Me Before You

All The Amazing Movies Based On Books Headed Your Way

Really, who needs to read when you can go watch the movie version of these books? Just kidding. I always read the book first, then go see the movie.

  1. High Rise, based on the novel by J. G. Ballard

Secure within the shell of the high-rise, like passengers on board an automatically-piloted airliner, they were free to behave in any way they wished, explore the darkest corners they could find. In many ways, the high-rise was a model of all that technology had done to make possible the expression of a truly free psychopathology.”
― J.G. Ballard, High Rise

A friend posted a link to this trailer, and I was like “Say what? Is this based on the Ballard novel that has been chilling on my Audible Wishlist forever?” I bought the audiobook and listened to this cult classic of luxury-living turned into tribalistic bloodbath. Now, crisp trailer aside, I have no idea how they will translate this book onto the big screen. Variety has seen it, and they say meh. But will I still go check this one out? You bet I will.

2.  The Girl on the Train, based on the novel by Paula Hawkins

emily blunt

Emily Blunt on the set of The Girl on the Train

Hollowness: that I understand. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t anything you can do to fix it. That’s what I’ve taken from the therapy sessions: the holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mold yourself through the gaps.
― Paula Hawkins, The Girl on the Train

Yes, Paula Hawkins’ ever-twisty The Girl on the Train is coming to the movies! No time was wasted adapting this one. Is Emily Blunt not your perfect Rachel? She has a bit of the crazy eyes going on this picture that the role demands. If you haven’t read this hit thriller from last year yet, you still have time before the movie’s fall release date. Read my review of the novel.

3. Me Before You, based on the novel by JoJo Moyes

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A sneak peek at the set of Me Before You, with Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin.

The thing about being catapulted into a whole new life–or at least, shoved up so hard against someone else’s life that you might as well have your face pressed against their window–is that it forces you to rethink your idea of who you are. Or how you might seem to other people.
― Jojo Moyes, Me Before You

Thank goodness the movie gods from above have decided to adapt Jojo Moyes’ novel Me Before You. As if we all didn’t cry enough when we read the book, we can go into theatres, gather, and do a group cry together. If you haven’t read the book, pick it up and prepare to have your heart opened up in strange nooks and crannies and then smashed. This romance will give you all the feels, all the sniffles, all the tears. Emilia Clarke will play Lou, and Sam Claflin will play Will. If I read less, or replaced some of the time I spend watching The Bachelor with time watching feature films, I may have an idea of who either of those two people are. Read my review of the novel.

4. She Who Brings Gifts, based on M.R. Carey’s The Girl With All The Gifts

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Sennia Nanua, Gemma Arterton, and Glenn Close filming She Who Brings Gifts.

“You can’t save people from the world. There’s nowhere else to take them.”
― M.R. Carey, The Girl with All the Gifts

Uhm, could the little Sennia Nanua be a more amazing Melanie? Talk about perfect casting for the little gal who single-handedly brings humanity to all zombies as she innocently explains how she wants feels hungry for her teacher, but she really doesn’t want to eat her because she loves her. Awww.

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Sennia Nanua as sweet little zombie Melanie.

I’m not sure why they changed the title on this one though. To me, The Girl with All the Gifts has an oomph that She Who Brings Gifts lacks… Not to mention it brings a whole who vs. whom issue into the situation! Was it to separate the movie from last year’s The Gift? I’m not sure. Call it whatever you want–I’m excited about this zombie thriller.

5. Alice + Freda Forever, based on the book by Alexis Coe

alice and freda forever bigger!

Some of the great artwork from Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis.

“In the mind of the public, she seemed endowed with an almost supernatural power to commit heinous acts, no matter the time or place.”
― Alexis Coe, Alice + Freda Forever: A Murder in Memphis

I’m cheating a bit with this one, as I don’t know if it’s actually being filmed yet or the project is just in the works. I loved Alice + Freda Forever, Alexis Coe’s true story of a lesbian romance and murder in 1890’s Memphis. A movie adaptation of this true crime/historical nonfiction book has quite a bit of potential. The book takes place at a memorable turning point in history, with haunting drawings and snippets of primary source material. Acclaimed director Jennifer Kent, of The Babadook, is tied to the project. I can only imagine what life she could bring to this already rich and tragic tale. Read my review.

What movie adaptations are you dreaming about for this year? When will we see The Goldfinch? What about A Little Life? How would all those plays from Fates and Furies be acted out? Readers, we can only dream…

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Review – Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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I didn’t know too much about Me Before You before I picked it up and started reading.  I thought the cover was fun and funky, and had a vague recollection of a positive blurb in a magazine.  I’m glad I stumbled into this book without knowing too much about the plot–I’m not too much of a romance buff, but I was pleasantly surprised by this story.  Instead of the usual boy-meets-girl, the concept here is that girl (Lou) is hired to look after quadriplegic man (Will), paralyzed when a motorcycle struck him as he crossed the street.  Lou and Will must interact for 8 hours each day as it is her job to keep him company and assist him with daily activities.  Emotions ensue.

Glance through the .gifs featured on Goodreads reviews of Me Before You, and it appears to be the most devastating novel ever written. Although I didn’t find it that heartbreaking, there were some times I chose to put the book down and take a break; it is some seriously heavy reading material, confronting moral issues and human emotions with the same brutal honesty of a Jodi Picoult story.

All the love aside, what I really appreciated about this book was its broach of a topic I haven’t often encountered in popular fiction, the day-to-day experience of a quadriplegic man in our world.  As Lou began to see the world from Will’s perspective, I did too.  Lou points out: “There are things you don’t notice until you accompany someone with a wheelchair.  One is how rubbish most pavements are, pockmarked with badly patched holes, or just plain uneven.  Walking slowly next to Will as he wheeled himself along, I saw how every uneven slab caused him to jolt painfully, or how often he had to steer carefully around some potential obstacle.”  Moyes does a great job of describing the discomfort people have when interacting with someone who is paralyzed or immobile.  There are failed handshake attempts, people obviously attempting to avert their eyes, and others noticeably staring.

Me Before You was similar, in some ways, to The Dive From Clausen’s Pier by Ann Packer.  In that book, a young man is paralyzed after a dive into a shallow lake, and his fiancé chooses to flee the situation.  The Dive from Clausen’s Pier shows us the significant other’s perspective.  In Me Before You, Will’s girlfriend has already tried to make it work and left him; we see the aftermath of this from his perspective rather than hers.  Both books are worth checking out.

This was the first book by Jojo Moyes I had read.  Her latest novel is called The Girl You Left Behind and sounds to be in the same love-through-history vein as Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter, which was a hit.

Me Before You on Amazon

Me Before You on Indiebound

Jojo Moyes webpage

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