When the movie is better than the book | A Book Blogger Admits

There are some things in life us book bloggers or book lovers try to turn a blind eye to. We try to ignore these things happen. Why? Because this basically breaks our fragile hearts. Being able to say “the book was so much better” is one of the great things of being a book lover. But what do you do when you’re sitting there, watching the movie, and thinking: “damn, this is actually better than the book.” 

Do we admit it? Do we try to make excuses? Here are some book-to movie adaptations that I think are actually better than their books. 

maze runner lord of the rings

There are quite some adaptations that I like about as much as the book. The adaptations that weren’t bad. But that’s not what this post is about (I have done two posts on good adaptations: Movies and TV). This post is about the movies that were better. The movies that I would take over the book any day, which is saying something. 

First of all, The Maze Runner. It’s not a secret that I didn’t like the trilogy in book format. I did read all of them, but I had to truly push myself to finish them. But then one of my friends asked me to go to the Maze Runner movie with him last year. And I figured, why not? I didn’t like the book, but the trailer looked promising. Plus, I’d see about anything that has Dylan O’Brien in it. I was so pleasantly surprised! I actually really loved the movie. I still have to go watch The Scorch Trials, but I will definitely do so. So yes, if you (like me) didn’t like the books, go ahead and give the movie a try! 

Secondly, The Lord of the Rings trilogy. Don’t get me wrong here: I absolutely love the books. It’s one of my favorite fantasy series, even though they aren’t easy to read at all. But the movies, they hold just such a special place in my heart. I think it’s really the first big fantasy series I watched on TV (because when the first one was released, I was only 7 years old. Oh god, it’s been 14 YEARS since movie #1 was released??). I think I started watching them when The Return on the King was released, which would’ve been when I was 9? I think that’s around the time I started watching them. And I fell in love. Together with Harry Potter, they inspired my love for fantasy. And while I think the books are great, the movies are just out of this world. I love every aspect of them: the scenery, the casting, the adaptation itself, the music. Everything. 

But here is the tough bit. Am I the only one who feels like it’s sort of blasphemy to admit you liked the movie/TV adaptation better? Is is shameful for book lovers to admit that the story could have a better medium? We often say that the book was better, because let’s be real, in most cases it is. Looking at you, Percy Jackson (although I do love Logan Lerman).

Maybe it’s because I don’t know many people in my daily life who love to read. So when an adaptation is made, saying “the book is better” could be a way to get people to read. Like we’re protecting this amazing medium so many people forget about. Like we’re holding our precious books to our chest, claiming that nothing is better (hello, most of the time that’s true). So do we feel defeated when we like the movie better? Do we feel like we’ve let our books down? Or the community? It seems weird to me, even though I also feel that way,  because shouldn’t we be happy that the film crew did such an amazing job on adapting it? 

Why do you think it’s so hard for a book lover to admit when a movie adaptation is better? Is there anyone else out there who feels a bit “bad” admitting they liked the movie/TV show better? I’d love to hear your opinions!

P.S. Please don’t feel offended by me saying I liked the movies of these two better than the books. If you loved the books, that’s amazing! I don’t mean to offend you, this is just my personal opinion. 

14 thoughts on “When the movie is better than the book | A Book Blogger Admits

  1. I tend to feel torn because, as a writer and avid reader, I love encouraging people to read and getting the chance to tell people that a book is better (especially people who are not readers). However, as an aspiring filmmaker, I love watching/recommending films, and book to movie adaptations are a great combination of all of my passions. It’s not a bad thing to admit that a movie is better than its book, but I definitely feel hesitant to say that sometimes too! Great post! 🙂


  2. Nah, there are tons of movies out there that I find better than the book, such as The Devil Wears Prada and The DUFF. Also Lord of the Rings — I’ve tried several Tolkien books and they just don’t work for me. I’m not fond of classics because the story-telling is always so slow and dense, and this is exactly the same.

    Ha. You like Logan Lerman, I like Jake Abel. 😉 Luke 4eva


    • I quite liked The DUFF (both book & movie)! I agree, it’s really hard to read classics because of the language. I think LotR is the one classic so far I have loved because I already loved the story and characters before I started reading… So I was already attached to it. (By the way, love Jake Abel too!)


  3. I agree. I tried reading LOTR but didn’t get far, but I’m a big fan of the movies. I prefer the maze runner movies to the books too. James Dasher has a weird writing style–his plots are great, but i’m not a fan of his writing.


  4. I actually have no problems at all admitting that I liked the movie better than the book. And, honestly, unless I LOVED the book, I usually do like the movie better. I think this is partially because I’m actually less critical of movies. With books it’s like you get to really take your time and soak everything in – both the good and the bad. With movies it’s more ‘well, that’s scene’s over, on to the next.’ Also, there’s some books that I didn’t really like that I think would make awesome movies, mostly because we wouldn’t be stuck in the character’s head and know everything they’re thinking. Of the movies you mentioned, I love the LotR movies but when I tried to read the first book…I was bored. (I know, it’s one of those things book lovers aren’t supposed to say.) I did finish it, but it was a little (or a lot) more wordy than I prefer my fantasy books to be. I’ve not seen The Maze Runner movie yet, but it’s good to know that if I didn’t like the book I might like it – because I really didn’t like the book much. Mostly because the whole book was from the main character’s perspective and I really didn’t like him. So I do think I might like the movie.


    • Don’t worry! I’m a LotR-lover, but I agree too. The books are VERY wordy. Lots and lots of descriptions and songs, and so it’s not easy to read at all. And you’re right, it’s sometimes easier in a movie because you’re not stuck in someone’s head. Because if you don’t like the main character in a book, then it’s a huge problem. Hope you’ll enjoy the Maze Runner! It really is easier to watch than read, in my opinion. A lot less confusion that way. Thanks for the great comment! 😀


  5. I think a lot of readers are harder on books than movies because we expect more from them. I’ve found myself liking the movie but not the book when the book just wasn’t my style, and I’m easier to please with movies in general. We aren’t meant to love every book we read, because not all readers are the same, but I think some people feel they’ve let their fellow readers down or the author down by “siding with” the movie instead. There’s no shame in loving a movie version and preferring it to the book. Likewise, there’s no shame in just straight up not reading the book because you know it’s not your style, and getting through a movie takes far less time than reading a book. In short, I’m learning to say “who cares” about all of this, haha. We like what we like, and we shouldn’t be sorry for that. As you say in your PS, it’s all just a matter of opinion anyway.


  6. I actually agree with you on LOTR. I love the books but the movies… oh man I just love the movies with every fiber of my being. I was in high school when the first one came out and fell in love. I owned them on VHS tapes for crying out loud haha. I also prefer the Gone With The Wind movie over the book, even though I also love the book. Then I have a couple where I absolutely did not like the book but loved the movie, Practical Magic for example. The book bored me to tears but the movie is one of my favorites.


  7. I don’t think its blasphemy to admit that. It is a rather harsh critique of the book, though, usually. I feel that way about Mortal Instruments and Twilight. Particularly Mortal Instruments. The movie fixed a numnber of things about the books that annoyed the shit about me. Too bad it bombed anyway and they apparently aren’t going to be making any more of them.


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