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Flip or Flick: Black Panther

Photo courtesy of Anna Jankowski

Welcome back to another edition of Flip or Flick! For this week’s blog, I am discussing Ryan Coogler’s 2018 film Black Panther and the graphic novel Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet: Book One by ​​Ta-Nehisi Coates and Brian Stelfreeze. 

The graphic novel by award-winning author Ta-Nehisi Coates tells the story of King T’Challa navigating the politics of war-torn Wakanda where citizens have turned against the monarchy. Vigilantes and shaman leaders instigate chaos among the people and T’Challa struggles to face his own insecurities as a leader. The 2018 hit film by Marvel Studios stars the late Chadwick Boseman as King T’Challa. Ryan Coogler and Joe Robert Cole’s screenplay loosely follows some of the themes in the 2018 graphic novel, but largely tells a story all its own. Themes of loyalty, family, ethical political leadership, and colonialism are apparent in both stories but even more so in the film. 

A key difference between the text and the film is that the main villain in the film Erik Killmonger (portrayed by Michael B. Jordan) is not in the novel. Instead, two shamans named Tetu and Zenzi are the characters who are instigating an uprising against the king. The female warrior tribe of the Dora Milaje is present in both adaptations, however, they are characterized very differently. It is important to note that Princess Shuri, the spunky younger sister of King T’Challa in the film, has died when the graphic novel begins. She is Queen Shuri, and her death seems to be one of T’Challa’s biggest regrets as King.

So, Flip or Flick?

FLICK! Chadwick Boseman’s performance in this film is absolutely captivating. Watching it after his passing gives new meaning to his regal words and the legacy he constructs on and offscreen. The eclectic graphic novel is powerful in its own right, but it simply does not pack the same emotional punch as Coogler’s adaptation. This film ushered in a new era for Marvel films with a more diverse cast and content. The story is incredibly engaging and deviates just enough from the typical superhero movie conventions to shock and inspire audiences. Vibrant colors and an incredible soundtrack produced by Kendrick Lamar bring this afro-futuristic film to life.

You can stream Black Panther today via Falvey Library using this link.

Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a Senior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant at Falvey Library.





Flip or Flick: The Hate U Give

By Anna Jankowski

Photo courtesy of

Welcome back to another edition of Flip or Flick! For this week’s post we will be discussing Angie Thomas’s 2017 novel, The Hate U Give, and the film adaptation released in 2018 starring Amandla Stenberg. 

This book is extremely powerful and has won several awards including the Coretta Scott King Award for its commitment to nonviolent social change. The story follows the life of sixteen-year-old Starr Carter and the relationships she has to navigate as both a young Black teenager and a key witness to a massive injustice. Thomas was inspired by the 2013 Black Lives Matter movement that was founded in response to the murder of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin

Thomas’s prose is relatable and easy to read. Starr’s innermost thoughts are relayed directly to the audience and we get an in depth look at how she struggles to make sense of the world around her and fights to find her voice. Among the difficult systemic societal issues Starr encounters, she also faces the typical fights with parents and friends that most teenagers can relate to. Thomas tells the story with unflinching honesty and a fresh perspective that speaks to today’s culture and the roots of discrimination that have plagued our nation for centuries.

In 2018 the novel was adapted into a film by George Tillman Jr. The stunning visuals evoke a strong emotional response and depict the raw intensity of racial conflicts in America. Instead of using our mind’s eye to imagine the differences between the city of Garden Heights and the preparatory school of Williamson, we see the stark contrast represented through the ambience of the two locations. The film has an eclectic soundtrack that includes Tupac (whose lyrics inspires the name of the story) alongside Travis Scott and Billie Eilish. The cast ranges from well established and respected actors to less experienced fresh-faced talent.


FLIP! The original source material was critically acclaimed for a very good reason, and the end of the film differs in several key ways from the end of the novel. The movie is beautiful and brings a visual perspective to some key scenes throughout the story. However other scenes, and even other characters, are completely omitted. Both the novel and film are powerful in their own way, but I personally think Angie Thomas’s authentic voice is something not to be missed. The film packs a poignant emotional punch but the novel does a much better job at allowing the nuances of each character to be fully explored. I highly recommend this story to everyone in the Villanova community because the injustices Starr encounters are still just as prevalent today as they were in 2017.

Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a Senior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey.






Flip or Flick: The Talented Mr. Ripley


Welcome back to Flip or Flick! This edition will tackle Patricia Highsmith’s 1995 classic psychological thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley. The narrative follows the iconic character Tom Ripley through his adventures to Italy. Ripley is off to meet the wealthy Dickie Greenleaf and his travel companion Marge Duval. Tom has been hired by Dickie’s father to convince him to come back to America to run the family business. His time in Europe suddenly takes a turn as murder, theft, and a thick web of deceit ensue. The novel is written entirely from Tom’s point of view and readers are able to see his psychological unraveling as the events go on. It is difficult not to root for Tom as all of the interactions in the story are from his lens.

I’d compare the storyline to Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby as both include luxurious accommodations, an unreliable narrator, and a main character with dreams of mythic proportions. I loved analyzing the twists and turns in the novel and trying to evaluate what my perception of Ripley said about my own sense of self. The 1999 film adaptation stars Matt Damon, Jude Law, and Gwyneth Paltrow. It is extremely visually appealing with gorgeous actors and a picturesque setting. There are several characters added to the film that completely change some of the story arc and ultimately the conclusion. Dickie and Tom’s motivations are characterized a bit differently but the central themes of the story remain true to the original.

So, flip or flick? FLIP!

I loved both, but the book is a classic for a reason. Highsmith’s prose gives us intimate access to Ripley’s inner monologue that is difficult to replicate in cinema. To me, Ripley’s inner thoughts are what make this narrative so special from others in the same genre. I adored the movie and I highly recommend consuming both if you have time! Watching these extremely talented actors in their prime portray complex characters is definitely a special treat. The story has been adapted in several different ways throughout the years, most recently with a new limited series adaptation starring Fleabag’s Andrew Scott coming soon to Netflix. Falvey Library has the critically acclaimed French adaptation from René Clément available to stream for free which includes breathtaking visual scenes that give new life to the story.

Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a Senior Communication Major from just outside Baltimore who ​​works as a Communication & Marketing Assistant in Falvey.






Flick or Flip: The Graduate

flick or flip masthead

Welcome to Falvey’s Flick or Flip? blog series. My name is Anna Jankowski, and I am a Senior Communication and Marketing Assistant at Falvey Library. I am continuing to publish editions of this blog after my good friend Allie Reczek graduated last year. For this series, I will pick a book (flip) that has been turned into a movie (flick) and argue which I thought was better.

For my first Flick or Flip post, I read The Graduate (1963) and watched the 1967 Oscar-winning film starring Dustin Hoffman. I was very excited to dive into this story as I have often heard it referenced in popular culture but never knew why it was such a phenomenon. I also thought it was very timely to my own life as I will be graduating from Villanova in a few short months.

The story follows young Benjamin Braddock, who has just graduated at the top of his class and will be turning 21 in a few years. His two affluent parents throw him a party for his graduation to show off their talented and accomplished son. Benjamin is distracted at the party as he feels all of his accomplishments are meaningless in the grand scheme of life and contemplates what he wants to pursue in the future. At this party, he drives the mercurial Mrs. Robinson home where she attempts to seduce him before her husband arrives. Thus, an affair between this older woman and young Benjamin begins. However, their affair abruptly ends and chaos ensues after Benjamin becomes enamored with Mrs. Robinson’s college-aged daughter, Elaine Robinson.

The book is mostly dialogue with very little context given around the emotions of the characters. It moves quickly and states the actions in a matter-of-fact manner.

The film is quirky, engaging, and disorienting at times. It uses intricate long shots and unique framing to create the scattered world that Benjamin occupies. Most of the movie is silent except for the repetition of Simon and Garfunkel’s The Sound of Silence which plays several times throughout several intricate montages of the film.

Both the book and the movie are relatively uncomfortable to experience. Benjamin is a very difficult protagonist to root for because of his lack of drive and complete disregard for others in his life. It is a great commentary on finding our way.

The Graduate DVD coverThe endings of the book and the movie are slightly different but in very critical ways. There are some interactions and nuances in the relationships between the characters that are altered or completely omitted from the film which was slightly disappointing. The final sequence and final shot of the movie is an iconic moment in film history that is referenced frequently in popular culture. The emotions on the character’s faces convey so much hesitation, adrenaline, confusion, hope, and despair in only a matter of minutes. There is so much we can infer about how they feel about the decisions they have just made based on their eye contact and dialogue or lack thereof. For this reason, as well as several other stunning scenes designed by director Mike Nichols, I recommend…


If you are interested in this visual masterpiece with a bit of a disturbing plotline, the movie is available for rent as a DVD in Falvey Library. We currently have portable DVD players that can be borrowed for a classic movie night! So pop some popcorn, sit down with friends, and get ready to watch this misty classic film about life, love, and searching for your purpose.


Anna Jankowski


Anna Jankowski ’23 CLAS is a senior Communication Major. She works  as a Communication and Marketing Assistant at Falvey Library.






Flip or Flick: Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood

Image is the cover of the novel, "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood."

Image courtesy of Google books.

By Allie Reczek

Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was written in 1996 by Rebecca Wells. This story shifts back and forth between telling stories from the youth of the Ya-Yas—Vivi, Teensy, Caro, and Necie—in 1930s Louisiana, and the current life of Siddalee Walker, Vivi’s daughter, in the 1990s.

After a slanderous review of her mother in a public journal, Vivi disowns Sidda, sending her in a tailspin that results in Sidda traveling across the country and breaking off her engagement with her fiancé, Connor. In an effort to rekindle the relationship between Sidda and Vivi, the Ya-Yas send Sidda a scrapbook, detailing their lives, so that Sidda could better understand why her mother is the way she is. This seemingly complex, yet rather simple story between mother and daughter forces readers to confront their own family relationship and realize that everyone has a past we cannot judge them for. 

The movie adaptation, directed by Callie Khouri in 2002, generally follows the meaning behind this story but fails to provide as much detail as the novel. Instead of isolating herself and traveling alone, in the movie, the Ya-Yas kidnap Sidda, played by Sandra Bullock, and bring her to their childhood cabin in Louisiana, telling stories about Vivi and her troubling childhood. Themes stay relatively the same, but significant details about Vivi’s life and Sidda’s relationship are missing. This movie lacks a certain emotional pull that the novel poetically conveys. This movie received a 44% on Rotten Tomatoes and is rated PG-13. 

So… Flip or Flick?

Flip! Every recount from the childhood of the Ya-Yas, every letter exchange between Sidda and Vivi, every interaction between the Ya-Yas, from youth to old age, provides readers with an understanding about the value of love and friendship over anything else.

This story teaches us that no matter what you have been through, family is forever and will always be by your side.

Allie Reczek headshotThis is the last Flip or Flick by Allie Reczek ’22 CLAS. She graduated with a BA in Psychology from Villanova University. Congratulations, Allie! Falvey Library wishes you all the best in your future endeavors. Rebecca Wells’ novel Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood was published 26 years ago on May 22, 1996.

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Flip or Flick: Girl, Interrupted

By Allie Reczek

Image is the book cover for the autobiography Girl, Interrupted.

Photo courtesy of Goodreads.

***Content Warning: Please be advised that this post discusses aspects of Girl, Interrupted, a book and feature film that contain strong elements of suicide, self-harm, and other mental health concerns/disorders.***

Girl, Interrupted, a 1993 memoir written by Susanna Kaysen, depicts her life in the sixties as she is diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and sent to a psychiatric hospital. For the next two years, Kaysen illustrates her time in this Massachusetts hospital, from the other patients she meets, to the treatment she receives, to the minute by minute surveillance by the staff, unable to even shave her legs without supervision. Kaysen describes this period of her life in intense detail, where readers cannot help but feel extreme sympathy and pain for her and the other patients. Lisa Rowe, Daisy Randone, Georgina Tuskin, and Polly Clark, who are admitted to McLean Hospital for all sorts of mental illnesses and personality disorders, play a large role in both Susanna’s suffering and growth over time. Girl, Interrupted, while should be read with caution due to the discussion of suicide, eating disorders, and self-harm acts, provides a glimpse into the reality of mental health treatment during the 1960s. Additionally, readers can understand the importance of getting help when you need it and pushing past the impossible to gain back your freedom. 

The movie adaptation, directed by James Mangold and released in 1999, follows a similar story to the one Kaysen depicts in her memoir. However, there are several relevant plot lines in the novel that are left out of this film. Winona Ryder, who plays Susanna, executes her role quite well, portraying a young girl left to be institutionalized by a society who believes that anyone with a mental illness should be locked away. Through this movie, viewers can understand the pain and suffering that these patients experience and share their frustration for how the hospital treats them. It should be noted that this film is rated R and includes scenes of suicide and violence that may be unsuitable for some audiences.

So… Flip or Flick?

Flip. Because this is a memoir, recounting real life experiences of Susanna Kaysen, I feel that the movie adaptation does not closely follow what Kaysen depicts in her novel. The ending of the book provides much more satisfaction and closure to the story, sharing details from years later after Kaysen is released from McLean. Additionally, I feel that some of the scenes in the movie are included merely for suspense and entertainment purposes, disregarding the true intent of what Kaysen experienced. If you are looking for a more autobiographical narrative written honestly and poetically, I would recommend giving the book a read. However, if you are more interested in a dramatic, provocative retelling, this movie remains an excellent option.  

Allie Reczek headshotAllie Reczek ’22 CLAS is a current senior at Villanova, majoring in Psychology with minors in Communications and Sociology. She works in Falvey Library as a Marketing and Communications Assistant.



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Flick or Flip: The Handmaid’s Tale

By Allie Reczek

Flick or Flip logo

Welcome to Falvey’s Flick or Flip? My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore undergrad and student worker in the Library. For this blog, I will pick a book that has been turned into a movie, and argue which I thought was better.

This week on Falvey Flick or Flip, I will be discussing The Handmaid’s Tale, written in 1985 by Margaret Atwood. The novel is set in a future dystopian society in which societal roles consist of patriarchal men and subservient women. Offred, the main character, sets out to escape the confines of this life and be reunited with her family. The Republic of Gilead, which is the name of the totalitarian state that takes over after the fall of the United States government, limits the role of many women to “handmaids” who are forced to bear children for barren women and their husbands. Offred is defiant of the new role she has been forced into and works with other handmaids to secretly destroy this toxic government. Throughout the novel, Atwood pushes the boundaries of the human mind, highlighting gender stereotypes and the dangers of technology, leaving readers wondering if we are not that far away from reaching this hypothetical future. 

Rather than a movie adaptation, The Handmaid’s Tale was converted into a TV series on Hulu in 2017. In the first two seasons, the show follows the same storyline, with some changes that take a modern-day approach to this 1980s novel, like the inclusion of an interracial couple and highlighting the fear of expressing same-sex relationships in Gilead. 

While very well-directed and produced, I feel that after the first season I was not as invested in the series as I was reading the book. For anyone who can keep up with a TV series, I highly suggest this show. However, unlike a movie that tells a whole story in less than two hours, I grew bored of the plot line as more episodes were released.

Ultimately, regardless of the format in which you unfold this tale, The Handmaid’s Tale is a story that should not be overlooked. 

So, Flick or Flip?


Picture of Allie Reczek

Hi! My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore Psychology Major. I work as a Marketing and Communication Assistant in Falvey. Hope you enjoy this blog! Which flips or flicks should I debate in the future? Message @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @FalveyLibrary!


Flick or Flip: Atonement

By Allie Reczek

Header for Flick or Flip blog post. Young woman juggling a phone, laptop, tablet, and two books.

Welcome to Falvey’s Flick or Flip? My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore undergrad and student worker in the Library. For this blog, I will pick a book that has been turned into a movie, and argue which I thought was better.

Welcome back to Falvey Flips or Flicks!

This week, I will be discussing Atonement, by Ian McEwan, published in 2001. This novel first takes place in 1935 England, later fast-forwarding to 1940 during World War II, and then decades later for the epilogue.

This book tells the story of Briony Tallis, a 13-year-old girl, her older sister, Cecilia, and Robbie Turner, the family gardener and Cecilia’s secret lover. With a misunderstanding that spirals out of control, Briony becomes the instigator for a lie that results in the imprisonment of Robbie. This puts an end to his relationship with Cecilia, resulting in a deep hatred that leaves Cecilia in such anguish that she refuses to speak to Briony ever again, unable to forgive her for her false accusations.

For the entirety of the novel, readers follow Briony’s life as she grows up, where she realizes the mistake she made in her adolescence and sets out to make matters right. Later on, we find out that Briony “wrote” this book as a way to atone for her faults, yet it is not published until it is too late and nothing can be fixed. 

The movie adaptation, directed by Joe Wright and released in 2007, parallels the novel with some minor changes. 

After reading the book and watching the movie, I feel that the movie best told this romance/war story. The novel I found to be rather dry, delving too far into unnecessary details, such as the position of the grass in the garden and the design on a vase. It took a large part of the book to truly get into the plot and reach the climax, whereas the movie keeps viewers engaged and wanting more.

Additionally, I feel that with a war story such as this one, it is more meaningful and impactful to see the characters and their struggles as opposed to reading it, which can leave significant moments open to interpretation.

However, whether you have just a few hours or a couple of days to spare, Atonement tells an unforgettable story that teaches us the hard truth that sometimes it is too late to apologize for our actions. 




Hi! My name is Allie Reczek, and I am a sophomore Psychology Major. I work as a Marketing and Communication Assistant in Falvey. Hope you enjoy this blog! Which flips or flicks should I debate in the future? Message @villanovalibrary on Instagram or tweet us @FalveyLibrary!




Last Modified: February 7, 2020

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