Do you know that thrill you get when one of your favourite books is adapted into a movie? Or when you find out that a movie you liked originated from a book?
If you’re anything like me, you probably prefer watching the movie first to prevent you from any disappointment. When you loved a book, the movie won’t likely live up to your expectations since they have to leave some things out, some of your favourite parts/quotes won’t make the film and characters will inevitably be different from what you had pictured.
I think it’s much more satisfying to discover a movie (nicely done or not) and then read the book because you uncover so much more content and get to experience the story in a completely different way since you have more insight on the characters and the plot.
So if you’re a movie enthusiast, here are some literary recommendations!
AND THEN THERE WERE NONE BY AGATHA CHRISTIE, 1939
And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie is one of my favourite books and is said to be Christie’s best work. This mystery novel invites us to a mansion on a recluse island in England where all the guests start to die one by one under suspicious circumstances. All the protagonists start to become suspects as the novel progresses.
Many adaptations have been made by worldwide productions but mostly by British TV. The most recent one is the miniseries made by the BBC starring Douglas Booth, Charles Dance, Sam Neil and Maggie Smith’s very son Toby Stephens.
I recommend both the film and the book, as I watched the movie made by the BBC in 2015 first. The movie is a bit long towards the end but the cast is fantastic. I love Agatha Christie, as a person, but also her novel. The story is so inspired and thrilling, it’s basically like witnessing a Cluedo game – but on paper. And the final twist, maaan.
(Miniseries spoiler alert: the villain turns out to be Tywin Lannister, which is not so surprising after all.)
HARRY POTTER AND THE HALF-BLOOD PRINCE, J.K. ROWLING, 2005
Every Harry Potter book could have made this list but this one is my favourite. This is when we learn about Tom Riddle’s past – so fabulously left out of the movie, we discover the existence of the Horcruxes, Snape “betrays” Dumbledore and first love is rising.
I’ve actually started reading the series only a few years ago because as a kid I used to be so intimidated by the MASSIVE HP books. But when I got into it, I could finish a 700-page novel in 3 days and that was a huge deal for me.
The movie was released in theatres in 2009 and marked the return of the golden trio on the big screen: Daniel Radcliffe, Emma Watson and
Ed Sheeran Rupert Grint. If you’re a casual fan of Harry Potter, I suggest you to start reading the whole series as so many plot details didn’t make the movies. This will be the greatest experience of your life. Trust me.
THE PERKS OF BEING A WALLFLOWER, STEPHEN CHBOSKY, 1999
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a coming-of-age novel that was released many years before the film adaptation hit the movies in 2012. We step into the shoes of Charlie, high school freshman as he struggles with depression, the death of his aunt and life as a teenager.
You may have heard of the movie as it stars Hollywood favourites (or just mine?): Logan Lerman, Emma Watson (there’s a pattern here, hm), Ezra Miller, Kate Bush, Mae Whitman and also Mike Hannigan – sorry, I mean Paul Rudd.
Once again, the book was better in my opinion. I love how beautifully written was this book. Charlie is such a complex, sweet and relatable character. You just want to hug him all along. Plus, representation doesn’t hurt.
If you’re not convinced yet, the novel is really easy to read as it is intended for young adults. This was actually one of the first books I read in English for leisure reading.
THE GREAT GATSBY, F. SCOTT FITZGERALD, 1925
This 1925 novel is set in Long Island and features Jay Gatsby, millionaire organizing fancy parties for the sole purpose of trying to get the attention of the stunning Daisy Buchanan. This book is a must-read and considered to be one of the greatest work in literature.
I personally love this story because it is set in the 1920s – so aesthetically pleasing period – and Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire Spider-Man both play in the 2013 movie. The jazzy atmosphere was extremely well portrayed.
Fun game: take a shot every time Leo says “old sport” (this will be good for your pre-drinks but not so good for the movie sake).
THE SECRET DREAMWORLD OF A SHOPAHOLIC, SOPHIE KINSELLA, 2000
The first book of this 8-book-series introduces us to Rebecca Bloomwood, compulsive shopaholic who tries to balance her shopping addiction with her never-ending bills (doesn’t this hit home or what).
The movie version – based on the first two novels – was released 9 years after the first novel and starred Isla Fisher, Krysten Ritter (how amazing is she) and Hugh Dancy.
The novel is a chick flick but we all need to read one once in a while. It was actually the first book that I bought in English and I remember trying to read it with the help of my French copy and a dictionary all in my hands. And in the end, that was not so hard! I recommend this book (and the whole series for that matter) to everyone who would like to read English novels but don’t know where to start. I was really excited when I learnt that a movie was about to be made and had high expectations. The movie was.. well, shitty and they had the audacity to turn Rebecca into a freaking New Yorker. However, that shouldn’t stop you from reading the Shopaholic series!
Now chop-chop and go read those books!
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