Library Blog

The Book was Better

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It’s an eternal question – one that has started countless debates, divided houses, ended friendships, and destroyed relationships.   

Ok, maybe it’s not that serious, but ask any reader if the book was better than the movie and you’d better be prepared to listen to at least a five-minute rant speech. 

But to help settle the debate, let’s compare ratings on two sites: Goodreads (book reviews) and IMDB (movie reviews).  Goodreads uses a five star rating system while IMDB uses a ten star system.  To balance that out, we’ll divide the IMDB score in half so that it becomes a five star rating system.  Let’s begin! 

Eragon by Christopher Paolini/Eragon (2006) 


Goodreads: 3.92 

IMDB: 2.5  

Eragon, the first in a fantasy quartet, tells the story of Eragon, a teen who finds what turns out to be a dragon egg.  When the egg hatches, Eragon becomes the dragon’s rider, and the two set out on a sweeping adventure to save the world.  Fans of the book were excited to hear of an adaptation, but they left theaters intensely disappointed.  IMDB reviewers often complained of the screenwriters straying too far from the book’s plot, changing characters’ personalities, and rushing the narrative.  Many reviewers even said the CGI dragon gave a better performance than some of the onscreen actors!   

The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan/Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) 


Goodreads: 4.27 

IMDB: 2.95  

In The Lightning Thief, readers meet Percy Jackson, who discovers he is the son of Poseidon and goes to a camp for other children of Greek deities.  It’s the first book in a bestselling series, and it’s still popular today.  Diehard fans were thrilled when news broke that an adaptation was coming.  But the excitement didn’t last long.  Fans of the book had a long list of complaints, including the main characters being older than in the books, changing major plot points (including the villain), and special effects that came across as cheesy rather than exciting.  And while there are five books in the series, only two ever became movies.  Yikes. 

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness/Chaos Walking (2021) 


Goodreads: 3.96 

IMDB: 2.85 

Patrick Ness starts a trilogy to tell the story of Todd and Viola, two teens on a quest to save their world from a horrible dictator.  Todd grew up on what was supposed to be a new Earth for humans, and Viola is just-arrived settler.  Again, fans of the book were excited, especially with the announcement of Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley as Todd and Viola.  Unfortunately, that’s where the enjoyment ended.  Reshoots and scheduling conflicts delayed the film by two years. Upon release, it flopped.  Book fans cited (again) major plot changes and a completely different ending that didn’t match the tone of the books.   

Don’t worry, though, because there are cases of the movies being as good as the book (or, at the very least, not totally hated by readers).  But that’s a blog for another day.  Besides, it’s always fun to compare the book and movie and have a heated lively debate with your friends.  And remember – it’s never a good idea to watch the movie instead of reading the book, especially for school! 

Happy reading & viewing! 


Sarah is a youth services librarian in Canfield. She pretty much only reads YA books, but she is easily distracted by a good picture book or anything Doctor Who related. Sarah loves to crochet and knit and can usually be found with a pile of yarn in her lap with one of her three dogs nearby. Originally from Texas, she still says “y’all” all the time and refuses to call carbonated beverages “pop.”