John Green Books vs Movies

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It seems like every John Green novel is going to eventually be turned in to a movie. First The Fault In Our Stars and now Paper Towns has been released the John Green hype is officially back in full force for many booklovers. I can only imagine how the much the internet will blow up when we get more information about Looking For Alaska. I am a massive John Green fan and have been since I first picked up The Fault in Our Stars back in 2012, but are these movies actually half as good as the books are?

The Fault in Our Stars (2014) PosterTHE FAULT IN OUR STARS
The Fault in Our Stars is a tragic love story of two teenage cancer patients and the struggles that they have to over come just trying t be regular kids.Both Hazel and Augustus begin a life-affirming journey to visit Hazel’s favourite author in Amsterdam.

In my very unprofessional opinion, the movie adaptation of my favourite love story of all time has very few flaws. It is practically magical to see Ansel Elgort and Shailene Woodley with so much chemistry as they out Hazel and Gus, it gives you a good image of the characters for when you ever want to heartbreakingly re-read the novel!

The scenes are very close to the original book along with most of the ‘classic quotes’ being added in as well. There are a few scenes that I would have liked to have been included, some that I thought were important to the story. However I know that in the world of film you cannot simply put everything in to the film that you have in the novel or you’ll be sat in the cinema for a whole day. Personally, I know that if the film was a bad adaption I would have been frustrated about this wonderful teenage love story being left in tatters. However I’ve never been disappointed or annoyed or frustrated with how it was adapted.

For me personally, nothing will ever beat curling up with The Fault In Our Stars and crying my little heart out in to the pages. John Green is an incredible writer who manages to create such an atmosphere in the pages and such love for these horribly destined characters. Seeing them on screen isn’t the same as holding them in my hands.

Paper Towns (2015) Poster
Paper Towns is the story of Quentin and his indescribable feelings for the mysterious Margo Roth Spiegelman. Margo often takes off unannounced and her parents are starting to get bored of it. Quentin this time makes it his mission to find Margo by following the clues that she leaves behind.

When I heard about the announcement of the Paper Towns movie I was very, very (very) sceptical. For a period of time this story about a desperately love struck Quentin was my favourite novel. It still is one of my favourite stories and the road trip scenes will always stick with me as the most excited I’ve ever been reading a book. The casting initially worried me (Nat Wolff being the exception) and I was worried about how they’d be able to portray such an incredible story on screen.

I didn’t have much to be worried about in the end because each actor took to their roles perfectly. Radar and Margo were characters that I was particularly worried about as they’re such unique people with big personalities. In the end it turns out that Cara Delevigne and Justice Smith were definitely made to play those roles. Nat Wolff was the casting I had always imagined for Q, so was more than pleased with his portrayal of the role.

The story for me was very well done considering it is an adventure story all about clues and following a trail. I originally wondered how it would be done successfully on the big screen. It turns out that seeing the road trip played out was just as exciting as reading it in the book! I still got that sense of fun and adventure with each scene as I did reading the novel – not something that happens often!

My one complaint about the Paper Towns movie was the change in ending to the novel. I found it to be unnecessary and a little lack luster compared to the original! I never disliked Margo as a character until I saw her in the final few scenes of the movie.

John Green novels are very similar to the movies, if you don’t like the books, young adult love stories with some friendship and adventure thrown in, you will not like the movies. That’s just a simple fact with anything John Green is involved with. The stories he creates are definitely directed at a certain audience.

With any novel you’re never going to get an absolutely perfect adaption that everyone is going to love. John Green is one of the few authors who strives to make his stories come to life in the exact way he intended them to. This willingness to make his vision perfect shows in each adaptation of his stories. In my opinion nothing will ever match up to the excitement of these stories being played out on paper. The churning of your stomach when you know your favourite character is going to do something ridiculous and you skip your eyes to the end of the page to see if it’s real. Nothing can beat that feeling. But I will say that John Green movies are some of the best adaptions that I’ve seen. They’re not just stand-a-lone movies or books, they work in perfect harmony with each other. Complementing the slight differences of each story and the characters within them.

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