Book Spotlight and Guest Post: God Doesn't Love Us All The Same by Nina Guilbeau

Today we have author Nina Guilbeau here to discuss her thoughts on books versus movies.  Nina is the author of God Doesn't Love Us All the Same.  Keep reading for more information about Nina and God Doesn't Love Us All the Same.

Books vs Movies
by Nina Guilbeau
You’ve just heard one of your favorite books is being made into a movie. There’s excitement, anticipation, a rush to the theater and then …the disappointment. Many times authors visualize the stories they write like scenes from a movie, so having an opportunity to have it play out in real life can be a dream come true. My latest release, God Doesn’t Love Us All the Same, is about a bond that forms between an old homeless woman and young girl who tries to help her. The written story has a good, uplifting message, but what if a movie version takes it into a completely different direction?  

Although, transitioning from the author's written vision to a director's visual storytelling can be difficult for some readers (and authors), it becomes unacceptable if the essence of the story is missing. In fact, there are some movie versions that are so different from the book that they are nearly unrecognizable. Sometimes what’s unclear from those who pan the movie is whether it’s actually a bad movie or is it more of a bad adaptation of the book? Books provide lots of details and back stories with interesting characters. Unfortunately, movies have to cut many of these things out for the sake of time and budget. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that the final visual version is bad, just different. Here are a few books to movies that transitioned well.

The Road – The writing style in the book is quite odd, but once you get used to its rhythm, it doesn’t distract from the emotion of the story. As a matter of fact, it adds to the overall desperate wanderings of the characters in this post apocalyptic story. The movie accurately translates the emotions of the book within its script and visual settings.

Of Mice and Men – Now a classic, Steinbeck’s book has hit the movie screen more than once. The 1992 film version starring John Malkovich and Gary Sinise is a nice tribute to the original story.

The Millennium Trilogy (Swedish Version) – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Girl Who Played with Fire, The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest– All three of the Swedish movie versions closely aligned themselves with the book. They are well acted and directed.  

So, while the debate rages on about which movies are better, worse or equal to their book counterparts, a new question comes to mind. Are there any good books that are so highly regarded or well written that Hollywood should stay away from them altogether? In other words, no matter how good the adaptation may be, in the end, it will always be a disservice to the viewer to try to manipulate it for the big screen. I posed this question to readers and authors and here are their observations:

Author Tom Lucas (Leather to the Corinthians), “My biggest let down was Naked Lunch. It's impossible to film. They tried. Also, Dune. [Director David] Lynch’s version was all over the place. It's not really in the favor of the times and the world building is expansive and strange.”

Author Lynda Haviland (Age of Awakening" Paranormal Romance Series) “I don't think any book is too "sacred" to be off limits with a movie adaptation. I enjoy both storytelling mediums too much to say that one couldn't have a go at a good story to tell. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I know this will be a weird example but the movie "Cujo" will always be a standout for me. …Loved "Cujo" but loved the movie more.”

Author B.F. Simone (The Keeper’s Vow), “My most sacred books have been turned into movies and I've been disappointed by most of them)...for me it's about the director and screen writer...because great books rarely ever get the director they deserve. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is my all time movie let down.”

Artie, book club member: “I would say that a movie based on the full version of the Count of Monte Cristo should never be allowed. …they left out so much of the nuance of his journey that it was very frustrating to watch. The sacrifices made for time meant that certain scenes didn't make sense because the back story wasn't shown.”

God Doesnt Love Us All the Same is the touching story about Janine Harris who never really thought about homeless people. She barely even notices them as she passes them by on her way to work in downtown Washington D.C. All Janine can focus on is the shambles of her own young life, afraid that she will never be able to get past the painful mistakes she has made. However, all of that changes on a snowy evening in December when Janine unexpectedly finds herself alone with Vera, an old, homeless woman who seems to need her help. Now Janie wants to know what could have possibly happened to Vera to leave her so broken and alone. 
As Vera shares her life story with Janine, the two women form an unusual bond and begin a journey that changes both of their lives forever. Reluctantly, they each confront their own past and, in the process, discover the true meaning of sacrifice, family and love. Although to truly move forward in their lives, they must fast the most difficult challenge of all – forgiving themselves. 
Paperback: 254 pages
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Juania Books LLC (May 5, 2014)
About the Author:
Nina Guilbeau is the Siblings Editor for BellaOnline The Voice of Women and writes weekly family articles for online magazines. Her e-book, Birth Order and Parenting, is a popular pick with students studying the Alfred Adler birth order theory.
She is a member of the Florida Writer's Association and the author of women's fiction novels Too Many Sisters and Too Many Secrets. A winner of the Royal Palm Literary Award for her God Doesn't Love Us All the Same manuscript, Nina's work has been published in the short story anthologies From Our Family to Yours and Chicken Soup for the Soul: The Magic of Mothers and Daughters. An excerpt from upcoming novel Being Non-Famous was published in the Orlando Sentinel as a Father's Day tribute.


  1. Hi, Nina. I like what you said about there being a difference between a bad movie and a bad adaptation of the book. I remember when the new movies came out for the Bourne Identity series. I read the original books by Robert Ludlum when they were first published - my favorite spy novel series of all time. The first book was actually made into a movie way back in 1988 with Richard Chamberlain and Jaclyn Smith. That version stuck to the book. I was so excited when the new movie was coming out with Matt Damon. My first reaction was shock. It had very little to do with the original book. Some elements were there, but key elements were just wrong or missing. It was actually a great movie and I own the whole triology. I love them now. But I had to realize that in today's political and international landscape, the original plot wouldn't be plausible. Not for a "current" storyline. Realizing that freed me to just enjoy the movies. :)

    1. I understand ImmortalDiva. Movie versions can be a complete disappointment, especially when you're a big fan of the book version. That's why if given the choice, I go see the movie first. I won't know what's missing or changed from the book . Afterwards, I can settle down with a good book and hopefully enjoy all of the surprises!


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