Tag Archives: movie adaptation

#WW I Avoided Certain Books. Here’s Why.

3 Jun

#WW I Avoided Certain Books. Here’s Why.

Right now, I’m basically reading all the novels I’ve avoided over the past year or so. Why did I avoid these reads? I can honestly just guess—since it’s difficult to remember—but I thought it’d make for an interesting topic.

The first novel I picked up was The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey. I already finished and reviewed it on Goodreads. Five fantastic alien stars. (No kidding.) I could barely put it down, and it kept me up way too late at night . . . which caused me to have some awesome (and wicked) alien dreams. That being said, I definitely reflected on why I avoided this phenomenal YA novel. My best friend and her husband recommended it to me first, and I often love their suggestions. In fact, I exchange nerd-dom news with them on a regular basis. So why did I immediately shut down The 5th Wave? It was everything I’ve ever enjoyed before: thrilling science-fiction with an underlining mystery in the midst of survival. And there’s a teddy bear. Who doesn’t love teddy bears?

This is Kiki, judging me for not reading The 5th Wave sooner.

This is Kiki, judging me for not reading The 5th Wave sooner.

I pondered my avoidance for a while for two reasons:

  1. I would hate to see this “avoidance” turn into a weird reading habit, which then causes me to miss out on some of my favorite reads of the year (like in this case.)
  2. I’m an author. I want to understand this from a psychology standpoint for my own novels. Was it the cover? Could this be avoided for readers looking at my books? Was it the back cover? Was it the main character’s name? Etc. And being an author made me HATE the possibility of being a judgmental reader, a.k.a. a book snob. That’s not me. So what’s going on?

I literally made a list of possibilities. (Literally. I love lists . . . and psychoanalyzing myself.) And I was brutally honest with myself.

At first, I thought it might have been because the protagonist’s name is Cassie, and my best friend’s name (yes, the one I mentioned above) is Cassie. Maybe it was too weird for me. (What author can avoid this?) But then I realized that couldn’t have been the case, because I read this entire 500-page novel in a few nights, and I never pictured my friend shooting a M16 at her enemies. They even have different hair colors. So . . . it wasn’t that. And it wasn’t the cover, because I actually kind of like how different the cover is, borderline thriller (which the novel is), mixed with an almost sepia-like glow in a forest. (Basically, if there were a pretty girl in a dress on the cover, it would not have made sense. At all.) My problem wasn’t the language or the violence either. I loved both. And the title didn’t confuse me, and the concept didn’t . . . wait. The concept.

So, the concept is where I saw myself stumble. (And you might want to read the synopsis just so you get what I’m talking about.) But the back of the book explains that this novel is about aliens taking over in a variety of “waves” (ex. The 1st Wave is an electromagnetic impulse, so we can’t use our technology.) Now, we’re waiting for The 5th Wave.

Why did this bother me? It sounds AWESOME.

Well, that’s what I had to figure out, and I did. Although it might be strange to some, I started with “why did I pick it up this time?” I thought starting in the NOW would help me figure out the THEN. And it did.

I recently watched Star-Crossed, a CW show about aliens that evidentially got canceled. (A fact I did not know while watching it on Netflix.) And even though Star-Crossed and The 5th Wave are VERY different, I was dying for another alien story. So then it occurred to me. When was the last time I actually READ an alien story?

This was difficult for me . . . which is strange because I read a lot . . . so I then realized I avoid alien books altogether . . . which was strange because I grew up around tons of alien books and intergalactic travel novels in my house because my mom was a trekky and overall book junkie.

And it hit me.

I’ve probably avoided alien novels since my mom died . . . back when I was eleven. Not entirely of course. But most of the time. Even though I love them, I think subconsciously aliens might have been “too close”—a topic that brought back too many memories. And while that sounds sad and all, (I get it. It was for me.) I think I overcame this psychological subconscious avoidance of alien books just by reading The 5th Wave. This novel solved a problem I never even knew I had.

Isn’t that amazing?

Books truly affect our lives in ways we can’t even begin to understand, and I like to believe that’s because reading falls along the lines of love. You can’t explain it, but it shapes you. And that’s why I’m picking up even more novels that I’ve avoided for one reason or another along the way.

Who knows? It could be the most impactful read of my life.


On a fun side note, my recent vlog on my YouTube channel, Coffee & Cats, covered The 5th Wave, including the upcoming film adaptation, and a movie recommendation similar to it while you wait.

Novels to Movies

11 Jul

Before I start, I have to apologize! I’ve been really busy with numerous things in my life. I’m working really hard to finish the edits of Seconds Before Sunrise while completing my senior year in college. I’m also spending a lot of time with my family, but I promise I’m trying to post every other day!

Okay. Phew. Now today’s topic:

Every time I go to the theatre, I see a new preview to a novel-movie adaptation. The crowd either sighs or is filled with excitement. There are even entire bookcases at the bookstore dedicated to upcoming movies, but movie adaptations are arguable. Readers are often disappointed by this, but do all adaptations deserve this? I don’t think so. In my personal opinion, I look at adaptations as separate pieces of art–“a sister piece.” It isn’t going to be the novel, but it will represent the novel in a visual manner, so I try to stay positive and open-minded by taking the movie as what it is: a movie. Because of this, I wanted to reflect on my top recent favorites. Why? Because I have a list of upcoming novels-to-movies that I can’t wait to see, and I’m hoping others do too! (Or considering seeing them after they think of their favorites and maybe decide novels-to-movies aren’t so horrible after all.)

1. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close (Adventure/Drama/Mystery)


The novel has much more time to get in-depth with the protagonist’s background along with his family’s background, so I am biased when I saw this movie is great. A lot of information is left out. (The novel is amazing!) But I understand why they had to cut it. They didn’t have hours and hours to put in all of the stories they put in the novel. But, in my opinion, if you have read the novel, the director seems to do everything they could to hint at these stories and bring up all of the emotions the novel did. This is a very sad book, revolving around loss and 9/11, and the movie isn’t any different. There are amazing performances done by all of the actors, and I really enjoyed this adaptation, even through I watched most of it through tears.

2. Never Let Me Go (Drama/Fantasy/Romance)kazuo_ishiguro

This is one that I strongly encourage reading the novel beforehand. The way the reader learns as a child would learn (and with the characters) without the writer simply coming out to explain the situation is phenomenal. This was the biggest loss in the movie, because they had to come out and say it in the movie. But I still loved it, because the movie allowed me to simply concentrate on the relationships between Ruth, Kathy, and Tommy, while also considering the point of the novel (no spoilers.) I recently watched this movie again with a friend who hasn’t read the book, and they loved it. But it is a tear-jerker! (As most of my favorite movies are.) However, I still found remarkable beauty in the meaning, and you won’t walk away without thinking about life.

3. One Day: (Drama/Romance)

One Day Movie_book

I fell in love with this novel like Em fell in love with Dex: insatiably and with hopeless aggravation. The movie brought up an entire different range of emotions. I didn’t necessarily fall in love with the characters, but I remained in love, and I saw them for who they were, and it was perfect. I have to admit that I’m not normally a fan of Anne Hathaway, but I loved her in this movie. She did a marvelous job, and Jim Sturgess rounded Dexter’s character in a way I was worried the movie wouldn’t. In the end, I was filled with the same emotions I was with the book, and I walked away satisfied and chatting about all the symbolic aspects of the characters’ lives. 

4. On the Road: (Advernture/Drama)70401

A Jack Kerouac classic. I love this novel. It’s one of my favorites. (In fact, most of my favorite novels-to-movies are my favorite novels.) In this case, there were some major changes, especially at the beginning, but I could understand why they did it. I still think the director retained the voice of the novel while also depicting the Beat Generation. I definitely loved Dean Moriarty. I thought Garrett Hedlund did an amazing job.

5. Beautiful Creatures: (Young-adult/Fantasy/Romance)

You may have noticed, but this is my first young-adult book-to-movie adaptation. When I originally sat down, I realized I was generally disappointed by young-adult adaptations, but I am very open-minded when it comes to adaptations. The reason I think I loved this one so much, despite a lot of information being left out, was how visually stunning it was. The director clearly put in a lot of hours in to the set alone, and I found it beautiful and dark–just like the storyline.

So what novels-to-movies are coming out? There are plenty, but here are my top five:

In the meantime, I will be writing, working, studying, and walking my cat...

In the meantime, I will be writing, working, studying, and walking my cat…

1. The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

2. Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

3. Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

4. The Spectacular Now by Tim Thrap

5. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin

Other popular ones: 

Percy Jackson: The Sea of Monsters by Rick Riordan

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien (Second one)

Do you have any novels-to-movies you really enjoyed and/or looking forward to seeing? I would ask about ones you dislike, but I try to stay positive and talk about what others like rather than the parts they dislike. However, I also believe that the things people dislike are just as telling, so feel free to talk about that as well. If you have any older novels-to-movies you think I may not have seen, please let me know! Considering novels and movies are two of my favorite things, it isn’t surprising when I say I love reading and watching them.

Again, I’m sorry I’ve been so busy, but I’m trying really hard to stay on schedule! I hope everyone is having a great week, and I’m loving all these reviews coming in. I’m always available at shannonathompson@aol.com, and AEC Stellar Publishing is still giving away free ebook copies to celebrate Minutes Before Sunset winning Goodreads Book of the Month. I appreciate all the support that has poured in. It means a lot to me, and it keeps me on my toes as I continue on with the editing process of Seconds Before Sunrise.


Goodreads Quote of the Day: “I wasn’t sure what was worse: being oblivious or living within reality.” (Minutes Before Sunset)

Movie Mention: On the Road

29 Mar

Website Update: 1:00 a.m.: My Facebook Author Page hit 150 likes today! Thank you for making my Friday that much better. 

Yes. This movie is based off of Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road, and, before I continue, I have to clarify how much of a fan I am of Kerouac. I first studied him in 2010. I read The Dharma Burns, Big Sur, Desolation Angels, Visions of Cody, Maggie Cassidy, The Subterraneans, and Dr. Sax–all under Ken Irby’s poetic eye–and I’ve been in envy of Kerouac’s philosophic and honest writing ever since. (If you’re interested, here’s a list of how to write prose like Kerouac himself.)

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

The wonderful Jack Kerouac

But–back to the movie.

I’ve been trying to get my hands on this Brazilian-French drama ever since it premiered in competition for the Palme d’Or in May, 2012, but I couldn’t–for the life of me–find it anywhere. Maybe it was just my experience, but it never came to theaters here (Kansas main theaters), and stores seem to always have to order it from somewhere else. However, after watching it, I think I know why.

On the Road is very controversial. If you don’t understand The Beat Generation (writers in the 1950’s who experimented with drugs and sex) I could see why the movie would come across as a giant party, rather than something truly challenging and real. In fact, many don’t even realize that On the Road is based on a true story, something that happened to Kerouac and his friend, Neal Cassady. I think these facts are really essential to seeing (and feeling) what the movie is truly about. But, nevertheless, my friend (who hasn’t read the book, but did have me to explain some things) loved it, and I did too.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it's no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of "Mary Lou" very well.

Movie Cover. And, yes, Kristen Stewart is in it, but it’s no reason to ignore the movie. I, personally, think she suited the role of “Mary Lou” very well.

It was a beautiful adaptation of a such a striking traveler’s (and coming of age) tale. In the novel, Kerouac’s ability to discuss self-discovery within culture is magnificent–and so is the movie’s. Walter Salles did a wonderful job directing this film.

I really recommend both the book and the movie. (Book first, preferably, but it’s up to you.) It’s a great way to start the weekend. And, if you’re looking for a trip to take this summer, consider traveling On the Road (his map is available below) with Kerouac’s writing to guide the way.

Watch the trailer for the On the Road movie here.


March 31: Writing Tips: Different Perspectives 

His map

His map

Movie Mention: Warm Bodies

14 Feb

Happy Valentine’s Day!

I love this particular movie poster, because I'm a HUGE fan of "Love Story" and the reference brings me a smile.

I love this particular movie poster, because I’m a HUGE fan of “Love Story” and the reference brings me a smile.

On Monday night, I went and saw Warm Bodies–the movie that takes our normally feared zombie creatures and turns them into potential dates.

When a young zombie man, R, saves Julie from becoming a zombie herself, the two trigger a heartbeat in the living dead, changing everything. Click here for more information and/or a trailer.

This movie is smart, cute, and full of fun (if you consider war between zombies and the unsatisfied Bonies fun…which it is. Seriously.) Nicholas Hoult does a great job, bringing an introspective zombie boy to life. (To life? Can I say that since he’s dead? I think so.) My only complaint (seriously…my ONLY) is that I wish the heroine was more capable. I felt like she was only there to spark the catalyst and then be saved…numerous times…even when she probably didn’t deserve it. However, my overall opinion of the movie was great!

Whether you’re with your special loved one or with no one at all today, this is a great movie to see.

Warm Bodies is also (and originally) a novel by Isaac Marion. Click here if you’d prefer reading this dark and lovely tale.

If you’re a zombie fan, and you’re looking for more undead entertainment, check out Carrie Ryan’s “The Forest of Hands and Teeth” book series here. The trilogy is probably my favorite zombie tale. World War Z is also fantastic (but it’s very much a political metaphor–nothing like the Brad Pitt movie that’s about to come out. However, I’m excited to see that as well.)


P.S. I’m delighted to announce that I have a new page coming on February 16th. Be sure to check it out!

Relax & Read: The Host

21 Dec

Happy Doomsday.

I hope we’re all still alive, unlike the Mayan calendar predicted (which isn’t true if you’ve researched, but that’s not the point…Right?)

However, since the end of the world is supposedly today’s main event, I thought I would share a novel with that concept. tumblr_m3v4chx2xc1qm6yt5o1_250

“The Host” by Stephanie Meyer takes place on earth after we’re invaded by human hosts who, honestly, make the world a better place to live.

When Melanie is taken over, however, she rebels by staying within her body, and working with her “Wanderer” in order to survive. Strangely enough, her Wanderer begins fighting with her, and they work together in her body to save the human existence.

Read more about the novel here.

And the movie (which comes out in March) here.


Relax & Read: Beautiful Creatures

16 Nov

I was going to save this post for the future, but I couldn’t stop myself today, because I somehow just found out that this YA novel is ALSO being made into a movie. (Comes out in February of 2013)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl will transport you into the magical south the moment Lena Duchannes moves into the small town of Gatlin. Once she is there, Ethan Wate, a boy who’s always wanted to leave, suddenly wants to stay, because he is tortured by reoccurring dreams of a past he couldn’t possibly have lived–with a girl who couldn’t possibly be Lena.

Cursed by her sixteenth birthday, Lena will be chosen to either be of the light or the dark, and Ethan is dangerously standing by her side through all of it.

This novel is fantastic! And it is a series.

So check it out if you love the southern mystery of magic, love, and secrets held in darkness.

Check out the book series here.

Watch the movie trailer here.


Movie Mention: City of Bones

15 Nov

So…I’ve written about how much I LOVE Cassandra Clare’s YA series, The Mortal Instruments (read about what I said here), and a movie adaptation comes out August 23, 2013. So, yes, I know this is WAYYY early, but I couldn’t help myself.

The teaser trailer came out last night, and here it is.

Watch it! Maybe you’ll be just as excited as me or you’ll pick up City of Bones next time you’re at the store.

Happy reading, watching, writing, and entertaining!



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