Sat. Mar 25th, 2023


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Books that are better than the movie Pinterest image

One of the greatest debates revolves around which is better: the book or the movie? I feel like the results are always divided – some people are die hard “the books are better” or “the movies are better”, but there isn’t really much in between.

I want to make it clear, one being better than the other isn’t a dig at the writer of the book, the actors in the film or the team that helped create the it. It just means I feel the movie team did a phenomenal job bringing the book to life and exceeded my expectations, or the writer of the book just can’t be beat.

Now, let’s get into which books are better than the movie based on them and which movies are better than the books!

Perks of Being a Wallflower Book Cover

Personally, I feel this book is way better than the screen adaptation simply because it gives us more detail and more context to what is going on with Charlie. In the movie, we know he is depressed, but they never really touch on why. There are some glimpses, but the watchers are left a little confused as to what happened and why he is depressed.

I do also love the movie, as it has some of my favorite actors and great acting, but I just feel the movie did not live up to the expectations I had after reading the book.

Lovely Bones Book Cover

The main reason I find the book so much better than the movie is the fact that in the movie, they changed a lot of details. For instance, there are several characters in the book that don’t get a part in the movie. There was a part of the book where everyone from the neighborhood meets on the anniversary of Susie’s death which was incredibly touching, but wasn’t in the movie.

The movie was also really fast-paced, which I feel didn’t do a justice to the book. Of course, I know they were dealing with time constraints for the movie and it couldn’t be forever long, but it all seemed to happen at the same time – within days, which wasn’t the case in the book.

I wasn’t disappointed with the movie, I did actually enjoy it, but the book was just more detailed and had a lot more happen.

Harry Potter Series Box Set

We all knew this was coming, and we all know why. The Harry Potter books are better than the movies because there was so much more detail and action. There was so much in the books that we didn’t get to see in the movies.

The movies were fabulous. They picked all the right actors and they were all directed beautifully, but there were so many details missing. I know they couldn’t make 7 hour movies, but still. I will always favor the books for this reason!

All the Bright Places Book Cover

I loved this book and I loved the movie, but just like the others, I feel the movie was lacking. I was really disappointed at first that they changed how Violet and Finch met. However, when I realized the significance of the change, I accepted it.

One disappointment that I didn’t accept was the lack of Violet’s passion for writing. In the book, Violet and her older sister used to have an online magazine, but when her sister passed, Violet abandoned it. Finch helps her regain that passion, which is completely missed in the movie.

There is also much more detail on Finch. In the movie, it seems like just one little thing sets him off and leads him where he is. In the book, so much more happens. To get the full context of Finch, it is so important to read the book.

The Hunger Games Book Cover

Don’t get me wrong, I was probably first in line for the midnight showing of this movie when it came out, and I probably still would be today if they were to re-release it. However, there were some major plot points in the book that were missed in the movie.

Most importantly, the origin of the MockingJay pin. In the book, it’s given to Katniss by the daughter of District 12’s mayor. This sets up other plot points in the later books, which we completely miss out on in the later movies.

Another major point that’s missed is Haymitch at The Reaping. He’s not there at all in the movies, leaving us with a different impression of him. In the books, he’s a huge drunk. In the movies, he’s not.

There are many more important parts from the book that aren’t included in the film. The movie was great, they pulled off so much, but I will always like the book better.

Gone Girl Book Cover

The casting for this movie couldn’t have been more perfect. The suspense was great, the actors played their characters well, and the story line is incredibly similar to the book.

There are some small differences between the book and the film that make the book slightly better. The biggest being the movie doesn’t take Nick to Hannibal with Amy’s clues like the book does. In the book, this is where Amy’s purse is found, making Nick look that much more guilty.

Several small details are missing or changed throughout the movie, which isn’t necessarily bad, but I feel the book just dives deeper and provides more detail, making it better.

My Sister's Keeper Book Cover

There are sooooo many reasons this book is better than the movie based on it. First, the movie completely changed the ending, which ended up changing the ENTIRE point of the book.

Casting also decided to make the characters of Anna and Sara younger than they were in the book, which didn’t really work well for me, although I love the cast in general.

Jesse’s entire storyline was removed, as was the storyline involving Julia and Campbell, which was also pretty upsetting. Overall, the book was done wrong with this movie and it could have been way better.

Jurassic Park Movie Poster

The screen adaptation of Jurassic Park is absolutely incredible. They did a fantastic job of bringing this book to life, and it remains a classic to this day. There is no denying that the film is much more popular than the book, and it’s easy to see why.

Reading about dinosaurs is great, but actually seeing them brought to life in live-action like in Jurassic Park is mind-blowing. Especially for a movie released in the early nineties.

There are many changes made between the two, but the changes made definitely work in the favor of the movie. For example, at the end of the book, Isla Nublar is destroyed, but not in the film. Removing this part sets up for the following movies that are made.

Both the book, the first movie, and the following movies are all fantastic, but in the case of Jurassic Park, the movie is better than the book.

Mean Girls Movie Poster

Mean Girls is different than the others on this list because the book was written based on the screenplay, not the other way around. It is written to be basically exactly the same as the movie, which is really repetitive and doesn’t leave room for anything special.

If you haven’t seen the movie, it might be nice to read the book first. However, if you have seen the movie already, I don’t recommend also reading the book. For this reason, Mean Girls is much better in film form than book form.

The Devil Wears Prada Movie Poster

Another great movie with great cast. There are some slight changes in characters, like Andy being blonde and Miranda being British in the book but not in the movie. For the most part, the plot is exactly the same, but I feel the small changes made actually help the film with relatability.

The biggest change from the book is Andy’s job at the end. In the book, she clearly gets fired by Miranda, but in the film she never directly gets fired, she just throws her phone in the fountain. I feel this was more symbolic, and I really enjoyed seeing it.

All of the actors were really well cast and they definitely lived up to the book and more. For this reason, I like the movie much better than the book.

The Princess Bride Movie Poster

I didn’t see this movie for the first time until I was 18 when my now husband said I had to watch it and honestly I’m surprised I went that long. This is by far one of the best movies I have every seen, still to this day.

It is a comedic work of literal ART and I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard than when watching it, it’s shocking that it did so badly in the box office.

In the case of The Princess Bride, the book and the screenplay were actually written by the same person, so it’s not surprisingly that the movie and book are similar. However, the movie is so much better simply because the actors did such a great job bringing the story to life.

There is also the added reunion scene between Buttercup and Westley after she realizes that he is The Man in Black, which really ties the whole thing together. Overall, the movie definitely does the book justice and then some. I’m obsessed with it.

Matilda Movie Poster

Roald Dahl is behind most of the books many of us read as children, Matilda being one of his last. One of the best things about this book and the movie is that all of the main characters are female – Matilda, Hortencia, Miss Honey, Miss Trunchbull.

The film closely relates to the book, but there are some additions that really make the film better. First is Matilda’s revenge on her dad, where she switches his hair gel for hair bleach when he won’t let her go to school. This was absolutely iconic!

Matilda also starts to use her powers sooner in the movie. She uses them first to make the TV explode, while in the book she knocks a cup over. Matilda is able to prove her powers to Miss Honey in the book, but not the movie (at first).

We also get to see much better revenge on Miss Trunchbull in the movie than in the book. Matilda makes Miss Trunchbull think the ghost of Miss Honey’s dad is haunting her, which is just hilarious, although Matilda gets caught.

This book to movie adaptation was definitely one of the best I’ve seen, and the film far exceeded my expectations.

The Notebook Movie Poster

Nicholas Sparks is one of the best romance writers out there, so it makes sense that so many of his books have been turned into movies. One of the biggest reasons the movie is better is the rain scene.

In the book, when Noah admits to writing 365 letters, nothing more happens. In the movie, we get the beautiful scene where Noah and Allie share their award-winning kiss.

I am also a bigger fan of the ending of the movie. Without giving away spoilers (for those that haven’t seen it), the movie ending is much sweeter than the book ending. This really ties everything together, making it better than the book.

Shrek – Better than the Book

Shrek Movie Poster

Am I the only one that didn’t know Shrek was a book first? As soon as I found out about it, I had to read it. It is a great comedic picture book that inspired all of the Shrek movies.

While the book is fantastically hilarious, it is far inferior to the movies we know and love. Shrek is now a classic movie that never fails to make me laugh.

I might be partial to the movie version because I saw it first, but in my eyes, it is better than the book.

There you have it! My opinion of 7 books that are better than the movie and 7 books that aren’t. Check out my other blog posts!

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