Still Star-Crossed: Book vs. TV Show

Back in the day I used to make quite a lot of comparisons between books and their TV or movie adaptations. Whereas others hate movie tie-ins, I actively seek them out in the store. I am odd that way. Today I would like to talk about the book/show Still Star-Crossed. I want to point out that this is a spoiler free comparison but other than that, I think the way I am doing this is fairly self-explanatory so let’s just jump in!

General Plot

Still Star-Crossed follows the story of Verona’s most famous houses – the Capulets and Monatgues – AFTER Romeo and Juliet have found their tragic deaths. To unite the warring families, Prince Escalus, ruler of Verona, suggests a union between Rosaline of House Capulet and Benvolio of House Montague to finally bring peace upon the city. Neither one of them very inclined to marry the other, they have to work together to stop their wedding. An adventure with romantic entanglements, mystery, murder and betrayal ensues.

TV Show

I want to start with the show, because that’s also what I saw first. It consists of 7 episodes, was produced by the Shondaland crew and aired on ABC this summer. I really, really enjoyed the show, which is why I was shocked when the network didn’t even give it a chance and canceled it after airing 2 episodes. They broadcast the rest of the season, but cut it short from the initial 9-episode-order to 7 and ultimately ended on a cliffhanger. To be frank, that makes me quite mad, because those two episodes they scratched could have perfectly concluded the story if you go from what happened in the book. There is no use in being bitter about it now, because ABC refuses to give any more statements on it, but that’s why I ultimately turned to the book. First more about the show though.

One of the first things I noticed was the variety of POC cast members in the show and I am 100% here for that! The characters they played weren’t just servants either but princes, princesses and ladies – do you know how stupidly rare that is? I’ve been saying that historical fiction needs more diversity in its casting and I am glad to see Still Star-Crossed taking a step in the right direction. While history books unfortunately have been written by a lot of white people, they were by far not the only ones existing during that time and especially when it comes to fiction, you can simply do whatever you want. So, why not mix it up a little and make it less white? Give others a chance to see themselves represented. It worked for Hamilton, so it can work for pretty much anything.

While I wasn’t a huge fan of the visuals or the costumes (they looked cheap to me but were apparently super expensive and not worth it for ABC), I did love the relationships between the characters and their growth. We didn’t get to see much of them, obviously, but the show had some really badass women, good and decent men and also a lot of crazy people. My personal favorite was the development of the relationship between Rosaline and Benvolio. They truly hated each other, then became friends and only after that foundation of mutual respect and trust was built and tested, there was this option of something more. I was just in love with that. Also, their banter was genius.

Book

Needing to know what happened to my new OTP, I tracked down the book (not as easy as it sounds) and was determined to read it as soon as possible. Right as I started, I was immediately slowed down though. In true Shakespearean fashion, the language was way more flowery and old-timey, especially in terms of the dialogue. I am not saying that’s a bad thing, it is to be expected for this kind of story, but it does not always make for an easy reading time for me personally.

The major difference from the book to the show is the age of the characters (and that they all seemed very white). In the source material, they are only around 16 years old and therefore much more impulsive and superficial in their declarations of love and war. It makes sense for their age, but because I was so used to the TV representation, I missed the more mature versions of the characters.

There were a couple changes made to the story (e.g. in the book Romeo was initially pining for Rosaline, the show thankfully gives the princess a way bigger role, etc.), however, the main premise remains the same. I could easily follow the plot and compare it to the different episodes of the show, but that also meant that there were very few surprises left for me to discover. Ultimately I was glad I read it, because I got a very satisfying conclusion, but I think I might have liked the book better if I hadn’t seen the show first.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars (click on cover to get redirected to Goodreads)

Conclusion

In the end, I would say that I prefer the show. It was more mature and less superficial, especially in terms of the romantic relationships. It gave a some characters that barely even appeared in the books a place to shine and definitely did a great job in making it even darker than the book. If I could change one thing, I would give the show a proper ending and make it an official mini-series.

Have you seen the show or read the book? Do you want to?

The Book Aesthetics Tag

I haven’t done a tag in a while. They just really have to grab my attention right away to get me to do them and Michelle @The Writing Hufflepuff certainly knows how to do that! Lately she’s been doing some amazing aesthetics and that ultimately lead to her creating her very own book aesthetics tag! I am by no means good at aesthetics, but I will try to do her tag justice for sure and am so grateful she thought of me because it seems like a lot of fun to do. This will definitely take me hours, especially since I have none of my books with me and I do tags best when I can stare at my shelves. Anyway, enjoy!

RULES

  • Thank whoever nominated you!
  • Credit the creator of this tag (all props to the amazing Michelle!)
  • There’s no limit of how many aesthetics you can make for a question, but think of your poor readers.
  • Make your OWN aesthetics, please don’t steal them from someone else. Also what’s the fun in that?

Favorite Book of the Year

This isn’t the only book I loved this year and I am sure it won’t be the last one. However, my reading spirits have been low these past couple of months and this was really a highlight among them. I hope that if you read it, the aesthetic kind of gives it away, but in case you don’t know, I am talking about Words in Deep Blue! It was super sad, but I really loved it and I think I will cherish it for a while.

Character You Relate to a Lot

Honestly, I don’t really relate to characters on a physical level. Even when they finally are chubby and have brown hair, they are mostly short or something else that I am totally not. But I do relate to a character’s passion and one I definitely felt very close to was Elle from Geekerella! She’s a blogger, super passionate about the things she watches and really into conventions. She even cosplays despite her fear of going in front of a crowd. That’s definitely all stuff I can see mirrored in my life.

A Character You Look Up to

Mark Watney from the Martian is my actual hero. The survival skills, the humor, the fact that he simply didn’t give up on life even though he was in the most unlikely situation to ever be saved. Mad props to this guy!

But I can’t let this category stand without mentioning AT LEAST one female I look up and that’s Inej Ghafa from the Six of Crows duology for sure! She is strong, smart, beautiful and just a complete badass. The world has not been kind to her, but she kept fighting for the things and the people she believed in. I admire her greatly for that.

Un Underrated Gem

You Know Me Well is such an underrated book in my opinion. It’s one of those books that just makes you happy while reading. Mark and Kate’s friendship is beyond precious and purely platonic, like seriously, there is no question about it because they are both gay af. Nothing much happens in the book, but it’s still such a great ride. I appreciated those characters so much.

A Character that Deserves More Love

In my opinion Noah from the Raven Cycle deserved an infinitely better treatment. He was all but forgotten and I am seriously not above starting the #NoahCzernyDeservedBetter trend, because he did. He was nothing but kind when he could be and I am still bitter about how everyone just keeps forgetting about his existence.

An Underrated OTP

I am so mainstream, it took me literal hours to think of an underrated OTP. HOURS!!! Ultimately I went with Yael and Luka from the Wolf by Wolf duology. First, because it’s a cool hate to love thing and second, because that series in general still hasn’t been read by enough people. I am the first to complain about the abysmal use of the German language but maybe the topic is more relevant now than ever. Don’t let history (or alternate and still terrible versions) repeat itself!

Bonus Category (added by me): Just Because … Character You ADORE

Sevro is no one I particularly relate to. He is downright gross sometimes and I wouldn’t say I am looking up to him either. I admire him in some aspects, but saying that I look up to him would simply go too far. However, I do love him with all my heart. He is loyal and doesn’t give a fuck about what others think. He is my smol, dirty (like actual dirt) son and needs to be protected at all costs. Forever my fave from the Red Rising books! (Also, high-key want Richard Harmon to be cast as Sevro for the movie …)

 

I TAG THEE

Lois @My Midnight Musing

The Orang-utan Librarian

Aine @Writing on a Vintage Typewriter

Lia @Lost in a Story

EVERYONE!

Did you like my aesthetics? Do you feel like doing the tag as well?

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (Aug 7-13)

Another week has come and gone. Sometimes I don’t even know what I am doing all this time, but it sure never gets boring. Anyway, we are here for trailers so let’s talk about that!

Movies

Wonder

Watch and weep!

In Search of Fellini

Ksenia Solo is just amazing in everything she does.

The Wilde Wedding

Seeing Patrick Stewart with hair is so strange.

The Death of Stalin

“I have no idea what’s going on.” – is me with this trailer. Who thought this was a good idea?

Duck Duck Goose

I am not convinced by these new animated movies.

Same Kind of Different as Me

I am not sure how I feel about this. It’s apparently based on a true story, but at the same time my brain goes “white savior complex”, you know?

The Limehouse Golem

I did not think this was about a serial killer …

TV Shows

Sense8 – Thank you to fans!

Okay, so I might have cried … but DO NOT WATCH IF YOU HAVEN’T WATCHED SEASON 2!! I still can’t believe I met them and that I was present for some of the scenes from Vancouver they shared in this video.

Victoria (Season 2)

Always mesmerized by Jenna and Tom together.

The Crown (Season 2)

Still haven’t watched the first season. I need to be in the right mindset.

Disjointed

Not sure that’s my kind of comedy.

Will & Grace

Still lowkey happy this will make a comeback.

Kevin (Probably) Saves the World

They changed the title from The Gospel of Kevin … maybe to make it sound less religious even though it’s still very religious?

Marlon (NBC)

This looks funny.

Van Helsing (Season 2)

Meh … have been more excited about stuff.

SMILF

No idea what to think.

White Famous

That’s it! How was your week? What are you watching?

Beautiful People Link-Up: August Edition

Beautiful People is a link-up created by Cait @ Paperfury and Sky @ Further Up and Further. Through a different questionnaire each month, it helps you get to know your characters and therefore your story better. I’ve done this in the past and always really enjoyed it. With my life being super busy and me not getting to write as much as I would have liked, I am using this as a motivational tool once again. I am going to answer the questions for both, Kasia and Dyson, this month. If you know nothing about Arcadia, you can go check it out here. Enjoy!

What are they addicted to/can’t live without?

Kasia: Probably cheese. I am pretty sure she would give up all other foods if only she could keep cheese. That’s some real dedication.

Dyson: I’d say the outdoors. He loves to study and read and immerse himself in myths and historic volumes about his latest topic of interest, but if he gets cooped up for too long, he will inevitably go crazy. He loves to camp out and just take a hike every now and then. Exploring is his favorite thing to do!

Name 3 positive and 3 negative qualities about your character.

Kasia: positive – kind, trusting, geeky
negative – stubborn, trusting (yes, this counts for both), messy

Dyson: positive – outgoing, charming, considerate
negative – restless, impulsive, a bit of a know-it-all

Are they holding onto something they should get rid of?

I find this question a bit difficult for my duo, because they are holding on to hope and the past more than anything else right now and I don’t think they should get rid of that. Basically, it’s the only thing that keeps them going, so I don’t have a very good answer for this one.

 

If 10 is completely organized and 1 is completely messy, where do they fall on the scale?

Kasia: 3

Dyson: 8

What most frustrates them about the world they live in?

Kasia: That magical creatures can just come into her realm and mess with reality.

Dyson: That humans are basically glorified pets.

How would they dress for a night out? How would they dress for a night in?

Kasia: Honestly, Kasia’s outfits probably wouldn’t differ all that much. She’d wear a cool hat and leather jacket for a night out and a bit more comfy clothes when she stays in, like an oversize sweater. Her color palette is very simple and varies from white, grey and dark blue to black. She doesn’t like heels and therefore never wears them. She’d rather wear a nice boot or sneakers.

Dyson: Just like his lady, Dyson is not really one for dressing up. He is into leather jackets as well, but goes for warm colors like brown, forest green or maroon, usually paired with some washed out jeans.

How many shoes do they own, and what kind?

My folks are practical people. I’d say they both own about 4-5 pairs of shoes and most of them are comfortable, with maybe one pair that’s dress shoes for special occasions.

Do they have any pets? What pet do they WISH they had?

Kasia: She has no pets, but she always wanted a dog.

Dyson: I guess you could say that the Claven are Dyson’s pets? Like a herd of fantastical mind-controlling creatures can be counted as pets, right?

Is there something or someone that they resent? Why and what happened?

The entire Arcadian population? And to explain that would basically be the entire book, sooo … you get my drift.

What’s usually in their fridge or pantry?

They lived together for a while, so I can just do that for the both of them. Kasia isn’t much of a cook, so there’s always some instant noodles and stuff around, but Dyson always made sure they had fresh fruit and vegetables at hand as well. He likes to buy some good steak or fresh fish every now and then, but they are living on a budget, so it’s not happening too often. Also, there’s always a variety of cheese.

How is your writing going? Did you learn something new about Kasia and Dsyon today?

Trailers You Might Have Missed … (July 31-Aug 6)

I am coming at you with the trailers a bit earlier in the day, because I will probably be out and about and I would never dare miss a Sunday post. There is an off-chance that I might miss something new, but I hope you’ll still enjoy my findings (even if a lot of them are pretty glum)!

Movies

Fallen

I remember reading the book but then never continuing with it. They produced that a while ago and I think they just really missed their time frame to make this work …

Loving Vincent

Somehow this just makes me think of the Doctor Who episode with Vincent.

Viceroy’s House

MANISH DAYAL!

Call Me by Your Name

ARMIE HAMMER! (I can just continue to name names as reason why I clicked, right?)

Deep

Not really into it.

Stratton International

A spy/action movie. Quite a lot of British actors and actresses I know are in it, but I have no thoughts on it.

Death Wish

This looks like something my dad would watch. Not sure what that tells you …

6 Days

JAMIE BELL (See, I can’t stop)

First They Killed My Father

Seems intense.

American Vandal

It took me until I saw Jimmy to realise this is just a stupid satire mockumentary.

TV Shows

Mindhunter

Lately I just haven’t really enjoyed Netflix original shows (Gypsy and Ozark for example), so I am not excited at all.

Legends of Tomorrow (Season 3)

I think there’s nothing new here, just the announcement for the premiere date.

Hooten & The Lady

It’s Kitty from Elementary. I’ve missed her!

So how was your week? What are you watching?

Almost Adulting by Arden Rose (Book Review)

Publisher: Harper Collins
Page Count
: 208

I haven’t done a book review in quite a while, so it’s been a bit of a surprise to myself that I practically flew through this one. Arden Rose is one of the few YouTubers outside of Buzzfeed and booktube that I watch on a regular basis – you can visit her channel here. There is this trend where everyone on Youtube seems to currently either write a book or already have one in stores. Mostly I am not curious about them at all, but I’ve faced some challenges lately and I had to deal with them myself. Adulting is difficult and it’s something I doubt anyone really ever has down, so I suddenly became curious and there I was – book in hand and flying through every single page.

I want to say that, despite my mediocre rating, I like this book a lot. It felt like a conversation, a friend telling you a story. Arden’s style of writing is very direct and while I could see some people having a problem with her choice of language sometimes, however, I didn’t really mind it that much. It’s how people talk and that’s just the way I read it. BUT I don’t think this book is what it advertised to be.

While I learned a lot about Arden, her parents, her journey to discovering her sexuality and body, her adorable boyfriend Will (love his videos too, click here to get to his channel) and how she handled living by herself, this read much more like an autobiography than a book that’s supposed to help you to adult. Don’t get me wrong, I get that Arden used her own experiences as an example only and I could see that she tried to turn her sample situations into a more general life hack, but it still felt very tailored to her only. She had some great points and I agreed with her stand on things a lot, but I didn’t really find anything new in it. Maybe I am just too old, maybe I’ve been adulting for far longer than I realised and that’s why the advice parts didn’t resonate with me as much – everything’s possible! To me, it just seemed like there were very detailed accounts of her life and then far too short and generalised portions for everyone else.

Nonetheless, as I said before, I really enjoyed the book. I had fun reading it and I was done with it in record time. The illustrations are quirky and cute and the topics relatable. If you are a fan of Arden (or Will for that matter), I’d definitely think you would enjoy this book as well. As for me, I still have no idea what I am doing, but apparently, so has nobody else.

Fazit: 3.5/5 stars! While I really liked the book, it’s just not exactly what they advertised.

Do you watch Arden’s YouTube videos? Are you as exhausted by adulting as me? 

July 2017 Wrap-Up

Since I’ve read all of one book during the month of July, I am going to do a little book haul instead of a reading wrap-up. It just makes more sense to me, because then I at least have three books to show.

  • Love Her Wild by Atticus
    LOVED this one. I am just really into poetry lately.
  • Because You Love to Hate Me edited by Ameriie
    A collaborative book written by some great authors and booktubers about VILLAINS! I only read the first short story and it was already disturbing. I like it!
  • Almost Adulting by Arden Rose
    Arden and her boyfriend are some of the very few youtubers outside the bookish community that I watch and the title of the book just intrigued me. It’s non-fiction and since adulting has been a bit challenging lately, I just thought, why not?

Love Her Wild: Poems   Because You Love to Hate Me: 13 Tales of Villainy   Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of)

Click on the covers to get re-directed to Goodreads. There are no reviews this month, but they may be back again next month!

Can you believe that I’ve been in Canada for 2.5 months already? It feels like just a couple weeks to me, but time keeps flying by and a lot has happened. I’ve been visiting sets, I’ve made new friends and generally started to really feel at home here. Of course, there were some downs as well. I won’t go into detail, but there were things that made me angry and frustrated, some things that made me feel lonely and isolated. It’s only normal to go through these phases, but I’d prefer to focus on the positives for now!

I can definitely see how the novelty of having film sets everywhere around town might wear off after a while, but I have literally nothing to do and nowhere to be at any given time. I never get annoyed if a side alley is closed because of filming, I embrace these situations and some of my fondest memories from the past month have been on set.
I am not exactly sure I would like to work on set full time, however, I DO love to hang out there. I used to love to do that back in Vienna s well. Some of the shows I’ve visited are The Flash, Supergirl, Riverdale and Travelers. Although I have no photo proof, I think my favorite set so far was the one for Travelers. We really bonded with the crew on that one and had a lot of fun. We even made it into one of the shots and I hope that someone in post messes up and I end in the final epsiode (which is unlikely). I do have photo proof for others though, namely me meeting Keiynan Lonsdale (Kid Flash and Bram on the upcoming Simon vs. movie), Chyler Leigh and Floriana Lima (aka Sanvers on Supergirl). For the latter, I even got caught by a random photographer working for a BC based website talking about current filming in Vancouver. Those pictures got around on Twitter and Tumblr and I was so shocked. I never expected it, but some of my friends wanted to start a rumor that I would be their new co-star and I am ALL for that! Something like them adopting me and me coming over for a visit from college? I’d be in without a doubt.

 

WRITING RELATED

TV SHOW/MOVIE POSTS

DISCUSSION TIME

TRAILER POSTS

How was your month? What have you been up to?