Okay, to be clear, I read the movie novelization of Suicide Squad. It was written as a companion to Suicide Squad by DC and was released August 9th of last year. At the time, it was lauded as having all of the deleted scenes from the movie and I was immediately bombarded with images of it on Tumblr.
I didn’t know that movies did this, did you? I thought it was pretty cool, and I was quickly intrigued about what other books I would find based off of movies. I was surprised to find that Man of Steel was in the weird group, along with Crimson Peak, Resident Evil, and the Ghostbusters. I made plans immediately to look into my favorite movies to see if they had books written for them too.
I don’t know if you’re shocked but there aren’t many reviews of these movie books (mooks?) online. Apparently they all had the same idea, “Who wants to read a movie?” Which, in retrospect, is very valid question. There are people who already hate reading, why complicate their lives by reading a movie they could just as easily see?
I, on the other hand, was instantly intrigued with this new knowledge. Who knew how many books I was missing out on? I’m obsessed with movies. When I was younger I would watch a movie as many times as possible and memorize the lines and songs, try to find things I never noticed before, listen to the director and actor commentary. The fact that there are books with a whole wealth of knowledge I didn’t know about is like finding out there’s an extra dollar in my pocket when I thought I spent all my money.
After buying Suicide Squad: The Official Movie Novelization, I made plans for all the other books I’d read and review. I made a plan for this year that I would read 300 hundred books and add more content to my blog. Why not kill two birds with one stone and do a review of what I read?
Easier said than done.
The “book” is awful. Every page and paragraph was like a physical blow to my senses. I couldn’t believe how utterly awful the writing was, and for a moment I thought something was wrong with me. I’d seen people crowing about it on Tumblr, I’d seen the screenshots and all the excited squeals. I wanted to squeal too, I wanted to be excited too.
But alas, that is not what happened.
So I read one page, and then I put the book down for a good two months. It haunted me in my Kindle app, so I just stopped using the app all together. Whenever someone would mention all the cut scenes and how they couldn’t wait to get the DVD, the book came to mind. I opened and closed to app several times, I contemplated asking Amazon for a refund. But I wanted to like this book so bad. Just like I wanted to like the movie so bad.
It can’t be that awful, I told myself. I’m judging it too harshly because the film was a bit of a mess. A mess is an understatement but it’s a new year and I’m trying to be nice. So, with the encouragement of my friends, I reopened my kindle app, and returned to the book.
The book does in fact gives us more than movie did, but what we receive is a lot of times clunky and unneeded. When I read “move novelization” I assumed that it would be taking the same elements and scenes from the film, and adding exposition and deeper character perspectives. I thought it would point out things that were unclear in the film or things I didn’t notice while I watched.
What the book actually did was make me realize how utterly mediocre the writing is not just for the film, but for the book as well.
The Book Switches Between Character Perspectives Without Warning.
Often times you’ll be several pages into a chapter without any clue as to who you’re supposed to be reading. It’s not as noticeable in the beginning chapters, you are of course being introduced to the characters. As time goes on however, it gets more and more ridiculous. To the point, that when the squad is assembled it switches perspectives over three times in the same chapter.
The Characters Are Awful.
In their defense, they are supposed to be villains. But when the guy the viewer is expected to “relate to” is also a murdering psychopath, what’s a girl to do?
At a certain point in the novel, really early on the novel has this to say about Rick Flag’s ability as a soldier, “He could have sex with a foreign spy, put a bullet in her head while they were doing it, then move on without remorse.” Then later, on the same page, Flag says this, “Yet he didn’t want to leave June’s side. Ever.”
The book does a pretty terrible time at giving the reader any concept of time, but if I had to guess maybe a few days have gone by? At most a few weeks? There is no buildup to a romance between June and Flag, there is no meet cute or instant attraction. June is this victim, first to Enchantress then to Waller and Enchantress, that has no choice but to be around Flag and his war boys.
But somehow, Wolfman managed to give them one choppy scene together that makes no sense and suddenly their soulmates. I thought they had no chemistry in the movie, turns out the had no chemistry on the page either.
The Writing Is Hot Garbage
I know so far I sound really mean, but I’m going to be honest and say that I was really excited for this book. I was really excited for SS as a movie too. But when it came time to watch, and then later read, I was let down severely.
If we moved past the horrible characters, moved past the fact that this writer has probably never spoken to a woman in his life, you realize that the writing in general is trash. His writing is confusing mostly, because at times it seems to be focused on painting a picture with incredibly bland and simplistic adjectives. the dialogue falls flat every time, and scenes that were funny in the movie lost their humor on the page.
I realized, and then later had it confirmed by others unfortunate enough to read this book, that the writer just took the manuscript and added to it. He had to have done that, he had to. It reads too much like a script for it to be anything but. Which upsets me even more because in the back of the book, the writer pats himself on the back for writing the book, when all he did is add to what David Ayer already wrote.
This wasn’t a movie novelization, this was a reformatted script.
It Never Ends
I didn’t finish the book. I couldn’t, and I beg you not to ask that of me. Since Wolfman just added to what Ayer already had, the book ended up being so long. Like the movie the novel went on and on to the point you forgot what it was about in the first place. All those added scenes meant nothing to the overrall plot of the story and, in the end, were forgotten almost as soon as I turned the page.
I made it 47% of the way through before I stopped and gave up. It’s a truly awful book. I couldn’t find anything to enjoy about it. I do not recommend this at all. I think it’s a waste of time and money. Heed my warning, this book took something from me.
I refuse to give it any stars. Its trash and I regret buying it.