I’m Already Disappointed with the Movie Adaptation of ‘The DUFF’

DUFF: Movie Title
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As an avid reader and movie-watcher, I’ve had a variety of experiences with films that were adapted from novels. Some were good, some were bad, and some were really and truly terrible. The DUFF is in a whole new ballpark.

I found the trailer for The DUFF movie in Buzzfeed’s “21 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen in 2015” list. It seemed like it would be a fun movie, so I decided to read the book. Perhaps my expectations were set incredibly low by the movie trailer, but the book surprised me by delving into serious issues like substance abuse and society’s preconceived ideas about sexuality.

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6 Favorite Comic Series of 2014

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Photo via Marvel

#Same – Photo via Marvel

This year marked my first year of really reading comics. Although I’d always been interested in superhero stories and the comic format, it had seemed seriously overwhelming and I never truly knew where to dive in. Late in 2013, I saw clips from Matt Fraction’s Hawkeye on Tumblr and decided to start reading it. From there, I found other series that people recommended based on reading Hawkeye, then I read lists of comics that were generally recommended.

While I’m still far behind on the list of series I want to read — Captain Marvel, Young Avengers, She-Hulk, Bitch Planet, The Wicked + The Divine, All-New Captain America, and Rocket Raccoon are high on my list — I made some serious headway this year. (If you have any recommendations, I’ll happily take them!) These are the six comic series that I enjoyed most in 2014.

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5 Favorite Books & Book Series of 2014

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Goodreads Reading Challenge 2014

This year I participated in the Goodreads annual reading challenge – as I’ve done so for the past two years. In 2013, I completed the challenge of reading 45 books, and in 2014 I raised the bar a little higher to 50 books. Thankfully, due to some binge-reading over the summer and my 45-minute train commute to and from work, I met my goal a few weeks before the end of 2014. Out of the 50 books I read this year, here are my picks for the best of the best.

(Note: I haven’t included comic books and will try to write a separate top 5 list for those later on.)

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The 4 Best Adaptations of ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’

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Photo via NPR

Photo via NPR

Last summer and fall it seemed Hollywood had caught Yellow Brick Fever as many major TV networks — CBS, NBC, CW, and Syfy — were looking to adapt L. Frank Baum’s classic work of literature: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Syfy was developing a post-apocalyptic Oz with Warriors of Oz, NBC began progress on a “dark reimagining” called Emerald City, CBS was working on a medical drama titled Dorothy, and CW was in talks to adapt Danielle Paige’s, at the time, forthcoming novel Dorothy Must Die. Though none of those proposed TV series have made it to the silver screen just yet, they were being discussed around the same time as ABC’s fairy tale series Once Upon A Time announced plans of incorporating the classic good versus wicked standoff into their show.

Photo via Cineplex

Photo via Cineplex

Though fans may not be happy with the quality or quantity of Oz adaptations, the influx is indicative of a persisting love inspired by Baum’s classic tale. Since the book was released over a century ago — it was first published in May of 1900 — the beloved story has spawned numerous sequels, been adapted to film, television, and the stage many times, as well as inspired multiple retellings in literature. Throughout the past 114 years of Oz history, there have been many iconic works based on Baum’s original book, and his stories are set to hit the big screen yet again in the limited release of Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return on May 9. In honor of all the Wicked Witches in popular culture at the moment — Once Upon A Time’s season finale airs on Sunday — it seemed appropriate to talk about the best adaptations from Baum’s original book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

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Looking Ahead at the YA Novels-Turned-Movies of 2014

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Photos via Penguin, Veronica Roth Books, and Wikipedia

Photos via Penguin, Veronica Roth Books, and Wikipedia

As far as movies adapted from young adult novels go, 2013 was both a really great and a really awful year. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was one of the biggest blockbusters in theaters during a year of many great big budget films. It also swooped in at the last minute and stole the title of highest grossing film of the year from Iron Man 3, netting $409.4 million in just under 50 days at the box office. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, many films adapted from YA novels did incredibly poorly at the box office: Beautiful Creatures, The Host, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. In 2013 we saw incredible success and incredible failure when it comes to movie adaptations, but it certainly wasn’t the last year of Hollywood attempting to bring YA novels to the big screen.

Photo via Lionsgate

Photo via Lionsgate

Since we ended 2013 on such a high note with Catching Fire, which was both a success in terms of box office sales as well as staying true to the book, it’s hard not to be optimistic about 2014. Catching Fire seems to have renewed fans expectations of their favorite novels being turned into movies. It’s no longer guaranteed that the film adaptation will be horrible–although, statistically speaking, it’s still likely. However, with so many more films debuting in 2014 that are adapted from YA novels, we might be able to take what we learned in 2013 and predict how the films will do this year. (I am by no means a movie scientist–no matter how much I wish that were an actual profession–and I’m merely making semi-educated guesses here.)

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