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Books for Life is where I share bookish lists, recommendations, and favourites. You can also catch me talking about non-bookish things here, as well as my life outside of blogging. Today I’m talking about…

watching adapted movies before reading the book

I really don’t buy into “bookworm rules”, like you have to read a book before watching a movie adaptation of it. I find it utterly ridiculous, to be honest. I used to try to read the book before watching the movie but in all honesty I actually prefer watching the movie first. I can handle what’s coming in a book, because more often than not a movie adaptation of a book is pretty vastly different, and the book will add subplots and side characters that weren’t even in the movie. But I love watching a movie and not knowing what’s going to happen. So if an adaptation is coming and I haven’t read the book you won’t find me scrambling to fit it in before I see the movie.

Which is how I ended up not reading the books of these adaptations before watching them. And it didn’t matter a bit because I ended up enjoying all of them a lot *smug face*

a wrinkle in time

I actually watched this movie on the weekend! And I thoroughly enjoyed it. I thought it was magical and whimsical and extremely special. I have no idea why it flopped at the box office, smh. I’d really like to watch it again because I feel like there were so many hidden messages in the story, and I’m sure I probably missed some. The biggest take away I got from A Wrinkle in Time is that nobody is perfect, even the people you think are. And that your faults are part of you as a person, and embracing and accepting them is a lot better than hating yourself for them. I loved the fact that a biracial black girl was the heroine of this film!! She was absolutely amazing.

before i fall

I actually bought a DVD copy of this movie when I saw it on sale because I liked it so much. This, like A Wrinkle in Time, is a movie with a lot of lessons. I loved watching Samantha start off as someone who didn’t really care about the important things, or the effect she had on people, and then realise that she wasn’t living her best life. Also, I am always down for movies that involve days repeating over and over!!

everything, everything

This movie was so cute and romantic!! I know the disability themes have hurt some readers and viewers, and I 100% acknowledge that. But this is also one of few YA adaptations with a black girl at the helm and I think that’s something to be celebrated. I really did enjoy this movie, and I thought that the way Olly treated Maddie was so soft. Nick Robinson, bless.

me and earl and the dying girl

I randomly watched this movie because I knew it was based off a YA book, and also I wanted something to watch. I was also surprised by how much I enjoyed it! I thought it was cute and quirky, and I laughed quite a bit. I really loved Rachel, and I thought her relationship with the main character was on point. I may have also cried a bit.

the duff

This is one adaptation that I saw in the cinema! I saw it with a friend, and to be honest we were laughing the whole time. As soon as this one came out on DVD I bought a copy, and I’ve watched it countless times since. It always managed to bring my mood up, and I love it for that. It’s also pretty hard to make me laugh, so props to The DUFF for being able to do that.

to all the boys i’ve loved before

Ah, yes, the adaptation that literally everyone is talking about! Which I watched the weekend it was released on Netflix. I thought it was super cute, but I want to watch it again because I feel like I might have missed something because even though I enjoyed it I am not feeling the hype that everyone else is. Regardless, this is an adaptation that I thought was romantic and adorable. Also, I want Lara Jean’s bedroom and wardrobe, thanks.


Have you seen any of these adaptations? What did you think? What are some adaptations that you saw without reading the book first?


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Posted on: August 28, 2018 • By: Chiara

6 Responses to Oops, I Didn’t Read the Book

  1. Brooklyn says:

    I’ve not seen any of these except for TATBILB which I loved, though I love the book even more!

  2. Oh hey, thanks for reminding me that Before I Fall was a movie!!! I’ve had it on my TBW for years.

  3. It’s funny because everyone IS totally hyping To All the Boys and while I’m a bit curious about the movie, I don’t know when I’ll watch it. I didn’t read the books because they didn’t sound like something I’d actually enjoy, and the movie is basically the same. But I’m glad it was made and that people are loving it!

    As for other adaptations, I don’t really care if I’ve read the book first or not. Sometimes I just want to see the movie and don’t care too much about the book – like the movie A Simple Favor coming out. I can’t wait to see it but I doubt I’ll read the book. I also recently saw Crazy Rich Asians and really loved it but I haven’t read the book, nor do I really care to.

    From your list, I HAVE read and seen The Duff though – both are really good (but different) and I’ve read A Wrinkle in Time but still haven’t seen the movie, though I want to!


  4. I love this post & fully agree with you – everyone should decide if they want to watch the movie or the book first. I actually think it makes sense to watch the movie first – esp. if someone is unsure about putting time and energy into reading the book – because a movie is typically less detailed, and so if you like that and then pick up the book there’ll be a lot of new things to discover there.

    The only one from your list I watched before reading the book is To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before – I’ve never been interested in the books, but the movie looked cute, so I decided to give it a chance. And it was pretty cool!! I feel like it’s the endearing characters/actors (and, tbh, the aesthetic) that elevates the movie, because the plot fell somewhat flat for me.

    The Before I Fall movie was SO GOOD omg – I watched it years after reading the book, and I loved it so much. The DUFF, imo, is one of those cases where the movie is better than the book – more fun, with better characters and better written plot.

    I went to see IT by Stephen King right after it came out, and loooved it so much wow, I’m so eagerly awaiting the sequel. Still, I don’t think I’m interested in the book?? I was so satisfied with the way the characters and the plot were written in the movie that it seems pointless + SO! INTIMIDATING! Les Miserables is an example where I watched the movie multiple times, saw the musical at the theater, and while I haven’t yet, I’ll surely read the book. Anyhow, great post! :)

    Veronika @ The Regal Critiques

  5. I absolutely agree with you Chiara! I used to be one of those bloggers that HAD to read the book before the movie. But over time, I realised that I was pretty much digging myself a hole, because of course the book will be better. Which in turn affected my thoughts on the movie. These days, I prefer going into a movie fresh, and letting the plot unfold. After I watched TATBILB, I immediately bought a copy of the book on my kindle, and ended up binging it in a day!

    There’s obviously no right or wrong way to do it. As long as it inspires more people to read, I’m glad!

  6. I loved this post! Such a creative idea for a list. Honestly, I think I’m super guilty of doing this a lot. I have watched plenty of movies without reading the book first (such as TATBILB). Sometimes, if I like the movie enough, it makes me want to read the book (such as The Princess Bride). I agree that you shouldn’t feel like you HAVE to read the book first. In fact, I saw the first two Harry Potter movies before I read the books. I loved them so much, I decided to read the books and MY LIFE WAS FOREVER CHANGED.

    Also, can I just say that your blog is super adorable? I love the pastel colors and all the graphics :)

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