Pride and Prejudice and Zombies and Adaptations

A long time ago on a Boston visit for March Madness, I visited a book store (Borders, RIP) and bought Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. And as sometimes happens, it sat on my shelf for nearly seven years. I decided with a movie coming out it was time to finally read it. Unfortunately, I wasn’t entirely thrilled with it. (Which pained me a little since Quirk is a Philadelphian publisher.) It didn’t differ enough from the original to be something new and interesting to me. I also wasn’t happy with the dash of Orientalism. However, I am the rare sort of bookworm who sometimes feels the movie is better than book. So I had home for the film adaptation.

When it comes to books I’ve loved, I approach film and television adaptations with caution, but mostly with intrigue. A bad adaptation doesn’t ruin the original for me and I can brush it off. Sometimes I can even enjoy bad adaptations a little bit. Then there are books I’m not really feeling, but in my head I see it as a story better suited for the screen. I have to admit, reading the first Hunger Games book I felt that way. Books and movies are different art forms suited for different types of stories and I am able to accept that. I simply love seeing how art transforms in other mediums so I don’t have that dread of how a book will play out on screen. If it fails, it fails.

So then there is a book like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies that bored me a little in book form, but was completely entertaining in movie form. It was the silly and gruesome story I had hoped the book would be. They took a lot of liberty with Austen’s original story which I feel worked out better in the end. The little tweaks made in the book meant characters and events were altered in a way that didn’t make complete sense in the end. The movie writers made more appropriate changes to make a zombie war work. There were unexpected plot changes which made it more engaging. I laughed more than when reading the book. It also provided an extra-broody Darcy.

This is one of those instances I’m going to tell you to skip the book and just see the film. I know, I know. Blasphemy. But the idea to take the original text of a beloved Austen novel and alter sentences didn’t pan out quite as well as I hoped. The movie added more battles and new storylines that made everything a lot more fun. I think Jane Austen herself would have been entertained.

I am sure there are more book lovers out there who have been more pleased with film adaptations than the novels. Come out of hiding! “The book is always better” is untrue. Does the book often offer more background information and depth of character and nuance in the plot? Yes, of course. There are many beloved books that didn’t impress me so much acted out. And then there are some ideas that were better suited for the screen. Or one form isn’t necessarily better than the other, just different. When it comes to Pride and Prejudice, I adore the 2005 adaptation people scoff at. I feel like it captures the essence of the original story, but is something else on its own.

Basically, books v. movies/tv doesn’t have to be so much of a competition. The book isn’t always better than the movie or vice versa. Which is better depends on who you ask. And if you’re asking me about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the film definitely wins.

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Now Listening: January 2016

2016 started out strong as far as album releases go.

Hymns – Bloc Party spotify
First of all, BLOC PARTY IS BACK.  This just came out this week so I haven’t gotten a chance to listen to it a lot, but loving it on the initial listen. It’s definitely different for them which has some old fans disappointed, but I’m okay with this type of different.

Weem – De Rosa spotify
Another band who has been away even longer is De Rosa. They broke up back in 2009, but reunited recently and now we get this album!

Six Day Hurricane – Johnny Gallagher spotify
People know Johnny Gallagher, Jr. from Spring Awakening and The Newsroom, but before he was making his name as an actor, he was in a band called Old Springs Pike. They’re from around where I live, but seemed to always play 21+ shows when I was still young so I never got to see them before Johnny left and they became The Spring Standards (who are still awesome!). He continued on as a solo artist though. I saw him play about 7/8 years ago and now he finally has an album! Some of the songs have been around a while and it’s great to hear the studio versions and I’m loving the new songs as well.

Not to Disappear – Daughter spotify
I was somewhere on the fence with Daughter before this album. Now I can say I am definitely a fan. They’ve grown a lot with Not to Disappear so I think seeing them when they come to Philly in March is going to happen.

Love + War – KWABS spotify
 This has been out in the UK so I’ve been listening to it for months now, but the US release is here at last. Get into it.

Holy Esque is taking their good ol’ time in releasing a full album and anytime they release a song I’m a little frantic. Tear and Strange are two of the most recent.

I’m a big fan of Mahogany Sessions for videos they do of old favorites as well as how they often introduce me to new artists. I’ve added both Tor Miller and Mahalia onto my radar because of them. They’ve also launched a new project called Distiller which has gotten me into New Carnival. There’s also videos of some other bands I adore such as Bear’s Den,  Luke Sital-Singh, and Marika Hackman. Definitely subscribe to both Youtube channels.

Speaking of Marika, I’ve added her albums back into rotation as well as Wild Belle’s who announced they’re coming back to Philly soon.

All the music mentioned in this post have been put into a Spotify playlist.

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Top Ten Tuesday: YA and Children’s Lit to Adult Fiction

Top Ten Tuesday was started over at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week there’s a different theme, but today is a freebie week. Inspired by the latest book in the Mediator series, I’m doing top ten YA and Children books I’d like to see an adult follow up to. For a lot of these, I don’t think an adult fiction follow up would really work, but it’s fun imagining the futures of these young characters I love.

  1. 1-800-Where-R-You series by Meg Cabot
    Since this list was inspired by Meg Cabot, I’m going to start off with another Cabot series. Aside from the Mediator, she has also written more of The Princess Diaries (which I haven’t caught up on yet). Now I’d like to see what Jessica Mastriani is up to. I honestly don’t remember a ton about these books, but I know I devoured them as a bored teen on summer vacation.
  2. From the Files of Madison Finn series by Laura Dower
    I adored this middle grade series when I was a kid. It’s another one my memory is a little foggy on though and I grew out of the books before the series was over. But I loved them so much an adult Madison Finn is something I’d like to read about. Her orange Apple laptop was a feature of the series so I’m imagining adult Madison with a Macbook Pro and iPhone. Is she dominating in the tech industry? Where does she live? Which characters are still in her life? Madison feels like a long lost friend I’d want to reconnect with.
  3. Just One Day series by Gayle Forman
    Allyson and Willem, guys. ALLYSON AND WILLEM. I don’t know how Gayle Forman does it, but I fall in love with her characters falling in love and I always want more!!!
  4. If I Stay series by Gayle Forman
    I know Where She Went was already pretty much what this list is about, BUT again, I want more Forman forever and always. I love her characters so much that they could have the most boring futures and I’d still want to read about what they’re up to.
  5. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
    Aysel is really struggling in this book and the conclusion leaves her in a better place, but I’d love to see where she ends up and how she copes.
  6. Dreamland by Sarah Dessen
    This is actually one of my least favorite Dessen books. It’s a heavy one and I think I just wasn’t prepared for it. Dessen also talks a lot about how she doesn’t write sequels to any of her books and I don’t think I’d actually want her to, but poor Caitlin! I worry for her. I want to see her happy. Similar to number 5, I want more happiness for characters who had a rough time in their teens.
  7. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
    This was a stressful read and the future I imagine for Naila would probably be mostly boring to read about. I want calm for her. I want to know about her career and how her family is.
  8. Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy
    Willowdean is wise as a teen so as an adult I imagine she’d be even wiser. I see her as a great mom or teacher or mentor in general.
  9. Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon
    This book ends with … a lot. Maddy is so brilliant and lovable and there’d be so much to explore in a follow up.
  10. The Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne
    I grew up reading these books and an adult book would be totally crazy and different. Is there still magic in Jack and Annie’s lives? Do they move on and have “normal” lives?

So a lot of these would be a stretch and likely not translate well into adult fiction, but who doesn’t like imagining where characters end up? Anyone have books they’d like to see get the adult fiction treatment?

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Review: Remembrance by Meg Cabot

remembrancecoverRemembrance by Meg Cabot
Release Date: February 2, 2016
Publisher: William Morrow
Format: Paperback
Genres: Supernatural, Paranormal, Romance, Adult Fiction

 

The Mediator is a series I devoured as a teen. It’s about a teenage girl, Susannah ‘Suze’ Simon, who can see ghosts and helps them pass onto the afterlife, which is often messy and requires some humor. As luck would have it, one of the ghosts she encounters is an attractive boy who haunts her house/bedroom and stuff happens. You can probably guess what “stuff” might entail, but it gets complicated as ghost-human relationships do. The series is also full of mysteries and ass kicking and drama and a side of ridiculousness.

Meg Cabot surprised fans by announcing a seventh installment of the series years after it ended. Except with Remembrance the series passes from YA to Adult Fiction and many fans who have also grown into adults get to see Suze as an adult.

There won’t be any spoilers for this book in the review, but since it’s the seventh book in a series there will be spoilers for the original series. So proceed with caution if you haven’t read the original series and want to.

Continue reading

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A New Home

As you can tell, this is no longer a Tumblr but a full-fledged site (powered by WordPress.) So, welcome! I’m a lot happier with it now and ready for a better year of posting. I already have a full schedule of concerts and book events as well as an ever growing list of books and music to go through. So if you happen to visit again, you’ll hopefully discover a great book or a new band.

Also, please bear with me as some more tweaks happen to the site. I have a lot more planned that will take some time before put into effect.

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