’s just that they’re so long. I have trouble sitting still long enough to read books that long. I read the first six Harry Potter books a few times when I was in middle school, but I haven’t read any of them since reading the last book when the final movie came out. I love the films though because you can see all of the magic come to life.

The book Stardust is on my favorites list because of the excellent writing and cool story. The movie is actually pretty different than the book, but I love it even more because, again, I love seeing all of the magic come to life on screen.

Cloud Atlas
Like Harry Potter, this book is long. I’ve only read it once, and—while I think it’s amazing and I put it on my favorites list—I don’t think I have the patience to read it again. I thought the movie version was very well done, and I love what they did with the actors playing different roles in each storyline.

Les Miserables
I’ll confess, even though Les Mis is my favorite story ever, I’ve only ever read the first page of the book. It’s written like a history book, which I find boring. But I love both the movie and the musical of this story.

How do you feel about the book vs. movie debate? Do you like any movies better than the book versions?

My Blog Turns 1!

Today is my blog’s first anniversary!

On May 31st of last year, I published my first post about reading the Selection series and how meeting Kiera Cass helped me to finally write and publish my first novel.

I wasn’t sure if I was going to like blogging. Writers learn to write in other’s voices. We write as our characters and we tell their stories. It was an interesting experience to start writing as myself and to tell my own story. I’m really happy with how my blog and website have evolved over the last year, and I really enjoy posting about my writing, books I’m reading, and anything else that affects my life as a writer.

To celebrate my blog’s anniversary, I wanted to look back on some of my favorite posts from the past year. Help me celebrate by checking out some of my old posts!

Behind the Scenes of Somewhere Only We Know: Writing a New Story: This post explains what I want readers to take away from my novel, which is of course the most important part of writing the book in the first place.

write a new story 2
How I sign copies of Somewhere Only We Know

World Changers: In this one I explain my calling to be a writer and how I want to use writing to do what I can to make a difference.

Top 10 Reasons I Love My Husband: In honor of Valentine’s Day, I created this list of all the reasons I love my husband.

This is my favorite wedding photo

Being a “Real” Writer: In this post I reflect on making writing my job and give my view on what makes someone a real writer.

Why Write?: Here I talk about an important lesson I learned back in college-that everyone has something important to say.

Reading Your Own Writing: When I read through my novel for the first time after it’s publication, I had both a negative and positive feeling about it. Here I write about trying to focus on the positive.

Molly and me reading together

Finding Motivation: In this post I talk about having the right mindset to write and how I created a reward system to keep myself motivated.

Somewhere Only We Know Launch Party: Here I have pictures from and talk about my book launch party.

Me at my launch party for Somewhere Only We Know

Getting Re-inspired by Les Misérables: Lastly, in this post I talk about finding inspiration from my favorite story ever.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog over the last year, and I hope you continue to join me on my writing journey by reading my blog for the years to come!

Getting Re-inspired by Les Misérables

I recently had to take a break from reading and writing due to a medical condition, and I was absolutely miserable. As my stack of books from the library that I couldn’t read grew higher and my notebooks sat untouched, I grew more and more desperate to get back to my job. However, now that my eye healed a couple weeks ago, I had a lot of trouble getting back into my writing. I had spent over a month away from my current project and I felt very distant from it.

This week I was finally able to write a couple thousand words, set up my story board, and really get back into the story. And that is all thanks to one of my greatest sources of inspiration – the story of Les Misérables.

I’ll be honest—I’ve never read the book. It’s been sitting on my shelf for years, but I have a lot of trouble reading older fiction and I just have not been able to get into it. But I have seen the musical more times than I can count, including an amazing front-row experience on Broadway, and it is my favorite story that I have ever encountered.

For those of you who don’t know, Les Mis is about a French man named Jean Valjean, a former convict who broke his parole but turned his life around. He becomes a changed man thanks to the mercy of a bishop, but is hunted throughout the years by one of his former guards, Inspector Javert. The two find each other years later when Valjean helps one of his workers and promises to care for her child. After revealing himself, Valjean escapes again to start a new life for the child, and does not encounter Javert again until ten years later. The story culminates in France’s June Rebellion of 1832. Les Mis is the ultimate story of redemption, hope, fighting for what’s right, and dreaming for a better life.

I love this story, and all I needed to do to get back into my own writing was to surround myself by the wonder of this incredible story. I watched the 2012 film, the 25th Anniversary Concert, and the 1998 non-musical film starring Liam Neeson and Geoffrey Rush. I also re-read one of my favorite books—A Little in Love by Susan Fletcher, which is a novelization of the story of Éponine, one of the characters in Les Mis.

When you are feeling stuck in your creative life, surround yourself by the things that inspire you. For me, that is the remarkable story of Les Mis. This story has influenced just about everything I’ve written, and it replenishes me and re-inspires me to get back to doing the work I love.

My Playbills and DVDs of Les Mis, along with a book about the 2012 film.