By: Melanie | November 7, 2014 | (42) Comments

discussing through midnight

This meme was created for YA Midnight Reads as a discussion post of all things bookish.


Welcome to YA Midnight Reads’ edition of: How to Make a Great Book to Movie Adaptation. Today, we are going to tell you all the “dos” when making a fantastic book to movie adaption. Learn from us now, thank us later. To give you a good idea how successful these types of book to movie adaptations are, we’re going to use an example for this post.

5.9/10 on IMDb, Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief was the most successful book to movie adaptation that mankind has seen so far. I mean, 5.9 out of 10?! That’s a hella high score, so high that Logan Lerman, who plays Percy, no longer wanted to be apart of the third movie instalment, The Titan’s Curse. I guess the movie franchise was just getting waaaay to fabulous for him. It was out of his league, the poor lad.

1. Always, ALWAYS, make sure the cast looks nothing like what’s described in the books. 


As you can see, the people who play Percy, Annabeth and Grover look nothing like the ones in the fan-art. It is important when making a book to movie adaptation that you change all the ages, no matter how vital they are to the story. Furthermore, ensure that your actors/actresses don’t even have the same features as do the ones in the book. It just makes all the people who read the book so much more happy when you do that, y’know?

2. Change up the plot, because guess what? It makes it all the more interesting if you do that.

Oh yeah, been on the New York Times bestseller list for weeks and weeks, but that’s probably because the plot was really bad. In your book to movie adaptation, change it all up and make it just SO much better! Heck, just make the movie using the characters and the world from the book, but change everything else.

3. Disregard all the rules and facts made in the world that the book created, and just mess up everything in general. 

We have Persephone in the Underworld when it’s the Summer Solstice. Persephone ain’t ever in the Underworld except for Winter and Autumn. But of course, movies have swag, therefore they can break rules like nobodies business. I highly recommend you follow The Lightning Thief’s example, because it clearly had a lot of fans pleased with this blatant mis-logic and failure in the Greek Mythology knowledge department.

4. Ruin all the romantic build-up too, of course.


Clearly, the movie quote was so much better than the book one, amirite? Jumping straight into the angsty feelings, I see. Every book to movie adaptation needs a romance or some romantic tension. If the book doesn’t have any or not much of it, JUST ADD SOME IN OTHERWISE NO ONE WILL WATCH THE MOVIE.

5. Repeat for the second movie instalment. If you’ve chosen a stand-alone book to adapt, chose another book to ruin. 

Do we agree or do we agree? Everyone should follow this advice, obviously.

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Owner (and crazy nut) at YA Midnight Reads
Melanie is one of the totally fabulous bloggers at YA Midnight Reads. She's a 16 year old student from Melbourne, Australia. She is normally found binge watching TV series, reading , blogging, procrastinating or fangirling about how Percabeth is the best ship ever. She's also a lover of caps lock and uses it excessively.

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42 Responses to Discussing Through Midnight (46): How to Make a Great Book to Movie Adaptation (aka Mel unleashes her fury for the Percy Jackson movie)

  1. Tanja says:

    ROLF! Girl I couldn’t agree more!! What’s even better let them change the ENDING. You know make it all fluffy and rainbows because fuck the book. AND AND Always make more movies than there are books! Cause that makes you kewl! I haven’t read nor seen this thing, but girl I’ll stick to the book. Amazing post, Mel 🙂
    Tanja recently posted…Bookish Problems #13 – Negative Reviews and One Star RatingsMy Profile

  2. Well obviously that’s the way to go.
    Bieke @ Istyria book blog recently posted…Bookish Babble: Top Ten Sci-Fi Books & MoviesMy Profile

  3. I think if you’re no gonna do the book justice, then you should just leave it alone. And I think the author shouldn’t sell her book rights if it wont do her fans justice either. I cringe whenever I think of the Vampire Academy movie. They should have just left it alone!
    Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed recently posted…Audiobook Review: A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray!My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Rick Riordan actually didn’t want anything to do with the movie, which makes me even more angry at how they dealt with the movie. But yes, definitely. LEAVE THE POOR BOOKS ALONE.

  4. Ha ha. Now this post didn’t have a healthy dose of sarcasm. I quit getting excited for books made into movies because I am sick and tired fo them ruining a perfectly good book.
    Heidi@Rainy Day Ramblings recently posted…Review: Prince Lestat(Vampire Chronicles #12) by Anne RiceMy Profile

  5. I also talked about Persephone and her strange appearance in the movie. I don’t get why they changed it, because it’s not like her character added something important to the movie-line?
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…Fairytale News 43. Reviewing series.My Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Right? They added it for the boobs or something lol. They thought it might attract more viewers? I dunno, movie making people are seriously weird. I mean, the whole reason behind making the characters 16 instead of 12 is because they believed it would attract more attention if they were all older like WTF NO.

  6. Oh gosh, Percy Jackson & the Lightning Theif? That was a LONGGGG time ago and frankly I really do not remember much of it at all. Did you watch the second movie by any chance? The rating is pretty bad on RottenTomatoes, and I would assume there are still gaping plot holes thrown right into your face in that one…
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  7. YES, YES, YES! Oh my god…these movies made me so angry. 😐 Like you said, the movies were nothing like the books, and, as much as I love Logan Lerman, he was just not right for the role of Percy. And I hated how the romance between him and Annabeth was portrayed in such an insta-love light, because, in the books, it was nothing like that. 😐 Thanks for sharing and, as always, fabulous post! <3
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    • Melanie says:

      Yeah, Logan looks like he could play Percy when he’s older, but his personality and stuff just doesn’t fit at all, ugh. Yeah, Percabeth was disgustingly lame in the movies.

  8. Valerie says:

    Oh man. I watched the movie such a long time ago. But I haven’t read the book yet (don’t hurt me), I mean I’ll get to it one day, right? I have a lot of series to catch up on since I didn’t read them as a child, like Series of Unfortunate Events, Percy Jackson, Chronicles of Narnia.

    But yeah. I hate when the movie adaptation DOESN’T EVEN MATCH UP WITH THE BOOK. It really hurts, because you look forward to a movie for so long, and it’s half-assed and doesn’t even make sense, or there’s so many changes that you JUST CAN’T TAKE IT. 🙁 sad smileys everywhere
    Valerie recently posted…Review: WarbreakerMy Profile

  9. Laura says:

    Oh my goodness yes! These are like, the rules of the universe! And everything I hated about TLT. Especially the ages though, like the whole 12 year old thing was SO important! And changing the plot, yes. Because obviously people want a ‘better’ and ‘more exciting’ plot even though it’s been on the New York Times Bestseller list *facepalm* I applaud this post! xD

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks
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  10. Hah! Love it. I never read any of the books, which means I enjoyed the movies, but I’ve heard they are just WAY too different for most fans.
    ShootingStarsMag recently posted…Adult Review: A Secret Match by Kelli A. WilkinsMy Profile

  11. HAHAHAHAHAH I love this post great job! I can totally relate, the second movie was so bad-they should just make it into a series like City of Bones. it’s so sad that they didn’t make any money out of it…:( The story is so nice, how could it not have made any money. Well, there is that quote saying the book is better than the movie. HAHA True that! Thanks for sharing, love <3
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  12. manda says:

    This is hilarious! Still related to point #1: you forgot “make the main characters a lot more attractive than they are in the novels”. I think movie directors are trying to replicate the fangirl phenomena that was Twilight.
    manda recently posted…Starship Troopers: Review by Margaret TaylorMy Profile

  13. YES. OH MY GOSH. THIS MOVIE. I can’t even. It makes me so angry just THINKING about it. And to think they even dared to make a sequel?! Pah! But, well, it’s not unsurprising in the least when it flopped, in my opinion. I mean–like you said above, this is a New York Times best-selling series! IT’S ON THAT LIST FOR A REASON. WHY WOULD YOU CHANGE ANYTHING? I actually enjoy watching adaptations… but this one? Urgh. It was terrible.

    Fantastic post!
    Kara @ Diary of a Teen Writer recently posted…How to Finish NaNoWriMo in Five DaysMy Profile

    • Melanie says:

      Each time I want to just flip a table or something–ugh! I absolutely agree. Movie #2 was just as shitty. I just cannot believe it, but am relieved that they’re not gonna bother with making a third movie.

  14. *incredibly headdesk* I don’t even think they read the book, to be honest. WHY COULDN’T THEY HAVE MADE ANNABETH’S HAIR BLONDE AT LEAST? And and…and then they made her hair blonde in the 2nd movie. LIKE WHAT?! *rages and fumes quietly* I didn’t know Logan Lerman turned down a 3rd movie. I think the 2nd was definitely better than the first, but yup. I’m not upset they won’t make more. >.>
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    • Melanie says:

      Right? It pissed me off when they changed her hair to blonde even more, because they realised that they were doing it all wrong, but still, all they could get bothered to fix up was her damn hair colour. MAJOR UGH.

  15. Hilary says:

    I feel slightly bad for saying this but I thought in terms of looks Logan Lerman nailed it. He really looked like what I thought Percy would look like. I had so much hope when I saw the poster.
    Until I saw dark-haired Annabeth (which seems inconsequential and shallow, I know).
    Until I watched the movie.
    Until I heard the dialogue (cringe)
    Until I heard the…’jokes’ (a sad attempt at one, that is)
    Until I couldn’t finish the movie.

    When’s the TV adaptation of The Heroes of Olympus going to come out? Only in my dreams? Damn.
    Hilary recently posted…Book HaulMy Profile

  16. Woah, Mel, I can feel your hatred for the book all the way from Asia!
    I just love when someone uses sarcasm to unleash their anger, it’s so damn funny:)
    I haven’t read the book yet,in fact the movie ruined the book for me.*Warning*-never see a book adapted movie before reading the book.Even now, after all the great reviews I’ve read for Pefcy Jackson, I still can’t make myself take up the book.Hope I will go for it someday soon.
    Mishma @ As the page turns recently posted…Do you write DNF reviews?My Profile

  17. HAHAHA THIS IS BRILLIANT, MEL! Adaptations hurt my heart. It’s like seeing everything I love except it’s dying right before my eyes and I can’t do anything to stop it. Super painful.
    Jess @My Reading Dress recently posted…Seeking Saturday’s Read #11My Profile

  18. Stephanie B says:

    I saw the title of this post and thought, “Oh, this is going to be good.” Lol! Well done.
    Stephanie B recently posted…Movie Thoughts: Dracula UntoldMy Profile

  19. lol, great post! They do love ageing up the cast. (Divergent, Hunger Games didn’t but they did use older actors. Not that I’m complaining since they did a fantastic job of acting.) You forgot: make sure the writer of the book has little or nothing to do with the movie.
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  20. Pingback: Weekly Recap| Nov 2-8, 2014 | Oh, the Books!

  21. I have to agree that both movies sucked. The 2nd was better but it was still bad. It’s really a shame because I loved the books so much. 🙁
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  22. Your sarcastic game was strong and I LOVED that! I don’t even know what the hell Hollywood is thinking…. But apparently they don’t learn as well because they keep making and making the same mistakes. I mean, there are more books to movie adaptations that failed compared to the ones that succeed so they should really know by now they are making something wrong, right? When I saw the first Percy Jackson movie I hadn’t read the books and in fact, enjoyed the film but after reading the book I was like: “This movie is the crappiest adaptation ever!”. I also saw the second movie after reading the second and third book. It was even worse and there was a spoiler as well from the fifth book. I’m pretty sure most people wouldn’t notice but I did and I was pissed!
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  23. Diamond says:

    haha omg I can’t believe I missed this old post! this is why I look thru old posts sometimes…just cuz. lol.

    I love the Annabeth thing, it’s just awesome. SO true. The hair really bothered me..don’t even get me started on the second movie they finally make her blonde but WAIT SHE IS BLONDE NOW SO WE HAVE TO MAKE HER HELPLESS AND DITSY!?!?!

    Within the first half hour she’s already fallen and can’t get up without “percy!!” all whiney and breathy voice. It’s like, c’mon, she just tripped lightly and she can’t get up? what happened to the warrior annabeth who kicks his butt? EVEN IN THE FIRST MOVIE AT LEAST SHE WAS A WARRIOR WITH A KNIFE AND KICKED HIS ASS< but they can't even follow their OWN changes just killed me ! haha. But, I mean…I am still glad these movies are being made. Of course it's better to me, than no movie, but it's completely different. IDK how they will make another movie since they totally botched up the plot. I just loved seeing the characters on screen and I do like Logan Lerman as percy even though he is so old for percy… *sigh*
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