Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Take A Chance Challenges #10 & #2

Warning: Long Post ahead! This week is devoted to the Take A Chance Challenge hosted by the awesome Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here. On Saturday I'm doing the Read A Thon, and have a feeling a lot of posts will come from that....You might have noticed that I'm not following the challenge number in order of sequence.

Challenge #10

Movie/Book Comparison:
Find a book that you haven't read that has a movie based on it that you haven't seen
. Read the book and watch the movie within a few days of each other. Write about your reactions to both the book and the movie and compare the two.

I had originally chosen the Worst Witch because I wanted a Halloween book/movie. However, as I started reading this great childrens book I realized that I had read the book and seen the movie-it had been so long I had just forgotten about it. How could I forget Tim Currey as the Grand Wizard? I read the book and watched the movie any way and loved them both-but I felt like that was cheating, so I made the mistake of choosing this movie/book to read & watch:

P.S. I Love You by Cecelia Ahern

I had read one other book by this author before Dear Rosie-a book that I had found at a library book sale, before this movie came out and was convinced that the only way the author got published was because her father was the Prime Minister of Ireland and somebody owed him a favor or two. After reading her debut book, PS I Love You, I'm even more convinced of that theory. PS I love you is about a young widow, Holly Kennedy who is trying to get over the death of her husband Gerry, who died at a young age of a brain tumor. Through a series of letters that he wrote to Holly before he died she with the help of her friends and family starts to live again.

My thoughts on the book:

  • It seems like the only adjectives the author used were: Personally, Honestly, and Sarcastically. (I made the mistake of reading a review where someone wrote that she used the word sarcastically a lot, and it's true-she does along with the other two words.)
  • The writing switches from first person, to second to third. It distracts from the story.
  • The author was only 22 when she wrote this, and I don't think she's ever experienced something like this, because the grieving process was a little too fast.
Things I liked about the book:
  • The premise~it sounded like such a great tearjerker of a book, but it didn't quite follow through.
The Movie:
Why, why, why do movie producers feel the need to change everything about the book for the movie?
  • Hilary Swank just seems like a weird choice for Holly. She pulled it off, but not who I would have cast in that role.
  • Why change the location? The book is set in Dublin, not New York!! She is Irish, not American!
  • Why add stuff that didn't happen just to give people's roles?
  • I loved Gerard Butler
  • They even changed what tasks the letters had Holly doing-it annoyed me!
  • I was only able to watch this movie b/c I was too lazy too turn it off.
  • Why did the make her mom a single mom, and where were all of her brothers?
  • Lisa Kudrow was perfect for the role of Denise.
Edited to add: I loved the soundtrack of the movie-it almost makes up for the crappy adaptation of the book and the book itself. I also think if I were in my 20s and not my 30s I would have enjoyed this book more.

This movie reminded of the movie Sahara with Matthew McConaughey. Did you know that was a book by Clive Cussler? He's one of my favorite mystery-action writers. They totally changed the story of the book in order to give Penelope Cruz a larger role. Totally annoyed me...

Challenge #2: Random Word Generator:Go to random word generator and generate a random word. Find a book with this word in the title. Read the book and write about it. The word I got was Muddle. Do you know how few books start with that title? One of the few I found was Muddle Earth by Paul Stewart and Chris Ridell.

If I were a boy the ages this book was meant for- grades 4-6 -I would have loved this book. It has a little bit of everything-elves, giants, & wizards. As an adult reading it, I just couldn't get through it-or maybe it was that PS I Love you just drained all the energy out from me. I only made it half way through the book before I gave up on it.

Here's the plot from Amazon for those with kids in grades 4-6:

One minute young Joe Jefferson is trying to figure out what to write for his English assignment, "My Amazing Adventure," and the next thing he knows both he and his dog have been pulled into the world of Muddle Earth by the incompetent magician Randalf the Wise. Joe has been summoned to be the official warrior-hero of the realm, and that means going head-to-head with malicious Dr. Cuddles. Cuddles, it seems, has captured all of the local wizards and is forcing them to do his evil bidding. It's up to our hero and his ragtag team of new friends to defeat the villain and free the wizards before Cuddles has a chance to conquer Muddle Earth. Bathroom humor and potty jokes abound in this tepid tale. Rather than a straight out-and-out parody of Tolkien's stories of Middle Earth (which might have been preferable), Stewart's tale references those stories rarely, if ever. The whole enterprise feels more like an excuse to try out some random fantasy tropes without ever using them in an inventive fashion. In short, the madcap adventures and humorous moments could stand to be a lot more madcap and humorous.—Elizabeth Bird, New York Public Library