There have been many books turned into movies, and sometimes they're a disappointment or don't quite follow the book. For "Hollywood creative license," purposes, I suppose the powers that be feel they need to enhance the storyline.
Several movies I'd like to put on my "pleasantly surprised" list are "Lincoln Lawyer" and "The Lovely Bones." If my recollection is correct, and believe me, my memory isn't all that notable these days, they stayed pretty true to the books. Since I loved the books, the movies were a 'thumbs up' for me.
"Lincoln Lawyer" was the first book in an engaging series by Michael Connelly. It's a spin-off from the very popular "Harry Bosch" series. When I first saw the trailer, I knew Matthew McConaughey was the PERFECT guy to play Mickey Haller, the smarmy, cynical lawyer-turned-believer. Casting was pitch perfect! The movie did NOT disappoint in introducing us to this fascinating character.
"The Lovely Bones" did stray a tad from the book; however, it was done in a good way. To me, the movie expanded on it by telling more about the creepy neighbor. I don't want to give anything away, so I can't go into greater detail. It's a haunting story, a bit of a downer, basically told by a young girl who was murdered and can't quite cross over. She's watching her family from afar, observing how they cope with her loss. The imagery in the movie was breathtaking.
One example of a riveting book turned to crud was the recent movie, "We Need to Talk About Kevin." I have my own rating system of 1-5 for books I've listened to...the highest being a 5. I gave this a hearty 5. I didn't want to stop listening! However, the movie stunk and didn't do the book any justice. I would recommend reading the book over watching the movie, as it was beyond dreadful.