Books vs TV Show and Movie Adaptations – The Good, The Bad, The Downright Cringe-Worthy (and some things in between).

Books vs TV Show and Movie Adaptations – The Good, The Bad, The Downright Cringe-Worthy (and some things in between) -- The Riverside Library

I love a good book to movie or book to TV show adaptation, but I also hate a few, so here’s a list of my favourite adaptations because I like making lists.

Hello, folks who survived the read more tag! Welcome to my list of The Good, The Bad, The Cringe-Worthy, and The Somewhere in Between. Please don’t be offended if we have different opinions, and I promise I won’t be either! Let’s go!

The Good

1. Outlander


Somewhere between that theme song and the time Jamie Fraser said “Why no” (weirdly specific but the heart wants what it wants), Outlander stole my heart. That’s not even considering the story of Claire Beauchamp Randall and Jamie Fraser. I am here for that drama. Never before have I been up at 2am weeping over a TV show (thank you season 2 finale, you destroyed me and I loved every second of it). Outlander is such a beautiful show (although graphic in parts), and I could happily watch it for the rest of my days.

2. Harry Potter 1-5 + 7 &8


Ah, my childhood in a series of movies. I’m forever lost for words when tasked with writing about my feelings for Harry Potter. My fail safe mood lifter is Hedwigs Theme, and I’m so connected with this series now, I would love it even if it wasn’t good. Ah, sentimentality. I’m honestly so in love with it my heart swells every time I read it or listen to it or watch it or think about it. It made me a reader. I love Harry Potter.

3. Sherlock


I don’t even know where to start with the BBC’s addition of Sherlock. I can’t call it my favourite TV show because I feel like it’s on a completely different level than that. Sherlock is more than my favourite show, Sherlock is more than a TV show, it’s just more. If you haven’t watched Sherlock please do so now or at your earliest convenience because art is amazing.

4. The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe


I read The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe as an adult and… let’s just say I didn’t fall in love. In my opinion, the movie was better. Also, you have no idea how much I wanted to be Aslan… like, a lot, a lot.

The Bad

1. Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince


Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince has been and will probably always be my favourite book, so to say that my expectations were high for this movie is a stellar understatement… and to be honest, I think they were too high. There was so much incredible material in the books that just didn’t make it into the movies and I was devastated. So much so, it’s the only movie that I don’t rewatch – that is really saying something.


The Cringe-Worthy

1. The Twilight Saga



I’m sorry, okay? I know this series cops a lot of flack, and as a teenager I loved it, but now, as a non-angsty 20-something… Look, Twilight is a love story about an awkward teenager and an angsty vampire, I would be alarmed if it wasn’t awkward to watch. It’s just a testament to the actors that they could convey the emotions of the characters so well they make me feel it. For me these days, The Twilight Saga is just too awkward to watch.

The “Somewhere In-Between”

1. The Hunger Games


To the books I was: meh. To the movies I was: meh. Actually, I liked the second best of all, and disliked the third (and fourth? Were there four? I forget) most of all. I’m just not a great Hunger Games fan.

2. Sherlock Holmes


Compared to the BBC’s Sherlock, I wasn’t overly fussed on this adaption. I can’t remember a great deal of it, other than I found it quite boring and I’m fairly certain I fell asleep at one point. I guess we all have our favourite Sherlock Holmes adaptation, and this wasn’t mine.

3. The Book Thief


For me, I’m not convinced that the movie could stand on its feet alone. I needed to know the book before I watched the movie otherwise I’m afraid I wouldn’t have understood nor enjoyed the movie as much. The movie was a beautiful adaptation though, and I think the creators did a fantastic job of brining this beautiful book to life.

GIF Source: Outlander | Harry Potter | Sherlock | Narnia | Harry Potter 6 | Twilight | Hunger Games | Sherlock Holmes | Book Thief


  1. readctbooks
    February 11, 2018

    I adore The Book Thief and really should get along to watching the movie!

    1. riverside
      February 16, 2018

      You definitely should! I hope you love it!


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