The Best and The Worst Book to Film Adaptations

The Best: The Lord of The Rings Trilogy

Merry and Pippin drinking

The Lord of The Rings trilogy ended up with 11 Oscars, a bomb soundtrack, and a faithful adaptation of the books. I love this series! Peter Jackson, the director, absolutely nailed these films. The casting is perfect, the use of practical effects is pure magic, and the source material is utilized expertly. I feel like J.R.R. Tolkien would be absolutely astonished and happy with what was produced. This film series led me to the books, then led me to the fantasy genre as a whole. I owe a lot of my passion to Jackson and Tolkien.

The only parts that really stood out to me that I wish were shown was the bit about Tom Bombadil, because he’s such a mystery and a parallel to what is happening, and the love story between Éowyn and Faramir. But, with each movie being as long as they already are we’d need at least another half hour of run time to cover these two areas. I’m not genuinely complaining though because this adaptation is absolutely faithful and these two pieces aren’t entirely necessary for the story, just more depth to the world.

The Worst: Percy Jackson

Horrible Percy Jackson

I LOVE the Percy Jackson series. I gobbled them up when they came out and I was SO excited for a film adaptation. I left the theater absolutely gutted. The source material meant nothing and the casting was horrible. Grover’s character was not accurate in personality and they didn’t even make Annabeth blond! How hard is to dye hair or put on a freaking wig?! Not to mention the effects were horrendous.

The biggest travesty here is the complete butchering of an already excellent storyline. How do you have a plot already made out into a proven successful series and decide, ya know what? I’m gonna change it completely. They had success served to them on a silver platter and they slaughtered it.

Clarisse and Aries aren’t even in the dang movie. How do you leave out the main antagonist of the movie? Aries is literally the bad guy that Percy fights. Like what?! My mind was blown in the worst possible way. I hope in the future we can get a faithful Percy Jackson adaptation. I feel like Rick Riordan is an all-star and he deserves to see a good adaptation of his books.

What adaptation is your fave? And which one do you absolutely loathe? Let me know in the comments.

Approaching A Review

1. Make Notes

My very first step is to take notes as I read. I have a three section process for note taking, I have a space for quotes/page numbers, a spot for pros, and a place for cons. I write down important points I’d like to make as I go along. If I have a vague idea and I’m not sure what to do with it, I put it at the bottom of my notes.

2. Sort Notes

The next step is to sift through everything I’ve written down and choose what needs to be in the review and what needs to be cut. I organize them by priority and I make sure that the points are fluid, they need to relate to each other or have a bridge connecting them.

3. First Draft

After that, I write my first draft and insert quotes into their appropriate places. I write everything down without worrying about spelling or grammatical errors on the first draft. This allows me to let my creativity flow and for me to get it all down.

4. Editing For Second Draft

Next, I go through and look for any errors, then I soften or harden opinions that seem overly or underly critical. This is my time to really have my opinions hit home, and make sure the writing is cohesive. I want everything to be clear to my readers. I will also make sure the text is formatted properly at this stage.

5. Insert Media

At this step, I place any images or gifs that I feel are necessary or will enhance my writing. I try to make sure all images are beneficial and not just visual spam. It has to work with the writing, not against it.

6. Final Read Through

When I feel like the formatting and editing is on par I do a final read of the review. This is my last chance to make sure it all makes sense and gets my message across. At this point I read very slowly and really take in the words written down.

7. Publish

As long as all is well this is when I publish my review for my readers to enjoy 😊

Is your process similar? What different steps do you take?

Amazon Deprioritizes Books

In case you have not heard, Amazon has decided to put books on the back burner for more important things. Amazon is making items that are pertinent to the quarantine a higher priority. Which if you ask me is great, even though some will be disappointed that it takes a lot longer to get books. Some high priority items are, “household staples, medical supplies, and other high demand products,” according to Publishers Weekly.

Something I have already noticed but was made clear by a NY Times article is that, “customers will see decreased selection on Amazon because of the stock outs,” I noticed this when looking for new books to review. A ton of them were either no longer being stocked or only sold by third party sellers with a high shipping price.

But, I am here to deliver good news. I ordered my haul of new books and after being told to expect my books a whole month later they will be here in a little over a week. So while books are deprioritized don’t feel discouraged about ordering. The estimated shipping time is probably way over estimated and you’ll likely be able to expect your books sooner.

Fave Five Friday: Badass Females in Fiction

What characters do you think of when you hear badass? Here’s a list of those who come to my mind.

5. Katniss Everdeen

Katniss in Mockingjay Part 2

Katniss was one of the female characters who inspired me as a teenager. She is not your typical female character, she is ‘mean’ but likeable. The fact that Effie and Haymitch have to try so hard to make her appear as this lovable girl to the audiences of the capital was unique. She isn’t what you would expect from female protagonists of time gone by and she doesn’t adhere to feminine stereotypes.

Katniss is a bow toting, resting bitch face, master survivalist that starts a rebellion. I envied the bravery of this character as a teen and loved the things that made her different. She wasn’t a cutesy little girl, she was a tough tomboy.

4. Arya Stark

Arya Stark From Game Of Thrones

Arya Stark is dear to my heart because she is constantly faced with being the disappointing polar opposite of her sister, Sansa. Sansa is prim and proper, while Arya is like a wolf cub. Arya is wild and unkempt, she sword fights and chases cats. At one point Arya has to pose as a boy to save herself.

I also love Arya because of her internal strength and her ability to not care what she looks like. People constantly think Arya is a boy and it’s never more than a slight annoyance to her. Her hair is a ratty mess and her clothes are always dirty. Arya is so far from what you’d expect from a proper ‘lady’, that she steps into a different category than the rest of the women in Game of Thrones. I would argue that she is the strongest character in the series, her skill as a swordsman far outdoes the rest of the characters.

3. Minerva McGonagall

Minerva McGonagall Attacking Snape

Where do I start? McGonagall is my favorite Hogwarts professor and one my all time favorite characters. She is an authority but also a kind caring woman. McGonagall is respected by her colleagues and doesn’t allow anyone to pull a fast one on her.

McGonagall takes multiple stunning spells straight to the chest and lives to tell the tale. She takes charge during the Battle of Hogwarts and is able to effectively orchestrate a defensive strategy involving the teachers and many creatures in the school.

McGonagall’s skill in transfiguration is effortless and she is an excellent dueler. I contribute a large part of the success of holding Voldemort at bay during the Battle of Hogwarts to her. She knows the right spells and which professors should do what, she has a strategists mind, and she does it all on the fly.

Not to mention she stays at Hogwarts after Snape takes over and it’s overrun by Death Eaters. She stays to make sure the students get what they need, at great risk to her life. I admire her bravery and intelligence.

2. Éowyn

Eowyn Defeating The Witch King

Éowyn, the Shieldmaiden of Rohan, in The Lord Of The Rings is a really stand out character to me. She is the only woman to explicitly ride out to battle in The Lord of the Rings trilogy and she defeats the Witch King of Angmar.

The Witch King was chief of the Nazgûl, to put it simply, and a wraith that no man could kill. Luckily Éowyn was no man and killed the dreaded witch king with her badassery. She is a turning point for the battle ensuing and makes a huge difference. She rides to battle in secret because she could not stand to sit idly by while men battled for her freedom.

Éowyn takes it upon herself to do what other women in the trilogy aren’t and fights alongside our group of heroes. She is not only a keystone in the battle but a fierce warrior who will stop at nothing to be there with everyone else. She loves the people of Rohan, her home, and will do what it takes to save them from the armies of the evil Sauron.

I chose Éowyn as number two because she is such and unexpected hero for the time. Women were not respected as fighters when Tolkien wrote The Lord Of The Rings, but he chose to include her as an important hero in his story. To me that’s worth mentioning.

1. Hermione Granger

Hermione punching Draco

Hermione, my all-time favorite female character. She is the type of person I aspired to be as a child, and I tried to emulate her intelligence and bravery.

She comes from a muggle, non-wizarding, family, but she is the brightest wizard of their age. It takes a seriously smart and badass person to become a master of something they have zero background in. Her parents know nothing of magic, so she is on her own to master the subject. Her perseverance is something I have always admired.

Hermione overcomes racism (speciesism?), not sure what exactly to call it, but she overcomes the derogatory language and actions used against her by pure bloods and becomes an exemplary witch. She has a lot of obstacles and she approaches each one with grace and confidence.

Also, Hermione is described as not being the typical expectation of beauty. She has frizzy hair and buck teeth, she is not your typical cookie cutter female protagonist. She is a know-it-all with the heart of a lion. I adore her and think her character deserves all the praise it gets.

Who are your favorite females in fiction? Let me know in the comments!

10 Awesome Book Lover Gifts On Etsy

10. These Horrorific Stephen King Book Ends

These wonderfully scary bookends can be found at KnobCreekMetalArts on Etsy for $48.74 USD. This is an ideal present for the Stephen King fan in your life.

9. Booknook Scented Candle

With the scent of leather, sandalwood, vanilla, and coffee this handmade candle from TheBookishFlame on Etsy is sure to enhance your reading experience. Get this soy candle for $14 USD.

8. Crystal Fluorite Bookmark

These gorgeous bookmarks by RainbowIrisDesigns on Etsy cost $8.95 USD and are currently by 2 get 1 free. Keep your pages pristine with these cute crystals. They’ll make any book look magical.

7. Classic Book Pendant Necklaces

Do you have a Jane Austen obsessed friend? They are sure to love these elegant book pendants by CuriousCompositions on Etsy. They are being sold for $12 USD.

6. Book T-Shirt

These shirts by RavelledKnits are guaranteed to give you the wardrobe update to fit your bibliophile needs. With over 40 shirt colors to choose from, you’re sure to find something just right. They are currently on sale for $18.75 USD.

5. Sassy Canvas Book Tote

Want to get the message across without having to actually say anything? This “I’m Reading Please Go Away” tote by MadelineVyAndCo on Etsy is perfect. Never get interrupted during an intense chapter again with this 100% cotton bag.

4. Repurposed Paper Book Earrings

These earrings happen to be repurposed from Harry Potter pages. They are elegant and available at the Etsy shop SonaStudioArt for $12 USD.

3. Custom Book Bracelet

These Stainless Steel bracelets from SigmoCreations allow you to add an initial and a birthstone, creating a unique piece of jewelry. These bracelets are on sale for $13.98 USD.

2. Map of Middle Earth Notebook

These notebooks by Cartalina on Etsy have so many customizable features. You can pick from a wide range of colors and sizes. Prices vary by size from $21-$63 USD. This beautiful notebook is sure to inspire you every time you use it.

1. Goblet Of Fire Booknook

Looking to splurge on a beautiful bookshelf decoration? This recreation of The Goblet of Fire is stunning! You can find this wonderful creation at PRISTINSKI on Etsy. It’s currently being sold for $176 USD.

Did any of these catch your eye? What Etsy shops do you explore when you’re looking for that perfect gift? Let me know in the comments!

Harry Potter Moments That Should’ve Made It Into The Movies

I’ve always said books are better than movies. Check out this list of 20 Hilarious “Harry Potter” Moments That Should’ve Made It Into The Movies. Do you agree with this article? What other moments should be included? Let me know in the comments.

Quarantine Movie Marathon

I’m spending my day rewatching the Harry Potter films for the millionth time. I love them and I could probably watch them on a loop and be fine, but I’m looking to broaden my horizons. I also have The Lord Of The Rings, they’ll likely be next. What movies do you love marathoning? Let me know what you like in the comments!

My Biggest Book Sin

Everyone in the reading community has one thing that they do that others frown upon. Whether it’s borrowing a book and not returning it or reading the last page first, everyone has a book sin.

My book sin is… dog-earing pages. But let me justify my reasoning and explain a little bit more. I only dog-ear paperback books. I feel like paperback books are meant to be loved and used. It’s impossible to keep a paperback pristine if you’re going to read it, they are just too easy to damage. The more worn a book is the more it has been loved, you should see my paperback copy of The Lord Of The Rings Trilogy, they have highlights and dog-ears galore. I know that the little bent edge of a page is a real pet peeve for most readers, but for me it’s just another sign of love.

What book sin are you guilty of? Let me know in the comments.

Top 5 Kids/YA Books To Read In Your Lifetime

Here is my list of books you absolutely must read before you die.

#5 Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

The summer Opal and her father, the preacher, move to Naomi, Florida, Opal goes into the Winn-Dixie supermarket—and comes out with a dog. A big, ugly, suffering dog with a sterling sense of humor. A dog she dubs Winn-Dixie. Because of Winn-Dixie, the preacher tells Opal ten things about her absent mother, one for each year Opal has been alive. Winn-Dixie is better at making friends than anyone Opal has ever known, and together they meet the local librarian, Miss Franny Block, who once fought off a bear with a copy of WAR AND PEACE. They meet Gloria Dump, who is nearly blind but sees with her heart, and Otis, an ex-con who sets the animals in his pet shop loose after hours, then lulls them with his guitar. 

Opal spends all that sweet summer collecting stories about her new friends and thinking about her mother. But because of Winn-Dixie or perhaps because she has grown, Opal learns to let go, just a little, and that friendship—and forgiveness—can sneak up on you like a sudden summer storm.

(Description from Amazon)

Because of Winn-Dixie is a book I will never forget from my childhood. It was the first chapter book I ever read and it changed my life. I love dogs and this book is absolutely perfect for the dog loving child in your life. Or even the dog loving adult. This book will warm your heart and put a smile on your face. It’s easy to love the characters in this book. It has just enough conflict and personal struggle to make it a stand out children’s book.

#4 Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

In the small town of Ealing, Iowa, Austin and his best friend, Robby, have accidentally unleashed an unstoppable army. An army of horny, hungry, six-foot-tall praying mantises that only want to do two things.

This is the truth. This is history.
It’s the end of the world. And nobody knows anything about it.
You know what I mean.

(Description from Amazon)

So this book is one I stumbled upon and can’t stop raving about. It’s weird, it’s funny, and it really encompasses being a teenager. I love it’s quirks and how it tackles human problems while also creating a praying mantis apocalypse. It really is a beautiful but ridiculous book. I love it and I recommend it all the time. Forewarning though, this book is not for everyone. It contains very raunchy scenes but I do not believe that it detracts from the wonderfulness that is Grasshopper Jungle.

#3 The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

When Death has a story to tell, you listen.

It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will become busier still. 

Liesel Meminger is a foster girl living outside of Munich, who scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement.

(Description from Amazon)

I read The Book Thief for a class I took in high school. It was one of the first books that made me cry real tears. Sobbing, ugly cry, snot-nosed tears. This book should be required reading in my opinion. The Book Thief tells an interesting WWII story. It’s unique and beautiful. I wish I could erase it from my brain and reread it fresh once again. It hurts but also makes you love. I will forever recommend this to anyone who asks.

#2 The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien

Bilbo Baggins is a hobbit who enjoys a comfortable, unambitious life, rarely traveling any farther than his pantry or cellar. But his contentment is disturbed when the wizard Gandalf and a company of dwarves arrive on his doorstep one day to whisk him away on an adventure. They have launched a plot to raid the treasure hoard guarded by Smaug the Magnificent, a large and very dangerous dragon. Bilbo reluctantly joins their quest, unaware that on his journey to the Lonely Mountain he will encounter both a magic ring and a frightening creature known as Gollum.

(Description from Amazon)

The Hobbit is one of my all-time favorite books. Tolkien is my writing inspiration and this book was my first foray into his beautiful world. Tolkien originally wrote this book for his children and it exploded into what it is now. I’d argue it’s one of the most well known fantasy stories ever told, and well loved. My dad used to read this book to my brother and I every Christmas season. It’s a fantastic must-read.

#1 The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter is a series of fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. The main story arc concerns Harry’s struggle against Lord Voldemort, a dark wizard who intends to become immortal, overthrow the wizard governing body known as the Ministry of Magic and subjugate all wizards and Muggles (non-magical people).

(Description from Wikipedia)

If you ask me The Harry Potter series is the penultimate children’s series. It did everything it needed to. It teaches you about love, friendship, and having the bravery to do what is right. This series grew up with its audience. Book One and Book Seven have totally different tones but they were appropriate for the audience they were originally intended for. This series just makes sense and it brings me such a great amount of joy. I reread this series every year. It has such a jovial atmosphere in the first books, then turns serious at the right moment. I feel like it has a little bit of something for everyone.

What are your top 5 Children’s/YA bookS? Do you share any with me? Let me know in the comments.

Audible Stories for FREE!

I’m going to be 100% honest with you right now and say I am mega hungover from a family gathering last night so I’m doing kind of a lazy post, but a great recommendation for parents! So forgive me for this short post that lacks all creativity. My head and eyeballs hurt.

Audible by Amazon is doing a wonderful thing for kids. Free stories! Some of them are even read by familiar names, like Scarlett Johansson!

Here is the blurb from the Audible Stories website:

For as long as schools are closed, we’re open. Starting today, kids everywhere can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages, that will help them continue dreaming, learning, and just being kids.

All stories are free to stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet.

Explore the collection, select a title and start listening.

It’s that easy.

Mental Health Check

I am not too vain to admit that I have been doing a lot of panic reading. When COVID-19 was first beginning I had convince myself that it would stay away. I’ve lived a life where this hasn’t happened before, nor did I expect a pandemic of this scale to happen in my lifetime. I realize now that, that was naive.

I’ve been reading everything in sight. Any book I can get my hands on. I’m currently reading three different books. Well, I realized that while reading isn’t a bad thing my panicking is.

I made the decision to make an appointment for my blatantly spiraling anxiety issues and my appointment was eventually deemed non-essential. My appointment I’ve been waiting for was cancelled.

So I’ve been sitting here, freaking out, not knowing what to do and luckily I got a call from my doctor. She has decided to put me on a medication I took several years ago on a trial basis, hoping that the pandemic blows over by the time my trial is over.

I guess my point is this, if you’re feeling scared to the point of needing medication, you’re not alone. What is going on is really scary. If you are unable to get medication like I thought I was, try and find ways to help yourself cope. Keep reading books, look up breathing exercises, love yourself.

If anyone needs to talk, shoot me an email at savannahwwordpress@gmail.com

My Book Adventure

Today I went on a hunt for two books. I won’t say what they are because they’re going to be a part of a special blog series. I started my search by seeing which one I wanted more, I was originally only getting one. Well as it turns out I had less of my gift card left than I thought so I couldn’t get either 😭

So I was like ‘I’ll just go to the library’, quarantined duh. Stupid me!

So, then, I reached out to my aunt who I was sure would have them. She hadn’t even heard of them! I was losing left and right.

In a last ditch effort I reached out to my friends on Facebook to no avail. No one I know has them.

Finally, defeated, I gave up my search and went to visit my dad across town like I promised I would yesterday. When I walked in the door he was on his phone ordering both of them for me on Amazon ❤️ It made my day! And he’s listening to one on audiobook.

I hadn’t realized but Amazon has deprioritized books 🥺 so my book won’t be here for about a week. But at the same time that I’m impatiently waiting for these books to arrive I’m grateful for my sweet dad and for Amazon making the decision to prioritize items that people under quarantine may need. I may consume books like they are fuel for my body but regular people under quarantine need to eat and have toilet paper.

I’m Sorry for the Harry Potter Spam I Swear

This ones for the HP fans. This post from Popsugar got me 😭 I’m not crying you’re crying!

I’d also like to add: Harry realizing he didn’t actually know Dumbledore very well. And realizing that they only ever discussed Harry. (The Deathly Hallows)

Do you have anything to add?

Get to Know Me: What Pottermore Can Tell You About Me

As I am a huge Harry Potter fan I thought to myself, what better a way for my followers to get to know me than sharing my Pottermore info. Curious about what house I belong to? Or what my Patronus is? Keep reading to find out!

Hogwarts House

Yes, I am a good ole Gryffindor. With all the courage and friendship and whatnot. I was a little bit surprised actually when I was sorted into Gryffindor because it was pretty obvious that I was choosing both Gryffindor and Ravenclaw options during the quiz. But I am indeed a Gryffindor who bleeds crimson and gold.

My Wand

My wand is made from acacia wood with a phoenix feather core, 11″ and quite bendy flexibility. I am actually really happy with this. Fawkes the Phoenix is my favorite magical creature in the entire series, so having a Phoenix core was really exciting.

My Patronus

I got a Manx cat! I love it. While I’m not a HUGE cat lover I’d say this is a pretty cool Patronus. It has a cool little bob tail and it just looks a bit wild.

What does your Pottermore account say about YOU? Let me know in the comments.