The voting is complete for round 2 of which book I should read next, and the winner is Chronicles of Narnia. I'm still reading Dial Me for Murder by Amanda Matetsky (I'm bogged down by teaching a summer course while trying to get through my reading list), but as soon as I finish it (hopefully in the next couple of days), I will begin reading Chronicles of Narnia.
I must be in a movie-watching mood because lately, I've been spending my free time decompressing by watching movies. I've gone through quite a few of them over the past couple weeks, and the other day, I watched yet another movie that was based on a book: The Lovely Bones.
I read the book quite a while ago (at least four years ago), so I didn't remember a lot of specific details about the book before I watched the movie. I remember that I didn't necessarily like the book, but at the same time, it was a book that made me think--and cry. It was one of those weird "I can't figure out how I feel about this book" kind of feelings once I finished it. From what I can remember of the book, though, I think the movie stayed pretty faithful to the overall plot while cutting out a lot of specifics (e.g., it didn't go into detail about what Susie was thinking as she watched her family go on without her) for time constraints.
After watching the movie, I had the same feelings as I had after reading the book--I'm not quite sure if I liked it or not. It was touching (I even cried at a couple points), but something is off about the story. It bothers me that I haven't been able to figure out what bothers me about it, but whatever it is, that element is in both the book and the movie.
I like the ideas that Alice Sebold explores--the middle ground between heaven and earth, what it means to move on, the pain of watching life go on without you mixed with the joy of watching those you love succeed in life, the ugliness of revenge, the potential evil in humans juxtaposed with the potential goodness... I didn't remember having a problem with writing style, and I thought Sebold had a good voice for her main character, Susie Salmon. And yet, something was missing. Any connections I made with the story and characters were purely superficial, and the book didn't have long-term effects on me. But I wanted it to.
Have you ever read a book that left you feeling like you wished you could say you loved it, but you couldn't? Can you figure out what held you back from being able to connect with the book on deeper levels?
As a side note, one outstanding thought I had after watching the movie version of The Lovely Bones is that Stanley Tucci deserves some sort of award for his acting. I watched the entire thing, thinking I should know who was playing the role of Mr. Harvey but never figuring out who it was until I watched the closing credits. He did an amazing job.