Thursday, August 13, 2009

Take A Chance Challenge - Challenge #10

I'm so excited to be participating in the Take A Chance Challenge hosted by Jenners over at Find Your Next Book Here. She has come up with 10 fun and clever tasks that involve books, reading, and even a little writing. This is my blog entry for Challenge #10.

Here are the instructions for this particular challenge:

10. Movie/Book Comparison
Find a book that you haven't read that has a movie based on it that you haven't seen. Read the book and watch the movie within a few days of each other. Write about your reactions to both the book and the movie and compare the two.

For this challenge, I chose The City of Ember by Jeanne DuPrau.

Book Review:
Ember is an underground city that was built in order to save the human race from some sort of apocalyptic disaster. "The Builders" who designed the city intended for the Ember inhabitants to stay underground for a period of about 200 years. They wrote specific instructions on how to leave the city once it was safe and return to the outside world. These instructions were put in a lock box that was programmed to open at the appropriate time. This box was very secretive and was to be handed down through the years from mayor to mayor. At some point along the way, the box was misplaced, and after many years, no one even knew of it's existence. The story takes place in the year 214 (214 years since the beginning of Ember). The residents do not even realize that they are in an underground city. By now, this is just the only world they know. They think that nothing else is "out there" except for darkness. Food and supplies are getting scarce. And, the large generator that powers the electricity in Ember, is beginning to wear out. Black-outs are becoming more and more common, and the people of Ember are worried about what's going to become of them. Two of the story's main characters are Lina and Doon, both twelve years of age. In Ember, children attend school until age twelve. Then comes "Assignment Day", the day when the children are given their jobs. Jobs are assigned by random draw. Unhappy with their job assignments, Lina and Doon agree to trade positions. Doon goes to work in the Pipeworks - where the generator is located. Lina, becomes a messenger - running all around the city delivering messages. After Lina happens upon the lock box and it's contents, she and Doon try to unravel the mystery of their city and also look for a way out.

The story immediately drew me in and was very easy to read. It was at times suspenseful and sad, but also hopeful and positive. I thought the whole premise of "Ember" and the way the city worked was fascinating. I really liked how well the characters were described - I had a clear mental image of each of them. Overall, I would say I loved the book.

Movie Review:
I watched the movie a few days after completing the book. I had high expectations, because I so enjoyed the story. Shorty after the movie began, it was obvious that much of the character development and background was not there. The story seemed to move way too fast, with some parts being left out or changed. I have to say, the movie totally bored me and it took two attempts before I could finally watch it all the way through. Overall, I was very disappointed in the movie.


Kari (GrannySkywalker) said...

Good to know. I'll skip the movie for sure. :)

Jenners said...

I've never even heard of either the book or the movie ... but the books sounds fantastic! I love the concept and it sounds like it was very well executed! I think I'll have to check this one out! Great job!

The Double Dipped Life said...

What a fun challenge! I wish I had heard of this before it was so far along- but I might have to do it anyway! Thanks for sharing!