Tag Archives: Book to Movie

‘The Light Between Oceans’ Movie Review

22 Jun

Movie Poster via The Movie DB

I’m not going to lie, it’s been a long time since I read The Light Between Oceans. It was about two and a half years ago that my book club read it and I fell in love with the title. I’ve already written a book review and a book club reflection on the title which have become top pages on this blog. Now that my class is winding down, I wanted to start watching come movies I’ve missed and this was at the top of the list. I don’t remember too much of the book, but here’s my best shot at remembering it!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Janus. I imagined the island as very small when reading the book. It could have been in reality but seeing it as a larger island really helped me. The house and infrastructure on the island were a lot more developed than I’d thought of, too. It’s crazy to believe that the house and stairs were built by, probably, one man a few lightkeepers before Tom. Today, it would take a whole team to do that!

Isabel. Alicia Vikander did an amazing job with this character. It was easy to see how she was able to manipulate Tom into keeping baby Lucy. Part of it wasn’t manipulation, just her pure joy at having a baby around when she’d lost one. Tom loved his wife dearly and was able to make her happy. Happier than tuning a piano could ever make her.


Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Simplifying Tom’s past. I didn’t remember how complicated his home life had been until I read through my earlier posts on the book. This was completely glossed over in the book, removing any mention of siblings and saying only that his father was abusive and unloving. I think this was more than enough. Tom’s quiet and desire to be alone was explained by his time in the war and for me, that was more than enough.


Cover Image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why


Forgiving Bluey. I forgot about this until I reread my review, too. There’s a lot of stress on forgiveness. Frank is big on forgiveness and Hannah tries to be forgiving to act how she knows her late husband would want her to. She forgives the Sherbournes for not telling her sooner. There were a lot of parallels between Frank and Tom, one of which was Tom’s ability to forgive Bluey for turning him in. I would have liked to see this and I wonder if it was a deleted scene.

Things That Changed Too Much

Less time spent with Hannah. Maybe I remember this wrong but I recall a large part of the book taking place back on the mainland with the legal battle going on and Lucy-Grace shunning Hannah. I thought this time was compressed too much in the movie because there was a lot of change going on in the characters during this part.


I only wish I’d seen this sooner. It was a really good watch. Reader, have you see The Light Between Oceans movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Murder on the Orient Express’ TV Show Review

15 Jun

Image via Fanart

I’m forever going to watch the BBC editions of Christie books after I read them. This is such a treasure trove of good TV! I’m looking forward to the new Murder on the Orient Express movie due out this year, but I thought I’d watch the Agatha Christie’s Poirot version first. It was a good thing to do with my Sunday afternoon!

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Seeing the cast. There were so many names that I was getting Schmidt and Ohlsson confused for a lot of the book, but seeing them in the show made it a lot easier to keep them separate.

The train set. It was so beautiful! Now I want to take a trip on a trans-continental railroad like that. It must have been very costly but I feel like it would have been worth it as well.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

The simplified plot. Taking out the pipe, finding the kimono, and everyone writing down their addresses was fine by me. I got lost in the details in the book so having it simplified this way was great for me to follow along better. Even though I knew the outcome, it was fun to watch the details unfold!

The money. I think this gave the murder a slightly more believable feel to it so it was a logical add for me. The senseless murder with no motivation, the original set up, was too easy to see through.

Stoning in Istanbul. My husband and I agreed this was a better way to be introduced to Debenham and Arbuthnot. Being on another train when we met them was a bit much. It also flashed back to Debenham’s being beaten up.

Cover image via Goodreads.com

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why


No Hardman. I don’t get why he was taken out. How hard would it have been to add another character? There are already so many that I don’t think it would have really mattered. It gave Dr. Constantine a weak connection at best.

Things That Changed Too Much

Poirot’s anger. This was the biggest change to me. First, it brings in religious righteousness, which was something the book had none of. Second, it was a stark contrast from the man in the book. It seemed in the end that he was passing judgment and had the final say in matters like he was sentencing them instead of the jury passing judgment. I did really like the shot of him walking through the group to the police, but that doesn’t mean I liked how he was portrayed.

Not questioning each person methodically. This is how Poirot functions! He’s methodical and follows a process. By not questioning each person on the train in turn and setting up a questioning process, I thought it was a big deviation from the character of Poirot and made it frustrating for me.

It will be interesting to see how the feature film version changes things again. I’m glad I watched this one first. Reader, have you see the Murder On the Orient Express episode? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

‘Snow Flower and the Secret Fan’ Movie Review

4 May

Movie poster via IMP Awards

I wouldn’t have known to look for a movie of this book if it hadn’t been brought up when I went to hear Lisa See speak. She mentioned Hugh Jackman’s singing scene so I was ready for something completely different from the book I read. I enjoyed the movie despite its obvious differences but I’m still going to the old adage that the book was way better and had a lot more depth to it that the movie lacked. The story-within-a-story premise was nice but detracted from the historical story.

Things I Thought Were Awesome

Using the same actresses for past and present. I’ll be honest and say I didn’t notice it right away. It took me about twenty minutes from when the combined narrative started to recognize Snow Flower as Sophia. The makeup for Nina/Lilly was really good and I didn’t see it right away. I thought it was really cool to see the projection of Sophia and Nina’s relationship into Snow Flower and Lilly’s story.

Changes That Didn’t Really Bother Me

Minimizing the time on the mountain. This time was a bit overextended in my mind. The book spent a lot of time on it because the Sworn Sisters became a big part of the story and this is where we met them. Her son’s death was the most significant thing that happened during this period but without the background of the second son being so favored in Snow Flower’s family. I understand See wanted to bring historical events into the book, but it didn’t move the plot along as much as I would have liked.

Cover image via Goodreads

Things That Were Taken Out and I’m Still Wondering Why

The extent of Snow Flower’s family loss. She says her father is an opium addict but doesn’t talk about the losses her family suffered because of this. She doesn’t express her shame as deeply as she had in the book and feel the loss of her mother as profoundly.

Auntie Wang. There’s a parallel aunt character in the modern setting, so why was it glossed over that Madam Wang was Snow Flower’s aunt? It seems this might be something that was removed late in the game because it was really well set up.

Things That Changed Too Much

Mother-daughter relationships. The book focused a lot on ‘mother love’ and how a mother shows love for her daughters by binding their feet and how much both girls loved their children. We get a taste of this with Lilly during the plague, but it’s a lot less than we get in the book. The strained relationship between mothers and daughters was really sad to me in the book and I wish it had made the movie.

The bath house. I was confused why this was brought in. Sophia missed her father so she dressed as a man to visit his bathhouse and hid family heirlooms there? It’s a stretch to think she could make it into the locker room! I wish this had been taken out, it was really contrived and I didn’t think it added anything to the movie.

The wedding scene. When Snow Flower comes to her cousin’s wedding and runs into Lilly, it was one of the most emotional scenes in the book. Snow Flower tells Lilly how lost and abandoned she feels and Lilly retorts about how Snow Flower broke a promise. It was stressed that Snow Flower comes with Madam Wang and not her Sworn Sisters, yet the movie has her show up with the women. It glossed over a moment I felt was really pivitol in the book and it upset me.

The movie tried to add a lot in a place I didn’t think it needed to. I wish they’d stuck to the historical plot line without trying to make it more relatable. Reader, have you see the Snow Flower and the Secret Fan movie? What did you think?

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!

Books Becoming Movies in 2017: What I’ll read and what I’ll pass on

7 Mar

I’m sure I’m not the only person who likes to read the book before seeing the movie. I love being able to compare the two and come to the ultimate decision that the book is better. (Does anyone ever disagree?) Using this and this articles, I’d like to present a list of books that I’m either going to hurry up and read or let the movie woo me without preconceived notions.

The Zookeeper’s Wife (Diane Ackerman, March 31)- Pass. I might as well write a whole post about how sick I am of books about being the daughter or wife of someone noteworthy. This is me on my feminist soapbox at it’s finest. I’ll consider it for next week.

Wonder (R.J. Palacio, April 7)- Pass. My husband is reading this one now and I don’t want to make him wait to read it. I’ll go to this one, but I don’t want to create a picture of Auggie in my head and have the moviemakers ruin it.

The Circle (Dave Eggers, April 28)- Read. I have this on my shelf and realizing it will be a movie starring Emma Watson is making me think it will be the next one I pick up!

The Dark Tower (Stephen King, July 28)- Pass. This isn’t my genre per say and I’d rather watch an action plot than read one. Sounds like it will be worth seeing, though!

It (Stephen King, September 8)- Pass. No horror necessary for me, print or film! I heard Will Poulter was playing Pennywise and I was excited about that, but the article I read gives another actor. Now I have no reason to see it! (Ha, pun)

Let It Snow (John Green and others, November)- Pass. Just proof anything with John Green’s name on it is selling like wildfire. Can we get a movie of Looking for Alaska first?

Murder on the Oriente Express (Agatha Christie, November 22)- Read. With Kenneth Branagh playing Poirot and Johnny Depp on board, I can break into another Christie novel. I just added this to my Hoopla Wish List.

The Nightengale (Kristin Hannah, TBD)- Maybe. My book club has contemplated this one for a while and if we read it, great. If not, I’ve read enough WWII dramas to last me a while.

The Glass Castle (Jeanette Walls, TBD)- Already read, can’t wait to see it! What a moving book and I hope it will be a touching movie as well!

Live by Night (Dennis Lehane, already out)- Pass. I saw the preview for this and I really want to see it, but I don’t think I’ll go back and read the book first. It looks too good to wait too much longer!

50 Shades Darker (E.L. James, already out)- Already read it, will not see it. I didn’t see the first one because I think it’s a cheap money grab and it’s not something that needs to be on-screen. Plus, the book was horrible and I don’t want to endorse it any more than I already have.

Jumanji (Chris Van Allsburg, July 28)- Already read, will see! I just watched the 1995 version a few weeks ago and remembered how much I loved it. It would be great to see what they can do with 20 years of film magic!

A Wrinkle in Time (Madeline L’Engle, July 28)- Pass. I feel like I missed my window to love this book and movie so I’ll pass.

The Bell Jar (Sylvia Plath, TBD)- Maybe. I read this book a while ago and I didn’t appreciate it at the time. If the movie gets good reviews, I’ll probably see the movie, but I won’t re-read the book first.

Any of the ones I’m passing on you want to sway me on? I’m really excited to jump on a few of these now.

Until next time, write on.

You can follow me on Goodreads, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. I’m available via email at SamAStevensWriter@gmail.com. And as always, feel free to leave a comment!