Tuesday, April 10, 2012

From Shelf to Screen

Does it seem to anyone else that all the movies coming out lately are all based on books? I'm not sure if it's because Hollywood just can't come up with anything or if it's because they are finally acknowledging that books can actually be entertaining. Either way, I hope it continues because there have been some great movies based on YA books& there are even more in the works. And no I won't be talking about "Twilight" or "The Hunger Games." My top three books-to-movie picks? "Fat Kid Rules the World," "It's Kind of a Funny Story," & "Holes."

Headline: Fat Kid Rules the Movie Theater. This is what I expect when the movie adaptation of "Fat Kid Rules the World" by K.L. Going is released this year. The fat kid of the title is Troy, the suicidal nearly 300-lb son of a former Marine, who envisions the world through some hysterical news headlines. He's saved from a possible nose-dive in front of a subway train by Curt, a scrawny semi-famous guitar-playing delinquent he knows from high school. In return for saving him, Curt recruits Troy to be the drummer in his punk band despite the fact that Troy can't play the drums. Now Troy's caught up in punk music & Curt's energetic, drug-fueled enthusiasm. Punk fiends will appreciate Troy's gross-yet-awesome first time on stage.

"It's Kind of a Funny Story" by Ned Vizzini is one of my favorite books, mostly because of the main character Craig Gilner. He worked hard to get into fancy super competitive prep school out of a fear that anything else will RUIN HIS ENTIRE LIFE. It's no wonder he ends up checking into a mental hospital. Of course therapy & hijinks ensue; how can they not with a transsexual sex addict & self-declared President? There's a little romance, some deep thinking, and a lot of art. The book is actually based on the author's own experience being hospitalized for suicide.

Some people have bad days. Some people have bad years. In "Holes" by Louis Sachar, Stanley Yelnats has a bad life. His family is cursed thanks to his no-good-dirty-rotten-pig-stealing-great-great-grandfather & now Stanley, through no fault of his own, is stuck at a boys' detention camp called Camp Green Lake. The creepy/evil camp director makes the boys dig holes all day as personal development, but Stanley & his friends soon realize there's something to be found in the dry Texas desert. They just have to find it before the camp director does.... 

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