When the Movie is Better Than the Book

When the Movie is Better Than the Book - a Bookish List.
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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

I struggled with this weeks topic – not because it would be difficult to find something to share, but because I had TOO MANY!

Hype generally scares me enough out of a book for an unspecified amount of time. There are plenty of troupes I dislike, and I don’t always want a romance book love stories to end in a HEA. 

In most cases, we can all agree that the book is better than the movies. But… not always. Today, I want to share a few of those instances When the Movie is Better Than the Book.

When the Movie is Better Than the Book

A Walk to Remember

Maybe this is because of my crush on both Mandy Moore and Shane West, but this was MY MOVIE when I was a teen. I also LOVE the soundtrack so much.

A huge bonus was that I didn’t care for the time the book was set in. Maybe it was because of my obsession with it, but I didn’t feel like the story FIT.

Weigh in – a huge debate in one of my group chats – and spoiler, if you haven’t read View Spoiler »

Harry Potter


I know a lot of people may disagree – but I love ALL the movies, even though I can’t seem to finish the last one in one watch. But the book wasn’t for me?

I honestly think this is because of the writing. Not that I could necessarily do BETTER, but the only thing that kept me engaged was a) knowing the story, and b) I was reading it to my kids. 

The Last Song

Another movie with a fantastic soundtrack. Even so, the acting wasn’t that great, and there was a HUGE mess up when it came to his workplace and their location, but it was still SO much better than the book.

The Notebook

I didn’t finish the book. So I can’t even say how much of this was similar or different, but the fact that I have seen this movie a million times, and couldn’t finish the book speaks for itself.

Dear John

Are we noticing a trend?

I am not a fan of Nicholas Sparks.

Save for this one.

I was hesitant even to read/watch when I did because, at the time, I didn’t do well with anything Military related.

That being said, I just love the way the movie was done. I did enjoy the ending of the book more than the movie, but still. The movie all the way on this one.

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When the Movie is Better Than the Book - a Bookish List.
#books #movies #booktomovieadaptation
Water for Elephants

Ah, I loved both the movie and the book – but this is one of those cases where the acting brought out the story for me. Of course, some details were different but still.


Although this was right around the same time I started reading again, Twilight was in fact, NOT the book that got me back into reading. 

I saw the movie first and watched it, and I KID YOU NOT, like 4 times in a row. Then I read the book about a week later. 

Why was the movie better? I concluded, again, that because I watched it 4 times in a row, and read the book 1 time, it wins by a majority. #logic

Howl’s Movie Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle is my favorite Studio Ghibli movie; Spirited Away coming in at a close second. The thought never crossed my mind to read the book until years later, and I wish I hadn’t!

The book was confusing! I read it a few times before the timeline and story clicked. I can’t even say WHY.

But, I love Christian Bale, and Billy Crystal, who both voice characters in the English dubbed version of the movie. 

There are a lot of great themes to take away from the movie, and the book, and when looked at on a deeper level, opens a lot up for debate.

The Green Mile

Don’t get me wrong; both the book and movie are FANTASTIC. But, the movie did it better. 


The cast. 

Something about the cast of the movie was done so remarkably well, that my torn heart leads me back to it. It’s really hard to even compare the two because the movie is one of the closest adaptations I have ever seen.

Sookie Stackhouse (True Blood)

I read at least the first few books before getting into the series – and they are both equally great in their own way. And admittedly, I haven’t finished either.


HELLO. Alexander Skarsgård. I mean, c’ mon. The only thing I love more about the books, in this case, was Quinn.

Tell Me Your Thoughts

  • Have you read the book and/or seen the movie’s listed above? what are your thoughts?
  • What are some movies/shows that are better than the book?

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14 thoughts on “When the Movie is Better Than the Book

  1. Rachel

    I totally agree with both Harry Potter and the notebook… The notebook ending of the movie is just perfection at its best. Plus it’s easier to lay it out better on the movie than the book. The book ending was just… Not good.
    The other Nicholas Sparks ones, I like both the movie and the book but agree the movie is a bit better.
    As far as Harry Potter… I love the movies. But the books were …. Boring. I just couldn’t get into it.

    I haven’t seen the other movies or read the books to weigh in. I was just so hyped that someone else felt the same way as me! 🤣🤷🤦

  2. Shaunna McLaren

    I definitely liked True Blood more than I enjoyed the books!

    Howl’s Moving Castle is a weird one for me, because I saw the movie first, and it’s my favourite Ghibli movie of all time, but when I read the book, I adored it too! I like the differences that exist between the two, and I think I like them both equally in the end, for different reasons. You can’t beat the beautiful soundtrack to the movie, though!
    Shaunna McLaren recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday: Unpopular Bookish OpinionsMy Profile

  3. Jo

    I definitely feel like the film can be better than the book sometimes! I love both the Harry Potter films and books and I’m not sure if I could pick which I preferred because there are aspects to both which I enjoy and aspects I don’t. Of the rest of yours, I haven’t read both the book or seen the film, so I can’t really judge, I did enjoy the Water For Elephants film though.
    Jo recently posted…Top Ten Tuesday #215My Profile

  4. Jen Ryland

    There is one movie I always bring up to people who say the book is always better and now lol I can’t remember what it is. To me Harry Potter is equally good, just different, as a book or a movie. I thought that Twilight was cheesier as a movie (but I enjoy cheesy). But then there are the movies that are SO much worse (*VampireAcademycough*)

  5. Greg

    The only one of these I’ve seen is Water for Elephants (and I did like it) but I never read the book. I do agree though sometimes the movie IS better.

  6. Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

    I haven’t actually read any Nicholas Sparks’ books, but I’ve seen a couple of the movies. I don’t think I really care to even read the books, even though I liked the movies. Is that weird? But I’ve definitely enjoyed the movie better than the book sometimes. Two that come to mind are Warm Bodies and To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before.
    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction recently posted…My Top Ten Unpopular Bookish OpinionsMy Profile

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