Thursday, 22 May 2014

Films for Thoughts on Thursday: How I Live Now


This is a weekly meme that I am hosting here at Reviews from a Bookworm. I own over 500 books, I'mn a book blogger so it's kind of obvious that I love books. But the one thing I own more of than books is DVDs, I love movies, TV shows, musicals. So I think it's time to include a weekly movie review on the blog. To take part all you have to do is share a movie review once a week, link back to Reviews from a Bookworm and add your link to the linky tool.


This weeks movie review will be for:

How I Live Now 

How I Live Now is based on the book of the same name by Meg Rosoff. I read the book after seeing a trailer for a movie and was hoping I would really love it. You can read my full review of the book here, but long story short, I hated it. I just didn't find the book very good at all, the main character was totally detestable, the war was never fully explained and didn't really make sense. I just had far too many issues with it, so the book ended up getting 1/5 from me and I felt like I was being generous giving it that.

So, let's be honest, my expectations for the movie were pretty low. Abysmally low would probably sum it up. So, you might wonder, why would I then go spend money on the DVD? Well, it was on sale and I really love Saoirse Ronan and the trailer did look really good. I wasn't expecting much from the movie but I hoped it would entertain me and if not then I could still review it anyway. Colour me surprised, this movie ended up being really, really good. It actually ended up completely surprising me and I was so pleased that it wasn't a let down like the book.  A lot of that was probably to do with the fantastic acting, how well done the movie was and the fact that they actually changed quite a lot of it.

The basic storyline is like the book, they didn't change many of the book details. Daisy, real name Elizabeth, has been sent to live with her relatives in England by her father. He's recently had a new baby with his new wife, who Daisy hates, and she is less than happy to have been sent away. It's in England that she meets her Aunt and her cousins, Edmond, Isaac and Piper. It's clear early on that a war is on the way and Aunt Penn takes off for Oslo for her job. When war breaks out the kids find themselves alone on the farm, isolated from everyone with no phones, email, TV or other ways of communication. Instead of worrying they actually end up having a lot of fun together. Daisy and Edmond grow closer and end up starting a relationship. When the war finally reaches them and the army splits up Daisy and Piper from Edmond and Isaac, they all swear to find their way back to the farm and back to each other.

There were differences between the book and the film and many were things that I was glad to see that they changed. Daisy's eating disorder is skipped altogether, I'm not sure why that was but it didn't bother me all that much that they left it out. In the book, Daisy has a fourth cousin named Osbert but he doesn't even exist in this film. Isaac and Edmond are supposed to be twins but there seems to be a significant age difference in this, I don't suspect they are supposed to be twins in the movie and it is never mentioned. The one thing I was glad that they changed was Edmond's age. In the book he is fourteen and Daisy is fifteen, and once they start up a sexual relationship it was just a little disturbing. In the film he is clearly older than fourteen and Daisy herself seems older, I much preferred this to having two under-age kids having sex without anyone seeming to care. They also completely change one aspect of the ending that made NO SENSE in  the book - very pleased about that.

I really had a problem with Daisy in the book because she was a total bitch. She just had the worst attitude and she was really hard to like. Listening to her inner monologue could be pretty painful at times. When the movie started I was sure I would have the same problem because she was just as unlikeable. She had the horrible attitude and she said all the wrong things and she just got on my nerves. But, thankfully, the character has a lot more growth over the course of the film than I felt she did in the movie. She becomes a much nicer person, she lets people in and she works really hard to save herself and Piper. I came to really love Daisy in this film and that was something I wasn't expecting.

Edmond was a little harder because he just does a lot of staring in the beginning. He just sits around, brooding and staring at Daisy in this really bizarre way. It became a bit too much and seemed a little silly. His romance with Daisy did have it's sweet moments though and the whole first love aspect to it. I thought it worked quite well but I wish we had got to see more of this character and more of his personality. He is absent for a lot of the film so I think it would have been better to get to know him more at the start of the film. There was some weird aspects to the romance, not just that they're related, that were a little strange and I didn't completely understand whatas happening. I think Daisy was just going a little mental.

I actually came to really care for the characters in this. Some of the scenes in this movie are quite horrific and heartbreaking. I actually choked up at one point and had to hold back tears, something I was not expecting from an adaptation of a book that made me feel only rage at how awful it was. But, in my defence, I wasn't expecting it as it was different from the book. I loved that the movie actually got me to feel so much, that it got me to come to love these characters. I felt like they did such an amazing job at adapting the book, they took all the aspects of it that could work and created something really beautiful, touching and moving.

Saoirse Ronan was definitely my favourite part of this movie, she's just such a gifted actress. I have loved her in everything I have seen her in and she doesn't disappoint in this. You can feel her falling in love and then you can feel her desperation to get back to Edmond. She's utterly believable as Daisy and I think that's really important. I also really enjoyed the soundtrack to the movie, I think it worked so well and complimented it perfectly. The story is quite slow going, like the plot of the book, but I wasn't bored whilst watching. I was really drawn into the story and the characters and what was going to happen to them.


7/10 Butterflies

I ended up really enjoying this, which really surprised me as I didn't like the book at all. It changed some small details but that worked really well as they were the details that bugged me the most. The war aspect is explained a tiny bit more in this then the book, but still not to a point where I was satisfied with it. I think the acting in this was really superb and I especially loved Saoirse Ronan in this. The romance had it's sweet moments but some really strange ones too. This movie actually got me to feel for these characters and had tears in my eyes at one point. The ending was similar to the book one but I wasn't as completely disappointed and annoyed at it; it was sweeter and had a more hopeful tone to it. Overall, a really great film and I would recommend it. 


Next Week:

Godzilla
In the one where Godzilla plays a secondary role in his own movie!




I have been meaning to take part in both of the following memes for a while now, so its nice to finally be able to get to them. I will be taking part in Reading is Fun Again's Thoughtful Thursday and Okay, Let's Read's  Thursday Thoughts, picking between them or doing both topics each week.


Book Buying Bans

Have you ever put yourself on one? Do you think that they make a difference? At what point do you decide that it's really time to put yourself on a book buying ban?

I have never put myself on a book buying ban, mainly because I don't think it would actually work. I am terrible when it comes to buying books and I could probably really do with putting myself on a ban, but I just can't do it. If I really want a book then I will probably end up buying it for myself, as long as I have the funds. I work at a library so I can borrow a lot of books, I think that actually helps me keep my book buying at an almost, not quite, acceptable amount each month. I think bans work for some people, those with self control, but I just wouldn't be successful if I tried and I know it.



Same Series, Different Author

Do you continue a series after the original author has stopped writing it? (Could be because of death, author lost interest, publisher fires author but continues series using authors name - think Vampire Diaries books)

In all honesty, I probably wouldn't continue a series after the original author stopped writing it. I feel like part of the reason you fall in love with a series is how it is written. I can't imagine the ending of Harry Potter being as mind blowing if J.K. Rowling hadn't wrote it herself. I know that some series have been contninued by other authors, using the originals name, because they were fire by the authors. I know that was the case with the Vampire Diaries series, which I haven't followed myself, and I don't like that idea. I think it's bad that their are publishers out there who make authors sign contracts that agree that they can do this if they want to. All the articles I have read about the Full Fathom Five publishing company and James Frey has put me off supporting the books he puts out. His contracts are disgusting and it has really put me off buying Dorothy Must Die, which I really did want. But, I just don't agree with a publisher that gives a standard advance of $250, makes an author agree that they don't have to give them any credit for their work and also agree they can be removed from the project at any time. Nope, that's just not for me! 


What about you guys? Are you happy to continue a series after the original author is no longer working on it? Have you ever been on a book buying band, and did it work? 



One chance to win a Kindle Fire HDX, to enter go here.

You can also enter my 1,000 Bloglovin followers giveaway below. For full details go here.





Five Friday Favourites: Not-So-Favourite Contemporaries 
My Weekly Book Haul: 17/05/2014
Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas: Review 5/5
Discussion: Sharing is Caring - Blogger Love
Top Ten Tuesday: Books About Friendship
The Distance Between Us by Kasie West: Review 5/5



23 comments:

  1. The only series I can think of that I've known had multiple authors is The Boxcar Children. And I read them when I was 12 so I didn't...um...notice. >.< But I have enough trouble liking books when the characters change in the same series! I was SO angry at Robert Muchamore's CHERUB series, because I wanted James and co. Not all those randoms that kept being thrown in and taking over the story. (Gee...haven't read those books in like 5 years and I'm still bitter. x)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think it's easier if it's supposed to be written by multiple authors, but I don't like it when an author is taken off a series or dies and it's then continued by someone else. I hate when series do that too, add in a bunch of new characters that I couldn't care less about.

      Delete
  2. I'm kind of on a semi-ban at the minute. I have a lot on and unfortunately as an adult don't get two months off for summer anymore (booo), and my TBR was getting a little out of control thanks to The Works and The Book People and impulse buying when I started a blog and got back into reading again (yay!). So I bought these books before I had all these great recommendations, so now I plan to listen to these recommendations so I don't waste time with mediocre books (for the most part). I ramble. Basically, I'm not requesting any more books from NetGalley until I finish or DNF the ones I have -around 8 I think. And I'm not buying anymore physical books until I make a dent in my TBR pile (I have my next shopping basket filled and ready to go for when that day comes). I haven't set a number, like if I read 5 books I can buy 1, I'm just going with the flow. The only exception is if a book on my TBR is found somewhere for super cheap, then I might crack. My TBR is officially out of control..... and I never reread anymore, that makes me kind of sad, but when do you fit it in?! I wanted to reread the 5 TMI books before the release of Book 6 - didn't happen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I did a lot of buying once I started blogging. I also just asked for books at Christmas so ended up getting about 25 books then. Now I am trying to only buy books that I really, really want. I am trying to request a lot less from NG and EW.

      Delete
  3. I loved your review for How I Live Now, it's really perked up my interest in something I hadn't even considered at all. Is she the same actress that played Mel/Wander in The Host? I haven't seen that either, but I've seen the trailer and read the book, so have considered that film once or twice. Book Buying Bans, no, I've never put myself on one, merely because money does that for me. I don't have a job, so I don't have the money to just splash out on books, when I get a surge of them, it's because I've managed to convince Mum, nothing else. Carrying on series when the author has changed? Meh, I've never had to do that, but if it was like, on a cliffy, then I might continue, but otherwise, nah. It's that authors baby, it's their series, if they don't finish it, then it's a shame, but it's not fair someone else to carry on with it, in my opinion anyway :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, she played Wander in The Host! I thought that movie was okay but a little too funny, when it's not supposed to be, at times and I couldn't take it seriously. I am glad I am not the only one who thinks they should just stop if the author dies :)

      Delete
  4. It is funny how sometimes the movie can actually be better than the book.

    Great review!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. You know, we watched the movie the other night, and Saorise is the only reason we made it through the film. I really struggled with it, though I DO think it was better than the book for sure. Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought she was brilliant in this. I was expecting to hate it so maybe my low expectations helped? I don't know but for whatever reason I really like it :)

      Delete
  6. Hm. I don't think I'd carry on in a series either with a different author. Though if it was a writing team doing the books and one passed and the other finished the series I wouldn't mind as much I don't think.

    And ::snort:: to the buying bans. I try not to buy as often these days unless it's on sale or I'm planning on reading it right then but other than that nope. I don't think I'd have a hope of keeping that up. lol

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. A writing team wouldn't be as much of an issue for me either, as they would have been writing it together the whole time so I can trust they will do the book justice. HAHA I am hopeless at buying bans too so I just don't bother :)

      Delete
  7. I really liked How I Live Now, the movie. I thought the book was okay, the ending was what really ruined it. The movie made a lot of smart choices, but I still think they missed some opportunites to make things clearer. I think they still portrayed her eating disorder, because food is a big part of the movie, they just don't clearly articulate it. They also don't really explain why Edmond is so strange, in the books he can read her thoughts. So, by not really stating that but having him act the same way, it felt super awkward. Still, I had to hold back tears (or maybe I didn't actually suceed) and Ronan was awesome.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, I thought the end was terrible in the book too. I didn't get the eating disorder vibe in the movie as much, more that she was just a little crazy overall. I can't remember the reading the thoughts bit in the book. But, I hated the book so I kind of blocked it from memory. He did act super strange, with the weird staring at her.

      Delete
  8. This is quite a switch. Usually people love the book and hate the movie. I haven't seen the movie, so guess I should.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, felt nice to enjoy a movie more than the book for once! :)

      Delete
  9. I'm surprised you saw the movie after not liking the book! But glad you ended up liking the movie.
    Hmm I'm on a book buying ban now, where I only allow myself to buy book club books, or books I really really plan to read *right now*. No more stacking my collection taller than me, since it is already taller than me anyway heh.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I thought that the fact the trailer is what got me to buy the book is a sign that the movie was something I actually wanted to see. I went in with low expectations but I am really happy I ended up loving this one so much.

      Delete
  10. That's interesting that you enjoyed the movie but hated the book, usually it's the other way around for me. I remember seeing the trailer for this movie and not being sure about it, but I think I'm going to check it out after reading your review.

    And I'm the same, no book buying bans for me. That's just setting me up for failure.

    As far as reading a series by a different author…that's a no for me. I only read the first four books of Vampire Diaries anyway, the fourth one just got really weird (I think it's when she came back to write it after so long and it just didn't work) so I stopped. ~Pam

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, it's usually the other way around for me too.I was really surprised by the film and the fact I ended up loving it so much.

      Book buying bans wouldn't work for me either so why bother! :)

      Delete
  11. There are very few times in which I think the movie is better than the book, but when it turns out like this, I definitely like the movie more. It's only happened once or twice, but in the end, I guess it's okay :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I just ended up enjoying the book so much more than the book, it really surprised me but in a good way :)

      Delete
  12. Great blog you posted. Enjoyed a lot reading this. Looking for more blog from you as i like movies ideas. I want you to check these good films to watch you will like this.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you so much for taking the time to comment, it always makes my day! Because of time restraints, this is now an award free zone but thanks so much for considering me! Feel free to leave a link to your own blog and I will come visit.