5 Novels and Their Adaptations: Which Was Better? 

Many great novels have become blockbuster hits such as Stephanie Meyer’s The Twilight Saga. Some have lived up to their name, and some…eh. Let’s see if these adaptations have been bops, or flops. But let’s be honest, the book is always better. (SOME SPOILERS) 


Courtesy of Summit Entertainment

Erika James Mendoza, Co-Editor in Chief

5.) Little Women, Louisa May Alcott 

Okay, there are multiple adaptations to this iconic book. The version I saw was the one made in 2019. Little Women is the story of five sisters who struggle to make their way in life. 

Little Women (2019 Columbia Pictures)

The young sisters encounter love, hardships, and family. I’ve seen my fair share of historical dramas ( Atonement and Pride and Prejudice), but I could not sit through this one. Although the movie helped express the sisters’ struggles with one another, it felt rushed and was way more depressing than it did in the book. Alcott’s version of the story was jollier. Sorry Greta Gerwig. 

May I add, Amy, who is supposed to be 12 is played by 25-year-old actress Florence Pugh. I’m sure she did her best to portray the character as best as she can. But let’s be honest, there were much better and younger candidates who could have had the role.  

Little Women (2019 Columbia Pictures)

4.) Me Before You, Jojo Moyes 

This one is a tough decision. Both the book and movie were able to make me ugly-cry. But…the book was better! Me Before You is a classic romance of bubbly caregiver, Emilia Clarke, to cold-hearted Will Traynor who is paralyzed from below. Will was an outgoing, charming, and wealthy man, whom everyone liked. After the accident, he becomes paralyzed, and so is his life. That is, before he met Emilia who showed him what it was like to be alive again. 

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes (Michael Joseph)
Me Before You (2016 New Line Media)

As the story progresses, so do their outlooks on life. The best part about the story is the character development: you will love Emilia from the beginning, and stick with her until the end. 

Me Before You (2016 New Line Media)

I would like another thing: Me Before You is a trilogy I’ve attempted to read. But I could not go on and forget Will’s legacy…Hopefully the movie will not become a series!

3.) The Princess Diaries Series, Meg Cabot 

Even before reading the books, I was upset that Michael and Mia ended up breaking up. Of course, those wounds were healed after Chris Pine dashed us with his charming endeavors to win Mia’s heart. But the original novels made me feel more like a teenager. There were major alterations which I was disappointed that didn’t make it. 

The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot (Harper Trophy)
The Princess Diaries (2001 Walt Disney Pictures)

For example, Mia’s father never died, and was actually a major character in the story. Or that at the end of the series, Michael and Mia had a wedding.Though intended for an adolescent audience, there were a plethora of mature references in the book I found hilarious!…I think I may need to re-read The Princess Diaries, again.

The Princess Diaries (2001 Walt Disney Pictures)

2.) Call Me By Your Name, André Aciman 

Call Me By Your Name is a summer get-away set in Northern Italy about unrequited love. Get this: have you ever had an idea planned out in your head about something you thought would look cool if you did it in real life, but when you actually did that thing, it turned out awkward and left you with a silent audience? That’s how it was for me. 

Call Me By Your Name (2017 Frenesy Film Company)

To those who haven’t read the novel may find me atrocious for saying such things, but you will understand, my dear viewers. Maybe Guadagnino lacked the imagery, but watching the characters come to life may have not been the right thing for me to see, coming from a person who is an avid-reader/film-goer of homosexual romances.

 The novel itself was much more sophisticated and vivid than in the 2017 version. Sorry, Timothée. 


1.) The Twilight Series, Stephanie Meyer

The Twilight Saga: New Moon (2009 Temple Hill Entertainment)

This list would not be complete if I didn’t mention Twilight. To those living under a rock, Twilight is a love story between a human girl and a vampire. Though a close tie, the movie did it for me. The director emulated the story so well, I was impressed by how accurately the movies leveled to the book (obviously there were alterations).

Twilight (2008 Summit Entertainment)
Twilight by Stephenie Meyer (Little, Brown and Company)

 Though I can’t say the same for Breaking Dawn part I and II as I refuse to ruin my relationship with Jacob. Catch me in ten years, maybe I’ve passed my refusion then. But no matter what the haters say, Twilight will always hold a special place in my heart!

Everyone has miscellaneous opinions. What do you think: were the books better than their adaptations, or were the directors able to “better” the originals?