It’s commonly acknowledged that the book is always better. Our first reaction when hearing about a new movie is generally, “They better not screw this up!” We go into the cinema with a preconceived number of allowances to give the filmmakers before writing them off. But sometimes, you get the pleasant surprise of finding a movie so well done you end up liking it better than the book. So today, I’m proud to brag on five movies that meet this phenomenon!
First up, Princess Bride: It could just be that I grew up on the movie and didn’t know a book existed till recently. But I found it far too full of meta humor. Pro tip (stolen from a friend): If you have to read it, skip everything in italics or parenthesis and call it ‘the good bits of the good bits version’. But in my opinion, you’re not missing any ‘good bits’ with the movie.
Phantom of the Opera: It was mostly the choice of narration style that did me in on this one. I also felt the focus could have been better placed on a more central character. I’m also in love with the visuals and music of the movie that you just can’t get from words on a page!
To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before: Overall, this was a close run thing. However, I felt like the movie did a better job with pacing, and the love interest was far more likable in the movie. Characters are everything for me and will make or break a good plot. So I’ve got to go with the movie on this one.
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe: Before you grab the pitchforks, let me just say that this is really a tie! I love the book immensely, but I also think they did a superb job with the movie. And once again I love the visuals. Also, please note this is specifically The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and not the entirety of Narnia. The movies went down hill pretty fast!
And lastly, we have another tie with Inkheart: I mention this one mostly because I’ve always been on the fence about the rest of the trilogy. Therefore, I appreciate how the movie tied everything up with a happy ending. And the casting was perfect.
Have you encountered this rare experience? Share your answer in the comments!
I just spent an amazing weekend at the Realm Makers Conference! For the uninitiated, Realm Makers is a community for spec-fic writers of faith. The Realm Makers Conference has more the feeling of a con or family reunion of epic proportions than your typical professional conference. And I basically live for it!
A Few Highlights
The Awards Banquet: The banquet is always awesome and a perfect excuse for geeking out with costumes! Pretty much every fandom in existence can be found at some point in the night. I went as Katara from Avatar and happened to meet a Toph 😀
The Swag: I stocked up on all the things! Came home with some great new reads, specialty tea, and a handcrafted mug. I always spend way too much money at these things! But the books are all signed, so it’s worth it 😉
The Pitch: I pitched To Slay a Curse! It wasn’t nearly as scary as I was expecting. In fact it went really well, and a full manuscript was requested! I know it’s a long process and still might not work out, but I’m keeping my fingers crossed. More info forthcoming 🙂
It’s con season! I’m headed to Realm Makers, an amazing writer’s conference, in a little over a week and I can’t wait to be back with my tribe! I’ve been way too busy preparing to get out one of my usual book reviews. So instead, I want to highlight a couple fun books about conventions for your summer reading.
Don’t Cosplay With My Heart
Telling the story of Edan Kupferman, a girl who uses cosplay as an escape from her messy life, this book explores the reasons humans are drawn to storytelling. Filled with the fun of fandoms while not being afraid to deal with the harder things in life, this is a great look into the comic-con scene.
The Pros of Cons
When bags are mixed up at a busy convention center, three girls from very different walks of life are thrown together. A truly hilarious story of unlikely friendship, competition, and the chaos of cons.
I honestly haven’t read this one yet but have heard great things! This unique Cinderella re-telling features food trucks, cosplay contests, and teen heartthrobs.
It’s April Fools, and while I’m not much of a prankster, I love reading about characters that are. So, here are my top five trickster characters: ranging the gamut from harmless pranks to straight up treachery.
Loki: The Norse god of mischief runs this gamut all on his own: from pranks that backfire to bringing about Ragnarok. One of my favorite Loki stories is when he puts Thor in a wedding dress to steal back Mjolnir. I also love Hiddleston’s portrayal of him in the MCU.
Odysseus: One of the best known tricksters in all of classical lit, Odysseus is alternately portrayed as a cunning hero or conniving villain. However, no one can contest the fact that this man has a knack for getting out of a tight spot! If only I could get my characters out of theirs with half his poise.
Fred and George Weasley: These boys sure know how to have a good time! And though they cause such delightful mayhem, they never take things too far. That’s not to say they can’t put their skills to practical use when needed. Fighting Umbridge and then Voldemort wouldn’t have been half so fun without them.
Travis and Connor Stoll: Though considered by some to be Fred and George knock-offs, I’ve always like them. The Weasleys will sell you candy at an exorbitant rate, but the Stolls will rob a convenience store during battle and pass around the loot.
Shawn Spencer: “I know, you know, that I’m not telling the truth. You know, I know, you don’t have any proof…” the theme song says it all. And while Shaw is more of hilarious-man-child than legit-trickster, I can never pass up a chance for Psych shenanigans. Pineapple anyone? *Side note: I didn’t include Gus here because the poor guy usually just gets drug along for the ride. But I still love him!*
And there you have it! Guess I cheated a bit with all my pairs, but they really come as a package deal. Have you got a favorite trickster? Drop them in a comment below!
It’s International Women’s Day! I love a story with strong female characters. There are as many ways to be strong as there are women, and I especially appreciate books that can introduce me to a wide range. I also love Harry Potter! Which just so happens to be one of those books. So, here I give you my top 5 wizarding women, each a queen in her own unique way.
Hermione: I have always identified with Hermione. We are both bookish, a bit awkward, and terrified of getting in trouble. Hermione has one thing on me though, she is far more outspoken. I love the way she stands up for her beliefs. Whether it’s a personal crusade like SPEW, defending her best friends, or actively fighting Voldemort, she never backs down.
Mrs. Weasley: I appreciate the nurturing/feisty mom type characters, and Mrs. Weasley is one of the best! She is perfectly happy with her traditional role as mother and wife, and she loves her family fiercely. That’s not to say she doesn’t get her moment to shine. Her fight with Bellatrix is the most satisfying way that could have played out for me.
Ginny: Now, Ginny is one tough girl. She goes though a lot most probably wouldn’t have survived and comes out fighting. I love her determination and spunk. I’m so happy she finally got Harry.
McGonagall: I always liked McGonagall’s stern but cool teacher vibe. However, now that I work in a high school and interact closely with the teachers, I’ve developed a whole new level of appreciation for her. I saw a meme on Pinterest once (totally legit source, I know) that said something along the lines of, “Live your life in a way that would make McGonagall both proud and exasperated.” And really, that’s the best sum-up and highest praise anyone could give her. Never forget, the one thing that made Harry angry enough to use an unforgivable curse was seeing her disrespected.
Tonks: Tonks is such a fun-loving, easy-going, young auror, it’s hard not to like her. Unlike Mrs. Weasly, she is awful at housework. That doesn’t stop her from trying though. The thing that made me really fall in love with her, however, is when I realized exactly how epic it is for her to get up and fight just days after having a baby. I’ve never experienced child-birth myself (yet) but I have heard some pretty terrifying stories from older women in my life and I don’t think many would have been able to do what Tonks did.
*Bonus!* Bellatrix: Ok, she’s a bonus because I don’t really like her. However, I think she is a very well-written, complex, character and I appreciate that. Her creepiness is, well creepy, but appropriately so and she makes a great villainous sidekick.
And there you have it! Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite wizarding woman; and, if you’d like to talk female character archetypes, check out my Facebook!
Figure I’ll start out with an introduction. Hello, all! I’m Rae Graham. I’m a lover of adventure, both on the page and in the world. An avid reader, slightly less avid writer, and die hard Tolkien fan. I mostly write YA fantasy, but like to branch out now and then. Currently working on polishing up my first novel, which I hope to publish soon. I’m glad to have you along with me on this journey!