The Summer I turned Pretty- TV Series-

The Summer I Turned Pretty (TV Series 2022– ) - IMDb

Warning Major Spoiler Alert!!!

The Summer I turned Pretty series came out just last month and it has been a big hit. Though the summer I turned pretty started out as a book by Jenny Han, who wrote To All the Boys I’ve loved Before which is on Netflix, and now her next book which is the Summer I turned pretty is also now a series on Amazon Prime. And without a doubt became the most talked tv show during this Summer. Even before Season 1 of the Summer I Turned Pretty became a show on Amazon prime, they renewed the show for it’s second season because they know that this series is gonna be a best one and they predicted right!

This film stars were mostly new actors and the main actor is Lola Tung who plays Belly in the series and book. Another one is the Fisher brothers Conrad and Jeremiah played by Chris Brinley and Gavin Casalegno. Belly’s brother Steven played by Sean Kaufmen. Lastly, the parents (mothers) who are best friends Laurel Fisher and Susannah, who is played by Rachel Blanchard and Jackie Chung.

The Summer I Turned pretty is a story about Belly and her family ever since they were young have spent the summer at the Fishers’ house at Cousin’s Beach. Ever since then Belly has a crush on the oldest Fisher Conrad. Then when she turned 15 she finally got a glow up. Then the time comes when they were going to the beach house. From here Conrad changed from being sweet to Belly to not caring about her. So now Belly’s feelings gets all mixed up when she figured out that Jeremiah (Conrad’s younger brother) likes her. At the debutante ball instead of Conrad asking Belly to be his escort Jeremiah did and they continued with their relationship. But then during the dance Jeremiah is no where to be found so Conrad steps in and became Belly’s dance partner. As the dance was going on, Jeremiah is actually at the beach and found out that her mother is dying. The story ends with Conrad and Belly at the beach talking and they kissed.

I really like the series because they added details that weren’t in the book, like the deb ball. It was really cheesy at the end but then it was amazingly filmed and the added details made the film better. And also the story line at the book and the series was on point and was really good. This series is definitely a 10/10 for me and I am also excited for the next one. I don’t know if it’s just me but, I like to read the book and then I also, like to watch the movie or series because I want to see it visually and to compare it. If it’s the same thing with few added minor details or if they totally changed it. But overall I would recommend this for the other people to watch. Especially if you love to watch Summer romance.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is available to checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

Book vs. Film: The Summer I Turned Pretty

The very talented author Jenny Han’s book, The Summer I Turned Pretty, was recently made into a series that has everyone falling in love with the characters. Han’s book series includes the books, The Summer I Turned Pretty, It’s Not Summer With You, and We’ll Always Have Summer. So far, the series on Amazon, The Summer I Turned Pretty, has one season that covers the first book in the series. The show is confirmed for a season 2 already, and fans are hoping for a 3rd as well. For those that haven’t read or watched it, essentially, the series features a girl, Belly, who visits her mom’s best friend’s summer house at “Cousins Beach” every summer with her older brother, who is best friends with the other two boys, Conrad and Jeremiah, that own the house. All the previous summers, the boys have viewed her as a child, but all of a sudden they finally see her as an actual girl. I won’t spoil it, but the romance that goes between the characters is really interesting to watch, as are the character developments they all make. One of my favorite parts about this show is the soundtrack which features Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, Jack Harlow, and more.. I would definitely recommend reading the books first, but it is so cool to see what you pictured and imagined come to life and the actors did a great job portraying their roles. If you haven’t read or watched it, this is just a warning that the next paragraph does have spoilers. 

There are plenty of differences between the books and the show, however I don’t think it takes away from reading/watching either. It’s different in a good way and exciting to see how things play out in both. The first general difference I noticed is that in the book, the storyline focuses mainly on the two families, however on the show we are introduced to many more characters in a lot of events like the Debutante Ball, and those characters do affect the chemistry aspect between people a lot. It seems like in the show, they’re building more of a sense of community rather than isolating one group of people. I really like this because it mixes things up. Adding onto that sense of focusing on more people, the two moms are also given more of a storyline and have their own drama going on, unlike in the books where they weren’t highlighted as much. This same thing is seen with Belly’s older brother, Steven. In the books, he left the beach house in the middle of summer, but on the show he is a lot more involved. Speaking of Steven, Belly’s best friend ends up having a crush on Steven, instead of Jeremiah like it was in the books. This adds tension between Taylor and Belly and personally I like Taylor in the show better than in the books.

In the books, Belly had her first kiss with Jeremiah and he kissed her with the intentions of making Taylor jealous (because she liked him in the books), but since the show version of Taylor had a different love interest, Belly has her first kiss with an old friend, Cam. Their relationship doesn’t last too long as Belly ended things with Cam. In the books, it’s the other way around, but either way Cam knew where Belly’s heart truly was. Cam being there is a great asset to the plot because it allows the viewers to be empathetic as he was such a sweet boy. These are all somewhat minor differences, but some of the bigger ones include the fact that Belly actually had more chemistry with Jeremiah than she did in the book, creating so much more tension between the two brothers. Belly also doesn’t get a visit in the winter from Conrad, the scene is completely different. In my opinion, the biggest difference was the kids’ knowledge about Susannah’s (Conrad and Jeremiah’s mom) cancer. In the books, the kids all know about Susannah’s cancer. However, in the show, Conrad is the only one who knew about his mom’s disease. This is a huge explanation into why he acted the way he did. In the final episode, Jeremiah found out about the cancer which led to everyone knowing. This made everything serious and real, because Susannah didn’t want to go through chemo this time. Overall, the show and books were amazing and I truly think that since the author was involved with making the show, it had a great impact on the overall quality and vision of the show. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who likes rom-coms and tension. 

  • Kaitlyn Y.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han is available to checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It is also available to download for free from Libby.

Romance in Books/Media

I have grown up reading books where romance had been the central theme of the book, a plot line on the side, and with side characters who have never actually spoken in the book. In every single book I had read, there was some sort of romance involved and it would be hard to ignore it since it is present, despite the characters not even being fully-fleshed. I have read books where the person’s personality revolves around their relationship to this one person who also doesn’t really have a personality. Even if the characters have a dynamic, it is there to compliment their lover (one wears black all the time and hates everyone while the other gives children cookies as a pastime in their rainbow clothing). These people who saw each other from across the room are kissing three seconds later which ensues a romantic relationship. These couples, primarily ones consisting of a man and a woman, start off as friends or they start off as enemies or they had just met and then all of a sudden, they are in a romantic relationship with each other.

Then, I started to watch television and it not only amplified whatever romance that was shown in the books I would read but also shown toxicity in the relationships that are deemed normal. There are toxic relationships in books but I saw it more in TV shows and at an alarming rate. The couple would disagree with something and then all of a sudden, they are screaming at each other and haven’t come to a conclusion until the next day where one apologizes and they go on upon their day. These couples don’t usually ask consent when wanting to do things which could lead to miscommunication on what they want and further damage their relationship without even realizing it. On screen, it would be surprising to everyone if the main character’s love interest asked if they wanted to kiss because it has been implemented throughout the story that they both wanted each other. But then, this logic reflects in our society and our lives. It could be the case that someone doesn’t want to kiss another and everyone would be disappointed because this person is so nice or this person really likes them so they should just do what they don’t want to do and kiss them.

Romance has been shoved down everyone’s throats, through many different platforms, to the point where everyone must have a romantic relationship in their life to lead fulfilling lives. I have grown up thinking that I must have a romantic relationship eventually in my life and if I don’t, I will be a disappointment. If someone is single at the moment, it wouldn’t last long because everyone wants to be in a relationship and they will be in one soon. I have grown up thinking that if a man or a woman were merely talking to each other or hanging out with friends, they must be dating. I know that other people in our society also feel this way.

And then, I read a book where there was no romance whatsoever. I didn’t know this beforehand so I had been surprised as I read through this book. The book is called Radio Silence by Alice Oseman. It is a story about how this girl and guy becoming friends after finding out they have affiliated with this one podcast they both love. At first, I didn’t like the book because it was boring and anti-climatic. But then, I researched why I felt so weird after reading a book that contains no romance in it and found it boring. I discovered this new concept called amatonormativity, where our society pushes people to prioritize finding romantic relationships over keeping one’s platonic relationships. I am reading the book again and now, I am finding new aspects in it and realizing how entrenched I had been in amatonormativity.

I am not saying that there shouldn’t be romance in books and in media. I believe there should be more interracial couples, queer relationships, disabled relationships, relationships dealing with people of color, and other relationships between marginalized groups. But I don’t want romance to be geared toward a certain group and to be held at such a higher pedestal than platonic love is. And for those still reading, thanks for sticking with me all the way to the end and hopefully you agree. However, this is all my opinion and no one has to agree with me. Thanks anyway!

-Saanvi V.

Book vs. Movie: Howl’s Moving Castle

Howl's Moving Castle (Howl's Castle Book 1) - Kindle edition by Jones,  Diana Wynne. Children Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

Sophie Hatter is the eldest of three daughters, which is deemed as “most unlucky”. Over the years, she’s accepted that she won’t have a fun, lavish future like her younger sisters, so she becomes content with being holed up in her family’s hat shop, trimming lace and styling bonnets.

However, everything changes when the Witch of the Waste visits the shop and curses her to become an old lady. Desperate for a solution, she hikes her way to the infamous “moving castle”-belonging to no other than the soul-eating wizard Howl. Here, she strikes a deal with Calcifier- an evil fire demon- hoping he can lift her curse.

Along the way, Sophie discovers that the wizard is not all he’s said to be and that maybe there’s more to herself than she thought.

I discovered the book Howl’s Moving Castle shortly after I watched the movie adaptation by Studio Ghibli, and neither disappoint. They both capture the essence of a world that’s both modern and magical in their own ways.

The main difference between the two is that the Studio Ghibli movie follows a slightly different plot, as do most movie adaptations. The concept of Sophie being the eldest-and therefore, prone to failure-is almost completely eradicated, focusing more on how her looks are subpar and modest compared to her sister. Although, this ends up tying in well with the movie’s altered story, as it is a story of self-acceptance, I was sad that this major plot point didn’t get included.

Howl's Moving Castle by Hayao Miyazaki, Hayao Miyazaki, Chieko Baisho,  Emily Mortimer, Christian Bale | DVD | Barnes & Noble®

There were also characters that didn’t make it into the movie, such as Sophie’s sister Martha and Howl’s family that resides in the mortal realm. While I was disappointed to find this out, Studio Ghibli makes their adaptation work in it’s own way, using their staple “ghibli-magic” to create a version of the story that’s lovable and great to watch, preferably on a rainy day. And of course, as always, the animation is stunning.

Despite their differences and minor plot changes-and the watering down of Howl’s oddly lovable snootiness- the movie adaptation does an excellent job of capturing the story that Wynne-Jones wrote so magnificently.

-Luxy B

Howl’s Moving Castle by Dianne Wynne Jones is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive. The Miyazaki animated film can also be checked out from the library.

What You May Want To Know Before Watching Dune

The movie adaptation of Dune by Frank Herbert, which is directed by Denis Villeneuve, will be released in theaters on October 22 this year. The first movie is the first of a trilogy that will cover the first two dune books, Dune and Dune messiah. The book having 22 chapters and 412 pages. Dune the movie will cover around the first half of the book so around 11 chapters in 2 hours and 35 minutes.

Dune written in 1965, was in part inspired by The Sabres of Paradise by Lesley Blanch published in 1960. Dune is one of the most popular and influential sci-fi books of all time has changed sci-fi and set the standard for a great sci-fi book. Dune has been adapted into a movie before in 1985, where they tried to cover the whole book leading to the movie being a failure. This time with the movie only covers the first half and might portray the complex story better.

*There may be spoilers ahead*The story focuses on the character Paul Atreides a thoughtful and quiet boy and son of Duke Leto Atreides. Duke Leto is the Duke of Arrakis. Arrakis is the planet most of the story takes place on. The nickname or other name for the planet of Arrakis is Dune. Arrakis is called Dune because the planet is almost completely covered in deserts.

The villain is Baron Vladimir Harkonnen, the Duke’s political rival and former owner of Arrakis. A power-hungry person he becomes the main villain trying to take control of Arrakis from the Duke.

Dune is expected to be a success, and from the looks of the trailer has great CGI effects. Do you think Dune will be a success or a failure?

-Luke G.

Book vs. TV Series: Shadow and Bone

In this book vs. TV series, we’re going straight back to the Grishaverse. Recently having her debut novel, Shadow and Bone, become a screen adaptation, there’s a lot of buzz around Leigh Bardugo right now. The Shadow and Bone Trilogy is the best introduction to the Grishaverse, so this is the base of the action for this screen adaptation.

Streaming on Netflix, Shadow and Bone is based on the first Grishaverse book and some parts of Bardugo’s novel Six of Crows. It explores the plot and character of the book Shadow and Bone while also introducing characters from Six of Crows. While having dual plotlines, they both interweave in ways that are only hinted at in the books.

Firstly, the main plot of the TV series is with Alina, Mal, and the Darkling. There are fantastic book reviews in previous blog posts, so definitely check those out to get a deeper understanding of these characters. The series spaces the events out wonderfully while also adding in some details that add to character development and suspense. Both the book and the TV series’ first season end at the same point in time for all characters. So, it is simple to follow along according to each book.

On the other hand, with the addition of the Crows, the overall plot becomes a little bit more complicated. Not all of the Crows from Six of Crows are involved, but I would argue that the ‘main’ ones are. When I say ‘main,’ I’m referring to the characters who would require the most backstory and would therefore be a hindrance in flashbacks were they to explain along the way. So, I believe that the producers made an excellent decision in aligning the timelines of the flashbacks that occur in Six of Crows to the events in Shadow and Bone. Six of Crows takes place two years after the final events of the Shadow and Bone Trilogy. So, this simplifies the timing of events for the audience who haven’t read the books.

With the timeline being well-executed, I also thought that the TV series did a brilliant job connecting all of the characters. Having read all of the Grishaverse books, I know that each character knew of one another. But, in the show, they seamlessly have characters from the Shadow and Bone Trilogy meet characters from the Six of Crows Duology. When Kaz, Inej, and Jesper end up getting a job to capture Alina, this is where their plotlines interconnect, thus leaving their adventures bound to get tangled. Also, at the same time, are the adventures of two other future Crows, Nina and Matthias. Throughout the first season, they are having their backstory explained.

Overall, I adamantly believe that this TV series was very well executed. It brought to life all of these charismatic characters while also revealing the magical world that Leigh Bardugo put together. It introduced characters from the Six of Crows Duology, which is a significant indicator that we will be getting more Crows screen-time. And, hopefully, there will be enough seasons to explore the true might of what these Crows can do. I would highly recommend reading these books and watching the series after; it’s honestly incredible how talented the actors, producers, and directors of this series can do.

-Katherine L.

Are movie and TV show adaptations better?

When a book series gets popular, they often get turned into movies or TV series. Then begins the debate between readers and movie watchers about which is actually better. Many times, the book becomes popular first and then once it becomes a live action event, those who were avid fans of the books, and those who didn’t have the time to read them rush to watch. 

Now with series like Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Divergent, and Hunger Games, the movies actually turn out to be pretty good. They can act as an addition to the book that brings it to life, rather than bring it down. It often happens with the TV series that they begin to stray more to add more drama to more seasons and more episodes than a book might carry.

Personally, I always prefer reading a good book at my own pace to watching a movie or show where stylistic decisions are made for me. I like to immerse myself in the book and decide for myself what certain characters look like, or where things might take place. When watching something on a screen the directors and producers are the ones in charge. While sometimes that can turn out okay, such as the magnificent Great Hall in the Harry Potter movies, other times I feel let down. 

The thing I struggle with the most however is when the live action starts to stray a little too far from the books. When they add characters that don’t carry a purpose, or remove others who they feel are unimportant, I find they are taking characters rather than the actual plot and writing that I fell in love with when I read the books. I often have to tell myself before watching a film adaptation that this is entirely different from the book in order to fully enjoy it like I did when I read. 

All in all, I think that a movie or TV show adaptation can work for some people and film makers if they are able to stick close enough to what originally made people want to make the series. If they stray too far from what was the original, it becomes an unnecessary change to something that was already good. 

-Danielle B.

Book Vs. Movie: The Maze Runner

The Maze Runner is a series consisting of 5 books and 3 of which are now movies. The protagonist Thomas wakes up to find himself in a box. Every once in a while the box will bring up a different person yet everyone always have one thing in common, their gender. Everyone in that maze is a boy. Eventually, by the end of the first book, they escape the maze and find out it is run by a company called WICKED.

Yet one question remains unanswered, what was better the books or the movies? A very common question but the simple answer is both. There is no answer the books and movies are great in their own way.

The book has a great concept and is where the original idea came from. Although the book has no pictures or visuals like the movies, it gives you the room to use your imagination and create a scene yourself. Without the limitations of CGI, we can create little movies in our heads.

Then the book is made into a live-action film. The movies are well executed and use very good graphics. Yet the movies have limitations of their own, to say within the time limit they have to cut out many parts of the book. But with these setbacks, the movie is still made with great intricacy and still very intriguing. They also had a great selection of actors and actresses’ to play each character and brought the book to life.

Thinking better of one over the other completely depends on the person and what they enjoy, are they a bookworm or a binge-watcher?

Sanjana S.

Book vs. Movie: “The Shining”

I have spent the last couple weeks making my way through Stephen King’s The Shining a horror literature classic that my dad gave me for Christmas. As I was reading the book, my parents asked me about some familiar and iconic movie scenes and how I enjoyed reading them. After finishing the book and not coming across those scenes, I realized that there were some stark contrasts between the novel and Stanley Kubrick’s re-imagined classic. Thus, I decided to do research and have conversations with my dad about the differences between the two entertainment sources, and analyze their impact on their respective audiences.

Several subtle differences to the atmosphere have occurred to properly terrify audiences according to the type of media consumed. For instance, Danny’s interaction with the “wolf-man” is replaced with Wendy’s vision of a man in a bear suit in the movie. While both concepts are frightening in description and convey similar themes, the “wolf-man” is more cartoonish and sudden, showing the experience as one would expect from a terrified child’s mind. However, the movie interpretation is more unnerving than a typical jumpscare, showcased in a quick zoom shot that cannot be as successfully accomplished in a literary style. These differences in interpretation thus offer a similar effect using entirely different scare techniques, both appropriate for the interpretation and entertainment style it’s present in. Additional scenes, such as Danny turning a corner to find himself faced with the twins and the blood-filled elevator, are not present in the book due to their unnerving and sudden appearances, something that cannot be done through King’s detailed descriptive writing. The strongest and most important setting difference between the book and the movie is the animal-shaped hedges, replaced in the move by a maze. This has a profound effect on the plot, and is known as one of the most memorable features of the film’s Overlook hotel.

Concept and character differences make up an even more influential part of the contrast between the two versions. In King’s book, it is made abundantly clear that while Jack has his demons to deal with regardless of his position, the hotel is genuinely haunted and a large factor in his eventual descent into madness. This is shown through his son Danny, and the kid’s ability to sense the ghosts of the Overlook through what the cook Halloran calls “The Shine”. In the movie, however, Danny’s power is less intense, and we are forced to question if Jack is truly seeing things and going crazy due to his own guilt and violent tendencies. One of my least favorite aspects of Kubrick’s adaptation is his treatment of Wendy Torrance, the leading lady of the story. In the novel, Wendy is much more powerful and independent, able to defend herself and her son from Jack. She even goes as far as to use a tiny shaving razor to defend herself, showing her resourcefulness when faced with impossible odds.

Because a story is always most well known for its plot, it is important to take note of the plot differences between the two media forms. In the book, the story ends with Halloran trudging through the snow to rescue Danny, taking the mother and son away on a snowmobile as the Overlook explodes with Jack inside. However, the movie takes a more eerie and suspenseful approach, all while killing off Halloran once he steps inside the hotel. Jack chases Danny through the hedge maze, and he eventually escapes, leaving Jack to freeze to death in his madness. The movie closes with an image from a 1920’s scrapbook picture, Jack being seen at the center of the party, symbolizing how Jack has become one of the eternal ghosts of the Overlook. Due to plot differences, this haunting final image does not present itself in the novel. Additional plot differences such as Jack’s weapon (an axe in the movie and a mallet in the novel) and the fate of Jack’s play are changed for the sake of forwarding the plot, allowing for characters to meet certain fates or build up to truly terrifying moments.

The Shining as a whole is a brilliant story filled with terrors, dread, and undeniably interesting characters. Both materials have stood the test of time and lived up to their reputation. As a literature fan, I am impartial to King’s original story due to its fascinating writing style and descriptions of themes and slow dread building to the plot’s climax. However, I also give credit to Kubrick’s film for its ability to terrify audiences in its own way. While not exactly holding true to the source material and thus an inadequate adaptation, it carves its own path in horror media as a phenomenally crafted film with its own story to tell.

-Bailey L.

The Shining by Stephen King is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.

The 100: Books vs. TV Show

The book series The 100 by Kass Morgan was made into a television show on the CW, and the similarities between the books and the show stop at the title. 

The television series uses the same plotline; however, it is sped up and changed. In the show, the officials, and parents of the children, are shown regularly, unlike in the book. The entire four-book series is changed and made into one season. Then, the next 6 seasons are created from scratch. 

Not only are the plot lines modified in the television series, but the characters are as well. In the novels, the main characters are Clarke, Bellamy, Wells and Glass. Whereas in the television series, the main characters are Clarke, Finn, Bellamy, Finn, Raven, Jasper, Octavia, and Monte. The show does not include the main characters Wells or Glass from the books. Furthermore, the television series features the parents of the children as main characters. In the books, the parents are barely mentioned or dead.

 I personally have not watched the entire series, but I have read the book series. If you were to pick one to read/watch, I would recommend doing both, as they are completely different stories. However, I did enjoy the book series a bit more because it was more detailed and suspenseful.  

-Hidaya R.

The 100 by Kass Morgan is available for checkout from the Mission Viejo Library. It can also be downloaded for free from Overdrive.