Happy, Friday, fellow readers! Today we have another post by the lovely Alex of CatFairy Books, a Page to Screen post all about The Fault in Our Stars. I haven’t read the book or seen the movie, but Alex makes a great case for both. Have you read the book, seen the movie, or both? Do you plan on reading or watching them? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section.
The Fault in our Stars is one of the first books to reintroduce me to the world of YA. I wrote a book review of The Fault in our Stars when I was a baby reviewer! Read my review of the book here. If you have never embarked into the world of young adult think of John Green as your official starter pack! Since I have about a zillion books I am reading, unfortunately, I don’t have time to do an official reread of The Fault in our Stars but I can tell you that this book is still one of my favorite books in YA till this day and I consider it a classic!
John Green wrote the kind of book that is unequivocally devastating and uplifting all at the same time. The Fault in our Stars is not just your stereotypical weepy story about two kids with cancer who learn to live their lives like “each day is their last.” If your looking for this storyline then this isn’t the book for you. This is a raw, emotional, introspective, thought-provoking, and a sometimes humorous story about two kids that are doing the best they can! They are not in denial about their cancer in the slightest, in fact, they are one of the most self-aware characters that I have read about. Not only are they self-aware, they are quirky as quirky can be! I actually think if you looked up quirky in the YA world you would find Mr. Green as the master of quirk! I was completely fascinated by the unreal intelligence of Hazel and Augustus and their unfiltered way of viewing the world around them in relation to their cancer. I am full of nostalgia when I think about this book because it’s the book that changed my life because it made me fall head over heels over the YA genre and that led me to write book reviews to blogging a few years later!
I felt that the film adaptation is actually equally just as good as the book! There were many little details in the book that are left out of the movie adaptation but it didn’t affect the story in a significant way. The movie really captured the full essence of the book! The characters that played Augustus and Hazel were pure perfection and they captured the heart and pain of these two characters.
Watching the film adaptation brought out the same emotions that I felt when I read the book and this is a rare occurrence for me when it comes to adaptations! I had a few ugly cries throughout the movie that I wasn’t prepared for even though I knew what was coming. The actors in the movie were born to play Hazel and Augustus and you can see that the chemistry between the actors wasn’t the least bit forced. I was touched by the raw emotions felt between these two characters and I loved how their love was pure without any angst or bullshit behind it. They were truly meant to be Augustus and Hazel for the rest of their lives. This is the kind of story that will make you realize the importance of the little things in life and how we all take them for granted until it’s too late. My heart will always have a special spot for Augustus and Hazel and it was truly a privilege be a part of their fleeting world.
Even though, the film adaptation is just as satisfying as the book I still highly recommend that you read the book so you can bask in all the quirkiness of these adorable characters and fall completely in love. (And when you ultimately fall in love with them you can look forward to a few ugly cries afterward!) If you have never read a contemporary YA book before this John Green back should be number one on your list!
Erica here. Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to one of my favorite people, Christina Yother. Christina and I (along with Dana R. Lynn) were matched together as critique partners way back in 2013. Christina is the author of the inspirational historical romance series Hollow Hearts. All the details about the Hollow Hearts books (Reverie, Reliance, and Reconcile) can be found on christinayother.com. I love her blogs on books and writing. She’s one of the best writers I know, and she helped me come up with Page to Screen. Page to Screen is where we will discuss books that have been turned into movies, TV movies, or TV shows. This week, Christina tackles Anne with an “E,” the Netflix series based on Anne of Green Gables.
“I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
I still remember reading that line and thinking that Anne Shirley understood my love of autumn like no one else. I grew up with L.M. Montgomery’s beloved character and spent hours of my childhood floating down the river as The Lady of Shalott and suffering through the cruelness of having red hair. Anne’s despairs were my despairs – at least in my imagination. I felt that I was made a kindred spirit just by reading about her adventures.
Over the years there have been many times when our spirited heroine was brought from the pages of the books to the big screen. From the beloved 1980’s PBS classic to several made-for-tv movies, Anne, Gilbert, Diana, and the Cuthberts delighted us with their adventures and growing pains. Last year Netflix released a new interpretation called “Anne with an E,” giving their own spin to the tales we all remember.
“Anne with an E” still carries the same bones as the book series. Anne Shirley is an orphan adopted by the brother and sister duo, Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. She is befriended by Diana and engages in a competitive friendship with Gilbert Blithe. The show gives us many of the wonderful adventures and misadventures that we’ve come to love from the book series – Gilbert calling Anne “carrots,” Anne’s wild imagination, the infamous puffed sleeves. But, what I love about this interpretation is the liberties it takes and the “darker” themes running through the story.
I would go so far as to say this series is meant for adults – men and women who grew up with Anne of Green Gables but are willing to view it through a different lens. We are given a deeper look into Anne’s past and the abusive nature of her experiences as an orphan. We see the effects its had on her and the trauma she lives with as she tries to accept her recent adoption. The show also deals heavily with sexuality in a tasteful yet real manner, showing what it was like to be “different” in an age when such views were much less accepted. We journey with several characters, young and old, as they explore and understand queerness and all forms of love. New characters and characters we’ve grown to love are shown to have a depth that the books didn’t address. Viewers are faced with a look at racism beyond what we’ve been taught in history class, including tolerance and inclusivity. And, we must watch the characters grapple with the emotions and reality of mental illness. There is a huge theme surrounding the roles of women and how they struggled to embrace their identity and power in an age when the expectation was to raise mothers and wives. There is a realness in this series that takes a sweet and beloved classic and explores it in a modern way. And I think that is what makes this new interpretation so relatable and powerful.
Of course this series won’t be to the liking of everyone. Many will view the liberties taken as a butchering of something they once loved. But, it’s important to remember that when any book moves from page to screen there will be specific aspects of the story that either don’t translate to the screen or simply don’t make the cut. One interpretation of a story isn’t right or wrong – creative freedom comes in to play. If we, as viewers, remember to appreciate a screen adaptation for what it is than our expectations are less likely to be disappointed. In the case of “Anne With an E” we can all use this new take on an old classic to understand the complexity of human emotions and experiences. It’s still a coming of age story, but this darker twist makes it even more timeless and relevant.