Tag Archives: City of Bones

#ReaderProblems Fandoms vs. Mobs

3 Feb

All right. All right. I’m not telling anyone they cannot have an opinion. You can. (Of course.) But I wanted to discuss an upsetting trend that bothers me down in my fandom core.

Readers ALWAYS hate every adaptation. And it isn’t just hate. It’s very loud, very aggressive, very complete hate. Welcome, fandom mobs.

I get it. I do. I am a reader before I am a writer. I’m in many fandoms, and I am in love with many worlds and characters and storylines, and they mean more to me than words on a page. Those worlds were my safe places when I wanted to escape. Those characters were my friends when I felt alone. Those storylines were my explorations when I couldn’t leave my home. Seeing them butchered is like witnessing the mockery of something you love. I get it. But don’t pick up the pitchfork yet.

Adaptations are adaptations. They are not a mockery, because they are not the same thing. The adaptations are inspired by the books we love, and we must keep that in mind…and we need that mind to be an open mind.

Why?

The reason movie and television producers pick up books and create adaptations is because there is already an audience. That audience, hopefully, will attend first, and then encourage others to attend too…even despite differences. If anything, I remember differences being another form of entertainment. When Harry Potter first started releasing (when I was 11), my friend delighted in explaining what was different, but she never said it was wrong or terrible or discouraged me from trying it out for myself. If anything, it made me consider reading the books, and she offered me her first one to borrow so I could catch up by the sequel’s release.

This is what we, as a fandom, need to concentrate on. We want to encourage new readers and viewership so they can make their own opinions…even if you don’t like the adaptation…and that means concentrating on being positive. A newcomer is not going to pick up a book if that book is in the hands of an angry mob with pitchforks. But if you sit back and—in the least—enjoy discussing everything, maybe they will pick up that book and join your awesome fandom.

The reason I wanted to talk about this, as I’m sure many of you know, is due to the second adaptation of The Mortal Instruments. The 2013 movie bombed, and now, the TV show has released. Personally, I loved the movie. I also enjoy the TV show. I’m not picky. (Obvs.) I read the book, and I know this isn’t the book. In fact, the producers made that quite clear. To me, as long as they get the “mood” of the characters, I’m pretty happy. In fact the show changed the overall tone of the story for me. As a reader, the books were a dark paranormal comedy, but the show is cheese all around. You know what? That’s okay. I could use some more cheese in my life. And one of my favorite parts of this entire experience was calling up my best friend to discuss the differences between the books and the show, because we read them together years ago and reread them together again. (Chernobyl, seriously?)

Then, as opinions rolled out, I saw it happen again. Just like the movie. The mob came out.

The disturbing trend of absolute hate in this adaptation, not once but twice, is a great example of the consequences that could follow if we keep doing this.

adaptations

The book, the movie, the show

When the movie released, everyone hated it. Hated it. Now that the show is out, I see more love for the movie than ever. I do find it ironic that everyone is suddenly talking about how much they loved The Mortal Instruments movie now that they dislike the TV show. Granted, marketing had a lot to do with the movie’s failure as well, but the fandom had a huge hand in it.

All the complaining about the movie convinced no outsiders to see the movie, and the poor sales caused the sequel’s cancelation.

So…where were all these “lovers of the movie” back then? I know I didn’t see many, because I felt rather alone in how much I enjoyed it. I saw it twice—in a nearly empty theatre both times—and I’ve watched it over a dozen times total. My DVD copy sits on my DVD player at all times. Other TMI fans even made me feel like a bad TMI fan because I liked it, but I still talked about how much I loved it. Don’t be afraid to say you enjoyed it, and don’t attack fellow fans. This is where we go wrong…but please don’t get me wrong. I had my dislikes about the movie as well. (Alec, for one, who I actually enjoyed in the TV show.) And I was vocal about that to my friend. That being said, I also gushed over Lily and Jamie and even Raphael. I told everyone I knew to at least try it out or to read the books. I also explained a lot of the missing elements to the friends who checked it out and wanted to know more.

It’s okay to complain or discuss differences, but try to be positive. This is a fandom, after all. You want more people to join it. Why not explain some differences of the show to newcomers and encourage them to get the book?

I might tell people I liked this or I disliked that, but I try to focus on what I liked the most. I try to tie it into the book. I try to do what my friend did for me all those years back with Harry Potter. I sit down with them and talk about it and explain questions the adaptations might not have covered and I encourage them to get the book and see for themselves.

Don’t let your fandom turn into a mob. Fandoms are supposed to be fun. They are supposed to be exhilarating and great. A place where all fans can come together and be friends and discuss and draw pictures and write fan-fiction and celebrate the books.

If we keep doing this, our fandoms will no longer be fandoms; they will be mobs. And those mobs are going to take out all future adaptations. Eventually, there will be no reason for producers to pick up a book’s crowd.

Read, encourage, repeat.

But, most of all, have fun again,

~SAT

Come get your books signed on February 13, from 1-3 PM during the Barnes & Noble Valentine’s Day Romance Author Event in Wichita, Kansas at Bradley Fair. Come meet Tamara GranthamCandice GilmerTheresa RomainJan Schliesman, and Angi Morgan! If you haven’t started The Timely Death Trilogy, don’t worry. Minutes Before Sunset, book 1, is free!

Minutes Before Sunset, book 1:

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Seconds Before Sunrisebook 2:

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Death Before Daylightbook 3:

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Movie Mention: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

24 Aug

I first mentioned The Mortal Instruments on October 2, 2012 on my post Relax & Read: The Mortal Instruments. Then I followed it up on November 15, 2012 when I realized it was being adapted into a movie, and I couldn’t help but post Movie Mention: City of Bones. Now I’m here, almost a year later, reviewing the very movie I’ve been looking forward to for such a long time!

Before I get into the review, however, I want to clarify that I’m not going to have spoilers, because I know many of you might be seeing it this weekend or in the future. (If you decide to comment with a spoiler, I will respond, but please begin your comment with “SPOILER ALERT” so no one’s experience is tainted.) That being said, my review is also going to seem very short, because I cannot say a lot without spoiling certain parts. So here we go:20130823_172945

I’ve seen it twice now, and I loved it both times. I thought it was fantastic, and, yes, I’ve read all of the books–numerous times. I understand they changed a lot, including sequencing and the overall ending. But I’m very openminded when it comes to movie adaptations, and I look at books and their movies as separate pieces of work. As readers know, the books are very detailed and long. I think it’s important to remember how little time the directors and screenwriters have to fit everything in. Plus, it’s an adaptation–something I like to consider a “sister piece” (something inspired by the book–not the actual book.) I do think the movie is easier to understand if you’ve read the novel, because some explanations are only one or two sentences long, and, sometimes, it is whispered. However, the movie storyline is linear, and the graphics were awesome. I loved Jamie Campbell Bower, and I was impressed by Lily Collins as well (I was more worried about Collins than Bower, because I loved him in Camelot and haven’t seen so much range from Collins before.) Also, I think they retained Clare’s humor as much as possible in the two-hour dark tale. In regards to the “secret” revealed, I can see why people are upset, but, at the same time, I understand why Hollywood would change it for non-readers. Plus, let’s be real, readers would have told everyone the truth anyway.

But I will say one thing:

If you want an exact (or closely told) story of City of Bones, you’ll probably be disappointed, especially towards the end. I’d simply recommend an open mind to the changes. I absolutely love, love, LOVE the books, and I enjoyed this movie.

The only disappointments I had included Magnus Bane and the lack of presence Alec and Isabelle had (but I’m hoping they will get more screen time in City of Ashes.) Despite the overall popular disappointment with the movie adaptation and the book, City of Lost Souls, I remain a loyal fan of Cassandra Clare. It’s safe to say that I’m counting the days until City of Heavenly Fire (Book 6) is released on May 27, 2014 and City of Ashes (movie) comes out.

Aside from my review, I also wanted to share two book reviews I’ve received from two lovely ladies:

"Anne" by Carmen Stevens

“Anne” by Carmen Stevens

  • Author of Anne, Carmen Stevens, reviewed Minutes Before Sunset on her blog. “For me, there was a continuum of fast page turning as the story developed and the two main characters developed an interesting romance. This book is compelling, dramatic, funny and sweet, with lots of edge and action. I’d rate it 5 out of 5 stars, and this comes from someone who NEVER reads fantasy. Check it out today! It’s totally worthy of the Goodreads award it was given.” Read the rest here.

 

  • Goodreads reviewer, Satarupa, also read Minutes Before Sunset: “I loved the story line, it is fresh and unique and totally ‘kick-ass’! The action scenes are awesome and they are capable of sending chills down your spine and the suspense will drive you crazy with anticipation.” Read the rest here.

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)

book-vs-film-extremely-loud-and-incredibly-close

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.

~SAT

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

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!

~SAT

Relax & Read: The Mortal Instruments

2 Oct

Reading can get expensive sometimes! Especially when you LOVE writing inside the books like I do, because you have to own every one of them. But, hey, at least you get to keep them forever! (I think I may need a bigger bookshelf.)

Anyway…I thought I’d excite everyone by reminding them that the paperback version of Cassandra Clare’s City of Fallen Angels is released today.

If you haven’t checked out The Mortal Instruments series, I highly recommend them! Cassandra Clare is one of my favorite YA authors, and The Mortal Instruments series is also in the process of filming (so, if you need more encouragement, there you go!)

The first novel. City of Bones, dives right into the world of Shadowhunters when Clary, a young teenage girl, witnesses a strange murder. She unknowingly has the Sight (unlike us mundanes), and Jace, a young but capable warrior, wants to know why. After Clary’s mother is unexplainably kidnapped, Jace takes Clary under his wing (or arm) and exposes her to the world of demon hunting. Not only are demons real, but it turns out that everything else is too: werewolves, vampires, angels, fairies, and irresistible boys. (Maybe Jace? Hint. Hint.)

If you like everything paranormal, this series is for you.

Read more about the first book here.

Buy the paperback book here.

And obsess over the movie information here.

~SAT

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