From Page To Screen: After by Anna Todd + After Premiere Red Carpet

After is now out in theaters so I am excited to share with you my Page to Screen review. Be sure to scroll down for my coverage of the After red carpet. BE AWARE: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
220px-After_2019_film

Summery: Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.

But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, tattoos, and lip ring, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.

But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.

He’ll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.

Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin’s prejudice about nice girls like her?

Unless…could this be love?

Book Review: While not the most well written book I’ve ever read I really enjoyed After. One thing I appreciated was how Todd was able to keep me engaged in the story. I understand that when Anna initially wrote After on Wattpad she had to keep her readers engaged and coming back for each new installment but the back and forth nature of Tessa and Hardin’s relationship did get a little redundant after a while.
Knowing that it was originally a Harry Styles/One Direction fan fiction I was surprised at the more mature content.
I know the criticism After has received over the years and if you are to just go off the first book I would agree with some of it. While Tessa and Hardin’s relationship isn’t always healthy (even Tessa admits that) I think it’s important to take into account how their relationship develops and evolves as the series progresses.
Movie Review: Going into the film I didn’t really know what to expect.
The first half of the movie was very choppy and fast paced and they really sped through the beginning of Tessa and Hardin’s relationship. It wasn’t really until the lake scene that the film seemed to really find it’s pacing.
I thought Josephine Langford was great as Tessa. She and Hero had good really good chemistry onscreen. At the beginning of the film Hero came off as a bit monotone however I felt that his acting got better as the movie progressed.
Because so much of the focus of the film was on the relationship between Tessa and Hardin (obviously) the other characters didn’t get as much time on screen. I wish we had gotten to see more of Tessa and Landon’s friendship as well as Hardin’s relationship with his father.
Screen Shot 2019-04-05 at 2.32.35 PM

Josephine Langford (Tessa) and Hero Fiennes-Tifin (Hardin)

Since we don’t know if we will be getting the rest of the books made into films I thought that they did a good job with the ending of the film. It ended on a positive not while also keeping the story open for future films.
Compare and Contrast: Going into the film I knew that there were going to be changes and that it was going to be different from the book. I just don’t think I was prepared for just how different the movie was going to be. that being said there were some changes that I actually didn’t mind. I got the sense that Anna and the film creators where very much aware of the criticism After has received over the years. Many of the changes made in the film seemed to be responding to some of the criticism of After: Hardin’s treatment of Tessa, Hardin and Tessa’s “toxic” relationship and the bet. 
The softening of Hardin was a change that I wasn’t too upset about. However I do think they went a little to far and Hardin ended up losing a little bit of the edge that I really enjoyed in his character.
I know everyone was most excited for the lake scene, however, I found that scene to be one of the more slow scenes in the film. If I had to choose a favorite scene from the movie I would have to pick the scene where we are first introduced to Hardin.
Overview: While I wasn’t I expecting the film to be an exact replica of the book I was surprised at just how different the film was from the movie.
Because I started reading After once the filming had already began it is hard for me to imagine any other than Josephine and Hero as Tessa and Hardin. I thought Josephine was absolutely perfect as Tessa. I thought Hero was good as Hardin and I felt his acting got better as the film progressed.
Overall I really enjoyed the movie. I can only hope it does well at the box office so we get the rest of the series made into films.
Extra: OnMonday was they had the Los Angeles premiere of After at The Grove. I was lucky enough to get to cover the red carpet. You can check out all of my photos from the premiere below. [You can watch my vlog from the premiere here]
4892618120772711858_IMG_0223

Josephine Langford (Tessa)

300046563818316441_IMG_0226

Josephine Langford (Tessa)

1265403783030522558_IMG_0227

Josephine Langford (Tessa)

1491512816493494173_IMG_0256

Josephine Langford (Tessa)

-8054866271279301386_IMG_0274

Josephine Langford (Tessa)

-7120884979287140372_IMG_0348

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

2002758857477167400_IMG_0355

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

4342564518378881265_IMG_0349

Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

4336790207924086128_IMG_0376

author Anna Todd

4129046787671904290_IMG_0368

author Anna Todd

-2958847958532833055_IMG_0362

author Anna Todd with her husband

-999695743080348584_IMG_0262

Josephine Langford (Tessa) and author Anna Todd

861581941981855815_IMG_0296

Josephine Langford (Tessa), Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin) and author Anna Todd

-881830468399586014_IMG_0290

Josephine Langford (Tessa), Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin) and author Anna Todd

7002805038988414254_IMG_0297

Josephine Langford (Tessa), Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin) and author Anna Todd

4871726406440778704_IMG_0304

Josephine Langford (Tessa) and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

6469302036544551831_IMG_0300

Josephine Langford (Tessa) and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

6660438603887000372_IMG_0282

Josephine Langford (Tessa) and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

7879415971226063704_IMG_0278

Josephine Langford (Tessa) and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

-2605839808442851115_IMG_0118

Pia Mia (Tristan)

-8088932061725622361_IMG_0166

Pia Mia (Tristan)

-4092937013283323655_IMG_0174

Pia Mia (Tristan)

-6820525511576666877_IMG_0140

Pia Mia (Tristan)

-8269997050991734219_IMG_0146

Pia Mia (Tristan)

-1525217811263961549_IMG_0199

Samuel Larson (Zed)

971026828397158482_IMG_0193

Samuel Larson (Zed)

-2200369418459672790_IMG_0208

Samuel Larson (Zed) and Vanessa Dubasso

938663826992645072_IMG_0206

Samuel Larson (Zed) and Vanessa Dubasso

-727927685824362018_IMG_0384

Inanna (Molly)

-1581666420482176641_IMG_0394

Inanna (Molly)

6988069677237465748_IMG_0392

Inanna (Molly)

-1951968633272088323_IMG_0408

Inanna (Molly) and Matthew Noszka

-9109661270834403093_IMG_0407

Inanna (Molly) and Matthew Noszka

5120935270866816138_IMG_0489

Khadijha Red Thunder (Steph)

4095152885118910722_IMG_0495

Khadijha Red Thunder (Steph)

-3498342397444371626_IMG_0498

Khadijha Red Thunder (Steph)

5614834494736753027_IMG_0120

Dyland Arnold (Noah)

-8607920633291840752_IMG_0122

Dylan Arnold (Noah)

7187175313169709958_IMG_0585

Dylan Arnold (Noah) and Shane Paul McGhie (Landon)

-2905295025225748283_IMG_0611

Jennifer Beals (Karen)

-7918885779376484500_IMG_0615

Jennifer Beals (Karen)

3114228885547374121_IMG_0617

Jennifer Beals (Karen)

-5714304244476667575_IMG_0337

Pia Mia (Tristan) and Josephine Langford (Tessa)

4005823825670583897_IMG_0340

Pia Mia (Tristan) and Josephine Langford (Tessa)

-3058087321020516483_IMG_0518

Khadijha Red Thunder (Steph) and Pia Mia (Tristan)

-6563355464583872687_IMG_0532

Khadijha Red Thunder (Steph) and Pia Mia (Tristan)

1902188620214259227_IMG_0560

Josephine Langford (Tessa), director Jenny Gage and Hero Fiennes-Tiffin (Hardin)

-613857326358806790_IMG_0335

The After cast with director Jenny Gage and author Anna Todd

-7764290050669891273_IMG_0437

Swen Temmel (Jace) and Meadow Williams (Professor Soto)

1906946464867549729_IMG_0439

Swen Temmel (Jace) and Meadow Williams (Professor Soto)

3525430894105679616_IMG_0434

Swen Tempel (Jace) and Meadow Williams (Professor Soto)

391537429507273284_IMG_0445

Meadow Williams (Professor Soto)

-8297781329194988064_IMG_0442

Meadow Williams (Professor Soto)

2787503757523480503_IMG_0422

Swen Temmel (Jace)

-2655851153579855682_IMG_0096

director Jenny Gage

7254559879200212568_IMG_0098

director Jenny Gage

3027470375055536135_IMG_0107

director Jenny Gage and family

After is out in theaters NOW and is Rated PG-13

 

From Page to Screen: If I Stay by Gayle Forman

I am excited to share my latest From Page to Screen post on If I Stay by Gayle Forman. BE AWARE: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAINS SPOILERS.
Summery: Mia Hall is faced with some tough choices: Stay true to her first love – music – even if it means losing her boyfriend and leaving her family and friends behind?
Then one February morning Mia goes for a drive with her family, and in an instant, everything changes. Suddenly, all the choices are gone, except one. And it’s the only one that matters.
Book Review: This was a quick and easy read for me. I got through it (and it’s sequel Where She Went) in a couple of days. I definitely enjoyed the book. Despite the fact that the book starts of with a car accident that kills Mia’s family the book isn’t as heavy as I expected. I think one of the reasons for this was because the focus was more on Mia reflecting on her relationships rather then the aftermath of the accident. One line that I think really summed up the book was “Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you”. The story was less about the accident and more about the choice that Mia has to make and wether or not she can live with the consequences of that choice. So in the end it is more about life then it is about death.
Most YA books are more about romance so I really appreciated that Mia’s relationship with her family and friends was just as prevalent and important as the romance between Mia and Adam was.
Movie Review: My feeling towards the movie are similar to my feeling towards the book. I thought the movie was really good. They did a great job portraying Mia and her relationships with her family, Kim and Adam. I absolutely loved the scenes between Adam (Jamie Blackley) and Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz). The one thing I wish was that there would have been more of Kim (Liana Liberato). I adore Liana and just wish she could have gotten more screen time.
While the movie didn’t make me cry I definitely got teary eyed at some parts. Particularly the scenes between Mia and her grandfather.
Compare and Contrast: One thing I have to say about the movie is they did a great job sticking to the book. While of course things changed they really did a good job of staying true to Forman’s novel. The biggest differences between the film and the book was the role Adam played. In the movie they expanded Adam’s role to the point were they decreased the role of Mia’s family and Kim. While I did enjoy the scenes between Adam and Mia I definitely wish we saw more of her relationship with her parents and Teddy.
One thing that really separated the movie from the book was the music. I absolutely loved the If I Stay soundtrack, especially the Willamette Stone songs, and have listened to it over and over again.
 
Overview: Overall I thought the movie did a great job of translating the book into a movie. While changes were made they stuck to the core of the story and kept all of the emotions that were in the book.

From Page To Screen: The Duff by Kody Keplinger

In early January I got to see a screening of CBS’ new film The Duff, based on the book by Kody Keplinger, so I thought it would be fun to do a Page to Screen Review of the book and movie. BE AWARE: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.
Summery: Seventeen-year-old Bianca Piper may not be the prettiest girl in her high school, but she has a loyal group of friends, a biting wit, and a spot-on BS detector. She’s also way too smart to fall for the charms of man-slut and slimy school hottie Wesley Rush, who calls Bianca the Duff–the designated ugly fat friend–of her crew.  
Book Review: I really enjoyed this book. When I started reading the book I was very surprised by some of the more mature content but I guess you can get away more in a book then in a movie. However while there was sex in the book it was not graphic at all so I can see how Keplinger was able to get away with it.
One of the things that I liked most about the book was Bianca. She is cynical and sarcastic but that is what endeared her to me. Wesley also was a great character. I liked that even though he turned out to be a pretty good guy he didn’t go through a 180 degree change. I thought that definitely lent an air of realism to the whole book.
The pacing of the book was good. The story definitely kept me hooked. I finished it in a couple of days because I couldn’t put it down and just wanted to know what happened next.
Movie Review: The movie was so great. But then again any movie that starts off with a Breakfast Club reference is my kind of movie. It was charming, fun, entertaining, and had me laughing throughout the entire thing. I especially loved the addition of Allison Janney and Ken Jeong who were absolutely hysterical.
But by far my favorite part of the movie was the relationship between Bianca (Mae Whitman) and Wesley (Robbie Amell). Every scene that involved the two of them was amazing. The chemistry between them was obvious and just made their scenes together that much fun to watch.
What most surprised me (but in a totally good way) was how raunchy it was. When I first saw the trailer (and some of the changes) I assumed the mature content of the book was taken out to ensure a PG-13 rating. So I was surprised by a lot of the sexual innuendo and raunch jokes throughout the film. But again, surprised in a good way (I do tent to have a very raunchy sense of humor so I really enjoyed it).
Robbie Amell (Wesley) and Mae Whitman (Bianca)
Compare and Contrast: When I first saw the trailer I was a little worried because it was totally different from the book. Usually I am a purist when it come to book adaptations but I in this case I was totally fine with the changes made because in the end the essence of the book remained: it doesn’t matter how others see you it’s about how you see yourself.
As an adaptation the movie left a lot to be desired but as a movie, on its own, it was great. It was cute and funny without being too fluffy. One change that I wasn’t crazy about, however, was Bianca’s relationship with her friends Casey (Bianca A Santos) and Jess (Skyler Samuels). In the book Casey and Jess play a big part but their characters were cut down in the film and most of the film revolves around Bianca and Wesley.
 
Overview: I loved the movie and will definitely be seeing it again when it comes out in theaters. I really hope the movie does well because I feel like it has the potential to be a classic teen movie like Mean Girls, Easy A or Sixteen Candles.
 
Extra: I attended an early screening of the film at The Grove here in LA with my friend Sara (you can check out her blog here). While we were waiting in line before the screening they brought over a cardboard cutout of Robbie Amell for people to take pictures with.
After about a two hour wait we were finally let into the theater and found our seats.
Before the movie started it was introduced by Robbie Amell (Wesley), Bella Thorne (Madison), Nick Eversman (Toby), and Bianca Santos (Casey).
The cast stayed until after the film (except Bella who had a family emergency) to meet everyone and take photos.
Because Robbie had tweeted that he might be at the screening I brought my copy of The Duff for him to sign. I ended up having Bianca and Nick sign it as well.
The Duff comes out in theaters February 20th and is Rated PG-13

From Page to Screen: Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Today I am excited to announce the launch of a new series of post I am calling From Page to Screen. In this series I will be reviewing/comparing and contrasting books that have been turned into movies or televisions shows. BE AWARE: THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS.
_1389972346
Summery: Rose Hathaway is a Dhampir guardian, half-human, half-vampire, who has dedicated her life to protecting her best friend Lissa Dragomir, a Miroi (a mortal vampire) princess, from the Strigoi, immortal vampires. Two years after escaping from St. Vladimir’s Academy, a school for Miroi and Dhampirs, Rose and Lissa are dragged back. They soon learn that the Strigoi are not the only threat and that something within the Academy is after them.
 
Book Review: Before I continue with my review I have to confess that I actually saw the movie before reading the book. I would always see the books on the shelf at my local bookstore but never picked them up because, quite frankly, I found the covers to be embarrassingly cheesy (see below). So it wasn’t until after seeing the movie that I decided to begin reading the series. My logic being that if I liked the movie so much and the book is usually better then the movie I would really like the books (which I did).
url
Let’s being with the main character of Rose. I absolutely love Rose. She is probably one of the funniest characters in YA. She’s sarcastic and has a lot of witty one liners. Usually in YA the female characters are typically either a tomboy or a girly girl so I liked how Rose is not just a kickass guardian but also girly at the same time.
While I liked the romance between Rose and Dimitri and Lissa and Christian I appreciated that they were not the main relationships in the story. Too many YA books focus solely on the romantic relationship whereas in VA the main relationship was the friendship between Rose and Lissa. The bond between Rose and Lissa was so interesting and really adds another layer to their friendship.
Movie Review: Even before seeing the movie (or reading the book) I had pretty high expectations. As you may know VA was directed by Marc Waters (Mean Girls) while the screenplay was written by his brother Dan Waters (Heathers). Mean Girlsand Heathers are two of my favorite teen comedies so I was really expecting a lot from Vampire Academy.
That being said, while it didn’t reach my high expectations, I really did enjoy watching the movie. It was a fun and entertaining while still maintaining the deep emotional content that was in the book. The one thing I do have to say about the comedic elements were that a lot of the jokes that seemed funny in the trailer ended up falling flat in the movie. I’m guessing that was probably due to the fact that they had to edit it down more for the trailer.
I appreciated that they kept the focus of the movie on the friendship between Rose (Zoey Deutch) and Lissa (Lucy Fry) instead of making it all about the romance. The way that they handled the bond in the movie was very well done. I enjoyed seeing the scene from Lissa perspective while still having Rose’s commentary.
I think some of my favorite scenes were the one’s between Rose and Dimitri (Danila Kozlovsky). One of the reasons for this was the fact Zoey and Danila had great onscreen chemistry. The scene when she tries a surprise attack on him and he has her pinned down almost had me melting. (Best Line: “So, have any other moves you wanna show me?”).
vamovie042
I enjoyed watching all the fighting/training scene in the movie and I appreciated the fact that they added a lot more actions sequences then were in the book. (While I am a total sucker for girly movies there will always be a place in my heart for action flicks). My favorite fight scene was the very first one when Rose and Lissa are trying to get away from the guardians and Rose ends up blowing up a motorcycle before kicking some serious ass. I thought this was a great way to introduce Rose as a badass while in the next fight sequence (with the Strigoi) you see that although she is a kickass guardian she is totally unprepared to face Strigoi.
Compare and Contrast: All in all I feel that the movie was a very faithful adaptation of the book. Obviously there were changes made (as is expected in any book to film adaptation) but all in all I thought the changes were good and didn’t take away from the story. The one change that I didn’t like was Lissa. In the books Lissa wasn’t as catty as she is in the movie. The scene at the end when Lissa goes out in front of the whole school and gives her “blood speech” had me cringing. I hate it in films when characters get up (usually in front of a huge crowd) and give a big motivational speech (seriously, can screenwriters stop writing those speeches). I think that they wanted to show how Lissa was coming into her own and was standing up to Queen Tatiana but I really felt that that whole scene was unnecessary.
The other chance that had me shaking my head was the very last scene when they do a pan out of the school and we see a cave full of Strigoi being led by Ms. Karp. I was very confused by this whole thing. I feel like they were trying to end with a cliffhanger to make people want to see the next film but A: the Strigoi (or at least not this particular group of Strigoi) don’t appear in Frostbite and B: when they do appear in the third book, Shadow Kiss, they are not being let by Ms. Karp so that scene was very perplexing.
 
Overview: Overall I enjoyed the movie. I thought it was entertaining and fun (which is, after all, the point of a movie). Not only was it entertaining but it was a faithful to the original material as well. There were changes made (some good some bad) but overall I thought it was a good movie. Now all I can hope for is that they are able to make Frostbite (and possibly the rest of the series) into a movie (Hello Adrian!).