Tag Archives: Paper Towns

If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Adapt It

Paper Towns alternate covers

A Paper Towns movie? Have I heard these digital whispers correctly? It seems I have. Of course, not every movie deal that gets hand-shook ends up seeing the light of day, and we have yet to see how The Fault in Our Stars, another adaptation of a John Green novel produced by the same people reportedly putting together Paper Towns, goes when it hits cinemas in June. Still, my air of dubiousness has been, regret to say, riled up again on the subject of book-to-movie adaptations. Here we go again, friends.

My number one gripe about this industry is making movies of books not because they would make good movies, but because the book is popular. The fans are calling wistfully for a moving picture adaptation to bring their beloved vision to life. The Hollywood moguls see a potential project to cash in on. Everyone wants to see a book they enjoyed come to life, but the wall that train of thought runs into is that the movie that it becomes will never be the one you saw in your head while reading it, simply because sometimes the magic of a novel comes from the medium it’s in. A good book does not always make a good movie.

At one end of the spectrum (let’s look to YA, because that’s the big market at the moment it seems) we have The Hunger Games, which made awesome movies that are almost complementary to if not more enjoyable at times than the novels. They worked because of the action-packed nature of the plot (though people in the “why do we have to watch her sitting in a goddamn tree” school of thought will disagree with me there) and the quick, snappy style it’s written in, helped by the fact the novels were structured like a screenplay with a three-act framework Suzanne Collins picked up from being a scriptwriter. A quieter, more introspective novel like Paper Towns that revolves around everyday teenagers is immediately not blockbuster fuel. It’s a good book, but that doesn’t mean it’s going to make a good movie, in fact, in making a movie of that you might lose a good chunk of what exactly makes it good in the first place. Continue reading

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Filed under Things We Need to Stop Doing

I’m Just a Teenage Hero, Baby

Sometimes books are a niche interest, but there are some that everyone has heard of: and at the moment those that have achieved this success of world-renown-ment are Harry Potter, The Hunger Games and Twilight… which funnily enough are all series aimed at the young adult market.

Some may ponder this most academically: why have these teen books become so hugely successful? Some others may fling the obvious answer back at them: they are engrossing stories that have captured the attention and imagination of an audience, an audience that extends well beyond the interest in struggles of teenagers stuck in fantasy or sci-fi settings.

There is in fact a large market for adolescent literature because, contrary to some belief, teenagers aren’t all spending their time popping shots and getting freaky and doing totally radical ollies in the skate park and they do read. And when they do read, they seek out stories that they can see themselves reflected in and relate to.

Teenaged girls with cucumber slices on their eyes, laughing their heads off

Those crazed youth. Just look at them!

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Filed under Archetypes and Genre

Rollercoaster That Only Goes Up: Alex Reads John Green

John GreenThe tempest may have passed now, but a few months ago you couldn’t move very far on the intertubes without catching some whiff of John Green. Aside from the YouTube show he shares with his brother, his name was very present about the place mostly due to the fact that he’d recently torn the hearts out of over 150 000 young people.

His most recent, most ambitious and in my opinion best novel is The Fault in Our Stars, and it’s responsible for the aforementioned 150 000 tear-stained faces. Now that may be enough to put you off — generally speaking, people don’t like to be sad. I was reluctant to open the book for this reason but I’m glad I did, and that’s lucky, because from the first page I was whisked into the little world he’s created with no escape in sight. Continue reading

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Filed under Alex Reads