Movie Adaptions I Saw Before Reading the Books

In light of the announcement that The Selection series will become a Netflix movie, I’ve been thinking more about book to movie adaptions. And as it turns out… I’ve hardly ever read the book before seeing the movie. In fact, it’s most often the other way around!

Book to movie adaptions are always tricky business for me. I always love it when my favorite books get adapted to a series or movie, but so often the adaptions are just… not that great. But then I realized that I hardly ever read the book before seeing the movie?? So I thought, why not put together a list of movie adaptions I’ve seen before reading the book?

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

Starting off with a somewhat surprising one, maybe? I love the Harry Potter movies, and aside from some misjudgments, they remain one of the best adaptions in my opinion. But I never read Harry Potter before seeing the first movie. In fact, I was so not interested in reading HP. My mom tried and tried, but to no avail (I’ve told this story before in this post). Until I saw the movie and… enjoyed it? Lo and behold. Finally got off my ass and read the series pretty quickly after that.

The Hunger Games

This series became popular when my younger brother was still in elementary school. His teacher was reading it to the class, and I, being five years older, therefore dismissed the book as being “for children.” I think my friend asked if I wanted to go see the movie with her, which I did. And wow, I really enjoyed it. Also, definitely not a book for children. Nope. I think the Hunger Games movies were also actually really good.


If there’s one thing you need to know about me, it’s that I was a very stupid teenager trying way too hard to be edgy. Therefore, anything that was popular or mainstream automatically got put in the “I will not read/watch/listen to this pile.” That’s also definitely what happened with the Twilight books and movies. The same friend from above was a huge fan though, and invited my to see the first movie with her. I, being a good friend, of course went. I enjoyed the movie. It did not make me want to read Twilight, but I had a good time.

But this story gets better, because fast forward a few movies later, and my friend invites me to see the newest Twilight movie. Which was Breaking Dawn part 2. I did not see any of the other movies. I did not read any of the books. Still had a good time. Still have not read Twilight.

Though I must say that the last movie was actually really awesome. Especially compared to the first.

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The Maze Runner

It’s been so long since I saw this movie in theaters, I don’t even know who I went with that day. I think it was with a large group of friends? <memory_blank> Anyway, I think I did not expect this movie to be as action-packed as it was, and in this case I did pick up the book afterward. Though by now I’ve still only read the first two books, and the series is actually in my “to donate” box. Unless some of you think I should finish the series??

Beautiful Creatures

I don’t think I had even heard of this book when my friend (yes, the same one from before) asked me to go see it with her. This one is funny because I found the movie kind of enjoyable, but she absolutely hated it. She said it was way too different from the book, and apparently they tried putting three books in one movie? I don’t really remember. But, I did pick up the book afterward.

The Lord of the Rings

I read the Hobbit before seeing the Hobbit, I think. I definitely saw the Lord of the Rings before reading it… because I haven’t read the books yet. In my friend group, everyone that has read the Lord of the Rings likes the movies, but they have so many issues with it. I probably like the movie adaptions so much because I haven’t read the books. Maybe one day I’ll read them.

What are your favorite book to movie adaptions? And which ones are the absolute worst?

Cover image by Soyoung Han via Unsplash

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