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Ah yes, the ultimate sadness of leaving the theater after expecting to see your favorite characters portrayed on the big screen only to be shafted by the directors. We all know the feeling. You sit down smelling the overpriced, buttery popcorn and drinking soda (if you can’t tell, I really miss the movie theater) ready to fall in love with an amazing story once again, but you wind up disappointed. 

Here are three movies to avoid watching if you loved the books — unless you’re gunning for disappointment. 

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

I remember reading this book and absolutely loving it. All the side characters were fleshed out and interesting, and so, too, were their powers and quirks. The movie, however, ignores all the side characters in favor of the romance between one girl and the main character, which blossoms completely unnaturally. The main character in the book had body issues and was bullied before he joined this world. It was finally through this new world, which his deceased grandfather discovered, that he was able to regain confidence with his new friends who saw him for who he was rather than what he looked like. The movie depicts a guy who is attractive the whole time — and everyone else is attractive — and it makes no sense. Classic Hollywood. 

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 

Okay, in their defense, they weren’t working with the best material, but changing everything probably wasn’t the way to go. Caution: spoilers ahead. Simon turned into a vampire almost immediately, which did not happen until the second book. There were literally portals everywhere Valentine wanted them, and portals were described as incredibly powerful, even though everyone can use them. Also, Valentine’s reveal of Jace and Clary being siblings is the most unbelievable lie in the history of lies, and them believing it when he is the literal villain of the story is beyond reason. In the writers’ and director’s defense, this was also in the book, but I just really hate it. 

The Fault in Our Stars

I know this might be a bit controversial given peoples’ love of John Green, but I don’t think the movie is anything special. I will admit I did cry when I read this book — I don’t have a heart of stone. However, the movie was just not up to par. It seemed to start the trend of showing texts on-screen in teen movies, and I just don’t find that gimmick necessary. Also, watching Augustus Waters or even Isaac succumb to their illnesses just wasn’t as heart-wrenching when displayed on the screen. The movie seemed too fast, and the ending seemed dull, almost ordinary.

After this, I do slightly feel like The Catcher in the Rye’s main character Holden Caulfield, describing how much I hate the movies, but I don’t think it’s too much to ask for good book-to-movie adaptations. All of these movies definitely made my teenage-self outraged in the movie theater, but now I know how to deal with this disappointment. I’ve learned to laugh at these attempts, look for movies that won’t upset me to my core or just read a book instead.  

Eleanor Davis

Chapel Hill '21

I am a UNC-CH senior and a writer for HerCampus
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