1/22/18

When Books Become Movies


                Why, hello!

           No, this blog isn’t abandoned. Why would you think that? Its not like I haven’t blogged in eleven days… oh, wait…  (I've actually lost followers... COME BACK HERE, THAT'S RUDE. DON'T LEAVE ME!!!!) XD

                I HAD THE FLU, OKAY???
                (it’s the worst, y’all, stay healthy).
 
               Anyways, I was SUPER happy to finally be healthy on Sunday, because

                1. I was missing human interaction

                2. we had friends that we hadn’t seen in FOREVER coming over
 
                My friends came over later that Sunday (shoutout to Arwen for being an aspiring writer! Who knows? Maybe she'll join our community one day.) and it turns out they are Wingfeather fans too! That was pretty cool, and the short twenty minute cartoon of the first book comes up since my family and I have seen it, and we were kind of like, “It’s…good… yeah, it’s…okayish… but yeah, kind of ‘meh’.” 

            EDIT: I just wanted to clarify that I still LOVE the Wingfeather saga and support them , including their movies, if you're an uneducated peanut and haven't read them yet, what are you waiting for? GO!

             Back to the post...
            
      I feel like movie adaptations of books are usually a hit or miss. Like, you either have a Harry Potter, Twilight, Hunger Games, Lord of the Rings, etc. success, or you’re like the cartoon version of The Boxcar Children and you’re kind of “meh”, or you’re like that Percy Jackson movie and just a total flop…

       (For everyone’s information, I actually haven’t seen the Percy Jackson movie, but a bunch of my friends who like Percy Jackson told me how much they hated it, so, I’m going to go with that).









       The first time I was really disappointed by a movie adaptation of a book was when I was around nine and I saw the 2007 Nancy Drew movie at my local library for an event.



Yeah, this movie ^^^ If the cover doesn't scream "Disappointment!" I don't know what does.... (yes, maybe I'm still a little bitter).
   
             Nancy Drew was my bookdragon LIFE AND LOVE when I was younger. I read all of the books, and I mean ALL of them. I read the older classic ones, the newer ones, the ones where she worked with the Hardy Boys, the tiny ones for younger kids, ALL OF THEM.

 


 
 
 
 
 
                So I remember watching this movie with a bunch of other kids and teens and just being annoyed. I don’t remember all of the things that they got wrong, but I remember thinking about how they got Nancy’s character all wrong and Ned didn’t even look or act like Ned.

                Like, how dare you, movie producers?? All I want is an accurate portrayal of my favorite books in movie forms that do them justice and make them as epic as possible.

        I also want the actors to look exactly like the characters do in my head. How hard is that? Why do y’all let me down????

 


 
 
 
 
 
I think that the author and top producer of a movie should make sure that they have a fan of said book nearby when casting actors, because then at least the characters will look somewhat accurate, like, come on.
 
Also, don’t even get me started when they change up little details in movies. I get it…sometimes. The movie would be forever long if they put in every detail and didn’t cut or change anything, but sometimes it’s so random and wrong.

They changed a million tiny details in the Harry Potter movies and now my family and I are eternally confused on who did what in which year. Also, we didn’t get enough Dobby in the movies… am I the only one annoyed by the fact that Neville saved Harry that one time instead Dobby like in the books?

 
 
 
 
 
 
And then there’s that annoy thing some movie producers do…. where they NEVER FINISH THE DARN SERIES. COME ON, HOLLYWOOD! Am I going to be taking my grandchildren to see The Last Battle (Narnia) in theaters?? Is that how it’s going to be???

I don’t get it. Hollywood is making these awful remakes and ruining Chips and The Dukes of Hazzard when they have some fresh content right over here that would make them a profit in box-office!

Maybe it’s just me and my goldfish brain, but I feel like that would be a win.

 
 
 
 
 

Although sometimes I feel like movies that use to be books work out well, like Harry Potter was pretty good, I have very few complaints (they were epic). Lord of the Rings works well, because the non-nerds need a way to slowly slide into the world and not get completely overwhelmed by middle earth and everything, and when you realize how old the Lord of the Rings movies are they are suddenly weirdly high quality, it amazes me every time I watch them.  
 
So, this was just a rambly rant, but yeah! 
What movies have you watched that were from books?
What did you think of Percy Jackson if you watched it?
Where you disappointed by the 2007 Nancy Drew movie like nine-year-old Gray??
 
Happy Writing,
 

1/11/18

Room Tour

      When you had so many posts planned, but your oral surgery stole the life from you........


             Blegh. So I stole this idea from Lilah, because why not? (Read her room tour HERE). I think it would be kind of cool to show y'all my room anyway...



        My dad actually made my room (and half of our house), so I'm really proud of it.
    
   My awesome built in bookshelf.
 
 
Bookshelf/makeup shelf, but ignore my lipstick addiction. XP
 
 
        The closet doors, I will not be showing y'all the inside because it needs to be organized desperately.
 
 
          For some reason this corner decided to be all dark and emo, even though I worked really hard to make my room light and airy...
 
 
Desk number 1, and yes, I keep up Christmas lights all year.
 
 
 I got the roses idea from Ikea.
 
 
 
Look at the poor neglected backpack that I only use once a week.

 
        My mom was getting rid of this, but I use to pretend this was the wardrobe to Narnia when I was younger, so I told her I would put it in my room because #nostalgia
 
 
 
         My tiny twin sized bed, I wanted a good amount of floor space in my room, and when you're only five foot a twin bed is perfect.
 

 
        And finally my desk no. 2, which is where I am writing this post now! :P
 
 
Well, I hope you enjoyed a tiny look into part of my world, sorry that this post is so random and thrown together.
 
What does your room look like?
 
 
Happy Writing,
 
 
 

1/2/18

Review: The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas


       When I started this book I knew I would have mixed feelings about it, I already have mixed feelings about books tackling tough and serious topics such as racism in a fictitious way. And as soon as I started reading this book I got around three different reactions from people on goodreads, people seemed to either have loved it, disliked it, or they were just curious on what I would think of it.
         Because of my mixed emotions and the touchiness of this subject, this post will be a little long, sorry:


The Hate U Give is about sixteen-year-old Starr Carter, a girl who lives almost two different lives. She is torn between the fancy almost all white prep school that she goes to, and her poorer black neighborhood. The story really starts when Starr witnesses the shooting of her best friend, Khalil, at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.
Starr is devastated, angered, and horrified when her friend’s death becomes a national headline and people start calling him a thug, a drug dealer, and a gangbanger. Even Starr’s best friend at school tells her that it was what he probably deserved and that he had it coming. After it becomes clear that the police have very little interest in investigating Khalil’s death, people start protesting in the streets, and Starr’s world quickly becomes a war zone. Starr wants to speak up for her dead friend, but her words could endanger her life, ruin her relationships, and crush everything she holds dear… will she remain silent or fight for what was lost?
First off, let’s get the content covered:
 
There was a lot of swearing, suggestiveness, crudeness, and the talk of how far Starr and her boyfriend went one time. It felt unnecessary (y’all know my feelings about swearing and crudeness in YA). The first chapter was really crass, so much that I ended up skimming it, since it takes place at a party (yes, that kind of party). Honestly, if you’re planning on reading this book, I’d recommend just skipping the first chapter, since it really only begins to introduce the characters of this book and the story really starts in the second chapter.








 

 Now, onto the rest of the post:

Obviously, from reading what this book is about and the fact that it is all fictional and only inspired by recent shootings and events, The Hate U Give is bound to step on a few toes, including mine.  And all though I liked it overall, I only gave it three stars. One was taken off for the swearing and the sexual themes, and the other for the fact that I feel that this book was missing something… okay, a few things.

The first thing is Khalil’s death, which is super sad, but I did have a few problems with how the police were portrayed.


Are there racist police? If I’m going to ask that I might as well point at a random Starbucks and ask, are there jerks in there? Because, yes, 100% yes. Sadly, the world we live in is broken, and everyone else is broken along with it. I’m not here trying to say that there aren’t racist police officers and that racism is dead, because, let’s be real; it’s not.

But when you’re writing a fictitious story about racism among the police-the people who are in charge of protecting civilians and deserve our respect and obedience, it’s such a delicate and sensitive topic that I’m not sure if anyone will ever be able to write on it perfectly with no bias whatsoever. It’s really hard for me even to explain my thoughts on this topic in the book, so let’s just look at Khalil’s shooting scene (warning for younger readers, this scene is a bit graphic):

‘The officer walks back to his patrol car.

My parents haven’t raised me to fear the police, just to be smart around them. They told me it’s not smart to move while a cop has his back to you.

Khalil does. He comes to his door.

It’s not smart to make a sudden move.

“You okay, Starr—”

Pow!

One. Khalil’s body jerks. Blood splatters from his back. He holds on to the door to keep himself upright.

Pow!

Two. Khalil gasps.

Pow!

Three. Khalil looks at me, stunned.

He falls to the ground.’ (pg. 23).










       This scene on its own wasn’t wrong, but afterwards Starr really struggles with the fact that Khalil was shot even though he wasn’t doing anything besides checking on her, she believes that if a white person opened a car door that they wouldn’t have been shot three times.

Now, I also struggled with this. Would a white person get shot if they did the same thing? After some thought and a few flashbacks to some news stories, I realized, yes, absolutely.

1. When a police officer asks you to stay were you are and turns his back to you, he is exposing himself, and as Starr said, it isn’t smart to move while a cop has their back to you.

2. Police officers deal with a lot of mental people, every time they pull someone over they do not know if this person has a gun or not, thus they have very little tolerance for disobedience, because they never know if the person they pulled over is going to try to harm or kill them.

3. Khalil opened the door, and it later says that he had a hairbrush in the door, which Starr and her family use to protest saying, “A hairbrush isn’t a gun!” and while it’s not, if you’re a police officer and you tell someone to stay put, but instead they turn, open their car door, and you see a flash of metal in that door, what are you going to think? Not to mention that Khalil was arguing with the policeman beforehand.
 
Altogether, this is a recipe for a tragic outcome.

4. In the book Starr questions why the cop had to shoot her friend three times, and why he had to kill him. Couldn’t he just have wounded him?

      Yes, but no. In self-defense, you are taught that if someone has a weapon and is trying to attack you that you need to take them out, because wounding them isn’t enough to ensure that they still aren’t going to pull out their gun and shoot you or come after you. If you think someone is trying to kill or harm you, especially with a weapon like a gun, you are taught to shoot to kill. It’s sad that such measures must be taken, but with all of the high, drunk, and insane people on the streets these days, you never know what people are thinking.

The shooting itself wasn't a racial issue, however, the police officer claiming that Khalil told Starr that he was going to get him and lying to make Khalil seem like a thug was.


And I did take into account that Starr is a sixteen-year-old girl, who just watched her friend get shot right before her eyes by a person, who is supposed to be a protector when she knew that he was doing nothing wrong. Her anger is honestly only normal, she saw something that she felt was a horrible injustice, but I do wish the book had more reasoning on Khalil's death, especially because it's a FICTITIOUS book, that is putting men of honor in this bad light.
 
I kind of expected this knot to never be fully tied up, Khalil’s death would be written as an injustice, and in a way, it is, as I said before it is really sad that the world is the way it is, and that police need to use extra force.

A lot of people were saying that this book was hateful towards the police, and after reading The Hate U Give, I really don’t think that hate towards the force was meant, but I did feel like she accidently put the whole police force in a bad light because that’s how Starr ended up seeing them, and I was sad that it was never really resolved. There is a conversation between Starr’s father and uncle where her uncle tells her father that not all cops are bad, and her father agrees, but I still felt like two sentences of, “oh, wait, not all cops are racist.” didn't tie it up enough in 444 pages of misplaced righteous anger.

I say “misplaced righteous anger” because I felt like Starr and her friends and family had every right to be upset, but rowdy protests full of anger, fear, and hate is not the way to go, and I didn’t care for the positive light that protesting was put in, especially fighting back at the police.










  As for the word of discrimination towards white people, there were a few scenes that were the prime examples of reverse racism, but in the end they did start to realize their hypocrisy. But sadly, the fact they got offended with the white people when they made stereotypical jokes and then made stereotypical jokes about white people themselves really tarnished the overall message.

 

When I finished this book I just sat for a moment and thought. A lot of my friends really liked this book, and in a way, I do think that the heart of this book was in the right place, it was meant to show us the perspective of people like Starr and her family. And I learned a lot about how some people view the world, which I think is good, even though I don’t exactly agree with everything, I can’t validly disagree with something until I understand.

      And I think that this book was good for me to read, even though I didn't agree with the activism in this book, I think it's important to see how other people think. I am glad I read this, I really am. I may never understand the thinking behind protesting, because when has anger and hate ever solved anything? But it was good for me to read how a lot of people get involved in stuff like this.

But I just sat there, and for the next few days I just thought about the biggest thing that I felt this book was missing, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it, until it came to me…

Unity and love.

There was some unity, but not enough for the end of this sobering book. There was just so little hope, and maybe that was the point, but I just felt that it was needed. I really wish this book didn’t end in anger, powerful anger, yes, but where was the hope for more than just hate and hypocrisy?  

In light of this more depressing review, here are some great videos for the thought:


 




Whew! That felt good to get off my chest.

Have you read The Hate U Give?

What did you think?

Will you be reading it?
 

DISCLAIMER: I wrote this review because I had friends and family that wanted to know what I thought, and these were my honest and perfectly blunt thoughts. You may disagree with me, but any hateful comments will be deleted. This is my blog and I have every right to delete your comment if I need to, thank you, and have a nice day.
 

 

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