The Hobbit: movie vs. book

So I read The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien for the first time this month.  I’d been wanting to read it, but unlike many classics, it wasn’t free on my Kindle, so I put it off.  Then I heard about the movie, and decided to wait until after seeing part 1 before reading.

As soon as I watched the movie, I downloaded the book and began it.  And I was over half done (more than past the first movie) when I went to see it again.

There are those people out there who want movies to be identical to the books that they are based on.  I have heard many grumblings from LotR fans about the differences between the books and the movies.  And the Hobbit movie is very different from the book.  I described it to my dad like this: “It’s as if they received an outline of what happens in the book, and followed the outline to the letter, but had to fill in all the details themselves.”  That is exactly what it’s like to compare the two.

All the events in the book are there in the movie.  Direct dialogue from the book makes it to the movie too, but, quite frankly, most of the conversations in the book are told to us, not shown.  I remember remarking in Goodreads, about a third of the way in, that the longest conversation anyone had had so far in the book was between Gollum/Smeagol and himself.  But screenwriters like dialogue, so naturally they made it up.  Scenes are expanded.  Battles are more epic.  Scenes were added.  Hey, what’s this ex-Doctor brown wizard doing in here?  He’s clearly setting up the battle that we’re inevitably going to see Gandalf have in a later movie (only mentioned in the book).

But it all worked.  Peter Jackson took a thirdish of the book and made it into a full-length movie that was had it’s own plot arc.  In the book, Bilbo doesn’t become part of the gang until they deal with the spiders.  The plot arc for this movie is Bilbo coming into his own, becoming part of the gang, going from a guy who wants to go back for his hanky to a guy who throws himself between an orc and a dying dwarf.  And I dare say, I was more impressed with his arc in the movie (where he doesn’t use the ring to do his most heroic bits) than in the book.

Some parts in the movie do go overboard in their quest to be epic.  The battle against the goblins requires just too much suspension of disbelief.  I mean, really, what could possibly be a challenge to fight after 14 people take on millions of goblins.  On the other hand, the troll battle was perfectly done, IMO.  And I liked how Bilbo got to actually help in the solution to the troll problem.

Pretty much all the dwarf history, including the intro does not exist in the book, but it’s a gorgeous set-up to the movie.

Having just read the book, I can easily see where the line is drawn between movies 2 and 3.  It’s spiders and wood elves for 2 and Smaug and Five Armies (or will it be Six with the pale orc involved?) for 3.  Plus Gandalf will be off doing stuff and I’m sure we’ll get to see that added to it.  And who knows what else will be added.

If you haven’t read The Hobbit yet, I do recommend seeing the movie first, then reading the book.  For me, I’m not sure I would have enjoyed that first third as much without certain visuals already added for me.  It’s a lot of narration, which is not my preferred style.  By the time I got past the first movie, though, I was used to the style and could read the last 2/3 with ease.  In general, I’ve found that if there’s a book and a movie, watching the movie first, then reading the book, leads to less disappointment than reading the book first and then watching the movie.  Not always, but usually.

Overall, the movie was quite an achievement, and I  look forward to the next two.  I wonder if those that read and loved the book first would agree

Lots of love,
Sage

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Review: An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

I’ve decided to add my reviews to my blog.  Starting this out is my 100th book of 2012, An Abundance of Katherines by John Green.  You can find these reviews on my Goodreads page as well.

AbundanceGoodreads description of the book:

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl.

Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself by Printz medalist John Green, acclaimed author of Looking for Alaska.

Supposedly, the first John Green book is the one you like best. This is my second John Green solo book, and I liked it much better than Paper Towns, as I always suspected I would. (However, as I read Will Grayson, Will Grayson first and loved it, perhaps that counts as my first, but I digress).

I was pulled to AoK by the whole premise of finding an equation to calculate a relationship. When I was a teen, I adored math, and I was intrigued by a book that seemed to revolve around a math equation. It sort of does, but actually the prodigy main character is not interested in math, but rather in languages. Still I found many things about Colin to be fascinating. Although he is incredibly self-involved, I love seeing the way he thinks and learns. His lists of how his mind jumps from one subject to another is just the way I think. In fact, one friend calls this “Sage logic.” To outsiders there was no connection, but to the person thinking this way, the connection is obvious. It’s actually surprising, then, that Colin isn’t a math prodigy, getting in trouble for jumping to the answer in a math equation without doing the problem on paper for the teacher to see. Yes, there are a lot of us with that experience.

I was a little hesitant about the initial “road trip” plotline, since that was something I didn’t love about Paper Towns, but the road trip is actually short and the destination is quite interesting.

There is a little mystery in the book about Hollis, but it was pretty obvious what her secret is based on every single element that causes the characters to go “hmm.” Instead, it is other twists in the book that are more fun and help the story tie together, like some twists about Colin’s Katherines.

Then there’s a girl who isn’t named Katherine. Lindsey suffers from what a lot of teen girls suffer from, I think. She’s trying to define herself based on what others think she should be. Whether she’s redefining herself for Colin, it’s with him that she is the most appealing character. And their dialogue-only scenes in her secret cave are adorable.

Overall I enjoyed this book, although I was a little iffy in the beginning with an overload of the word “fug,” starting out with vomiting and a road trip. But once we got to a destination, I was pulled in on Colin’s journey of self-discovery instead.

Recommended for fans of: contemporary YA, male POVs, math, anagrams, stories about teen prodigies, non-heroic main characters, feral pig hunts, and interesting trivia (even when other characters are saying it’s not interesting).

Lots of love,
Sage

ETA: I realized that I hadn’t worked out a rating system for the blog yet.  I gave this book 4 stars out of 5 on Goodreads.  I’ll work something out before my next review, promise

100 Books 2012

Just today I finished my 100 book challenge for 2012.  And over a week to spare.  For those just tuning in, the 100 book challenge is to read 100 books in the year, which includes MG, YA, or adult, audiobooks, and graphic novels.  I also include completed, but unpublished, books that I beta read, but not books of mine that I read for fun, unless they are published.  A book is counted only once if I reread it in this year, but I can count it if I read it again next year.  For this reason, I’ve been waiting on a few books that I’m really looking forward to rereading.

Here’s my list of my 100 books for this year:

1. The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson
2. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
3. Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
4. The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
5. Front and Center by Catherine Gilbert Murdock
6. Zombie Tag by Hannah Moskowitz
7. Wither by Lauren DeStefano
8. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
9. Big Fish by Daniel Wallace
10. Geek Fantasy Novel by E. Archer
11. There is no Dog by Meg Rosoff
12. The Secret Sisterhood of Heartbreakers by Lynn Weingarten
13. Absolute Visions by various, including some sage girl
14. Fury of the Phoenix by Cindy Pon
15. Saving June by Hannah Harrington
16. When the Sea is Rising Red by Cat Hellisen
17. Absolute Boyfriend, vol. 1
18. Absolute Boyfriend, vol. 2
19. Absolute Boyfriend, vol. 3
20. Absolute Boyfriend, vol. 4
21. Absolute Boyfriend, vol. 5
22. Absolute Boyfriend, vol. 6
23. beta read
24. Love Sucks by Sage Collins
25. Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
26. Gone, Gone, Gone by Hannah Moskowitz
27. Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin
28. Proven Guilty by Jim Butcher
29. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
30. beta
31. Cinder by Marissa Meyer
32. Fairest by Gail Carson Levine
33. The Warrior Heir by Cinda Williams Chima
34. Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
35. Insurgent by Veronica Roth
36. Holes by Louis Sachar
37. Kiss the Morning Star by Elissa Janine Hoole
38. Demon Diary, vol. 1
39. Demon Diary, vol. 2
40. Demon Diary, vol. 3
41. The False Prince by Jennifer a. Nielsen
42. Demon Diary, vol. 4
43. Demon Diary, vol. 5
44. Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
45. Demon Diary, vol. 6
46. Demon Diary, vol. 7
47. Five Flavors of Dumb by Antony John
48. The Two Princesses of Bamarre by Gail Carson Levine
49. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by JK Rowling
50. Loveless, vol. 1
51. Loveless, vol. 2
52. Handcuffs by Bethany Griffin
53. Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins
54. The Selection by Kiera Cass
55. Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen
56. A Want so Wicked by Suzanne Young
57. beta
58. Eon: Dragoneye Reborn by Alison Goodman
59. Eona by Alison Goodman
60. White Knight by Jim Butcher
61. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Tom Sawyer’s Comrade by Mark Twain
62. Loveless, vol. 3
63. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman
64. Loveless, vol. 4
65. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
66. Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
67. Enchanted by Alethea Kontis
68. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by JK Rowling
69. Glow by Amy Kathleen Ryan
70. Book of a Thousand Days by Shannon Hale
71. Princess Academy by Shannon Hale
72. Akata Witch by Nnedi Okirafor
73. Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and their Journey by Isabel Fonseca
74. Shadows on the Moon by Zoe Marriott
75. What’s Left of Me by Kat Zhang
76. The Crown of Embers by Rae Carson
77. Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator by Jill Baguchinsky
78. Small Favor by Jim Butcher
79. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
80. Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick
81. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
82. The Diviners by Libba Bray
83. The Ghost and the Goth by Stacey Kade
84. Fox’s Mask by Anna Frost
85. The Turning by Francine Prose
86. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
87. The Girl who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of her own Making by Catherynne M. Valente
88. Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff
89. Firelight by Sophie Jordan
90. Loveless, vol. 5
91. Loveless, vol. 6
92. Cloaked by Alex Flinn
93. Loveless, vol. 7
94. Columbus: Past, Present, and Future by various
95. Speechless by Hannah Harrington
96. Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo
97. Phoenix by Jennifer Mason-Black
98. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie
99. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
100. An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Of books that I counted, 3 were beta reads, and 2 were either by me or included a story of mine.  4 were classics, 53 were YA, 13 were MG (counting all Harry Potters), 7 were adult, 2 were anthologies, 1 was non-fiction, and 20 were manga.

33 of these books were ones I had read at least once before 2012.  17 were ebooks.  7 were audiobooks. 13 were library books.

Oh, and I finished the 2012 YA/MG Debut author challenge, which you wouldn’t think would be too hard, since 4 people within my writing group, including myself, debuted this year and I only needed 12, but I finished the last two in mid-December

1. When the Sea is Rising Red
2. Love Sucks
3. Incarnate
4. Cinder
5. Kiss the Morning Star
6. Scarlet
7. What’s Left of Me
8. Spookygirl: Paranormal Investigator
9. Fox’s Mask
10. Stormdancer
11. Shadow and Bone
12. Phoenix

It will be interesting to see if I make the challenge in 2013 (will it be 13 debut authors?) since so many of this year’s debuts have sequels coming out, and I know nothing about the debuts for next year.  Then again, that’s how I found out about so many of the ones that I read this year and loved.

So there’s my stats for 2012.

Did you take on a challenge to read a certain number of books this year?  How did you do?

Lots of love,
Sage