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Netflix, Take Note: 7 Fantastic Books That Deserve Movie or TV Adaptations ASAP

by  | June 25
Couple watching TV on the couch

Film adaptations of our favorite reads have been coming at us left and right. So much so, that you may wonder: Are there any left to be made? Yes, yes indeed, there are. In fact, quite a few stunning books are still waiting for their moment in the on-screen spotlight. Seven of our favorites have epic plots and stunning settings that will captivate moviegoers (or more like movie-streamers these days). We’ve already taken care of some of the cast and crew, so studios, take note!

In Five Years

In Five Years

by Rebecca Serle

Kristin and Courtney’s Pick

Unexpected love story plus a cathartic cry? That’s our kind of book (and movie). Titanic and The Notebook can take a backseat to In Five Years: the book that you’ll read in one sitting and the movie you’ll watch during every girls’ night in. Dannie is a lawyer who has every detail of her life planned to a T, and her plans always come to fruition. From nailing the interview for her dream job to her perfect boyfriend proposing at the Rainbow Room, Dannie’s day has gone just right—until she falls asleep that night and wakes up five years in the future, in a different apartment, wearing a different engagement ring, and sleeping next to a different man. Is this plot not what movies were made for?! You’ll be on the edge of your seat as Dannie spends an hour in this future, only to wake up back in her apartment next to her fiancé, wondering if it was just a weird dream or a look into the future. When that day five years in the future approaches and Dannie meets the man from her dream in an unexpected way, you and your friends will be gasping (unless you’ve all read the book, of course). With the backdrop of New York City and a story line filled with surprises, this movie is bound to be a blockbuster hit.

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The Turn of the Key

The Turn of the Key

by Ruth Ware

Justin’s Pick

The Turn of the Key’s white-knuckle suspense, constant twists, and creeping sense of paranoia would make for a thrilling cinematic experience. Dream director? I think Ruth Ware’s penchant for turning her readers into amateur detectives—questioning every new clue or development—could be expertly realized on-screen by director Aneesh Chaganty, whose 2018 thriller, Searching, is a similarly engaging mystery. As for the protagonist, Rowan Caine, her resourcesfulness and cleverness would prove to be a juicy role for an actress such as Florence Pugh or Anya Taylor-Joy. Plus, the story builds to an unforgettable finale that would leave moviegoers with an adrenaline rush long after they’ve left the theater. Hollywood, get on it!

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The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

by Michael Chabon

Emily’s Pick #1

Supposedly, author Michael Chabon and various writers/directors have been attempting to adapt this Pulitzer Prize–winning novel into a film for years and it still hasn’t happened, which is a bummer because this book would be absolutely perfect for the screen. It follows two cousins—Joe Kavalier and Sam Clay—who meet in late 1930s NYC, after Joe escapes from Nazi-invaded Prague, and discover that with their combined knowledge of illustration, storytelling, and escape artistry, they’re the perfect creative duo to succeed in the burgeoning superhero comic book industry. The story line progresses through their titular adventures, ranging from interactions with maddening business execs and famous figures like Salvador Dalí to destinations as spectacular as Antarctica and the top of the Empire State Building. As I read this story, it felt so cinematic—and was so immersive—that it leaped to life, and I’m dying to see it fully realized on the big screen. Hopefully a director with experience adapting graphic novels or comics, such as Nicole Kassell, director of the new Watchmen TV show, will sign on.

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Dear Emmie Blue

Dear Emmie Blue

by Lia Louis

Courtney’s Pick #2

When I read Dear Emmie Blue, I saw it playing out in typical Netflix-original fashion. There’s truly not a part of the book that I wouldn’t want to see on-screen. The characters are so lifelike, I want to be their best friend, and the settings are so well described, I want to experience them for myself. And the premise of the novel just screams “make me into a movie!” Emmie and Lucas become best friends as teenagers when Emmie puts her name, email, and a secret into a balloon and releases it at the beach in England, only for Lucas to find the balloon on a beach in France. Truly, how does that happen? Magic and kismet. Two things every good rom-com needs. Fast-forward 14 years. Emmie thinks Lucas is about to profess his love—and instead he turns her world upside down. What is a girl to do? Swallow her feelings and pick up the pieces of the life she left behind in pursuit of Lucas’s love. Now that is a journey I want to see on the big screen.

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The Cruel Prince

The Cruel Prince

by Holly Black

Heather’s Pick #1

Given the enduring popularity of the Lord of the Rings saga, I can’t believe we haven’t already gotten a movie adaptation of Holly Black’s YA fantasy series Folk of the Air. Step up, Hollywood! Set in the magical realm of Elfhame, The Cruel Prince, the first volume in the three-book series, is our introduction to Jude Duarte, a fierce mortal girl who wants nothing so much as to secure a place for herself in the faerie court. One obstacle on her ambitious path? Prince Cardan, the youngest son of the High King of Elfhame, an heir to the throne, and one of Jude’s chief tormentors since childhood. The more the two play political games and battle for dominance, though, the more you get the feeling there’s something more between them. Loaded with court intrigue, sword fights, and a touch of romance, these books sure would look good on the big screen.

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The Simple Wild

The Simple Wild

by K.A. Tucker

Heather’s Pick #2

Virgin River. Hart of Dixie. Men in Trees.* There have been plenty of TV shows about big-city girls moving to rural small towns and learning how to fit in with the locals. You know why? Because they never get old! Seriously, I will tune in every single time. That’s how I know, with 110% confidence, that K. A. Tucker’s The Simple Wild would make a perfect Netflix series. You’ve got a woman finding herself in a beautiful yet remote Alaskan town, a heartwarming father-daughter reconciliation, and a fiery opposites-attract romance, all rolled into one! Calla hasn’t seen her dad since she was a baby, but when she learns he’s sick, she leaves everything of the life she knows in Toronto to go spend time with him in a rugged Alaskan region. To her surprise, she becomes attached to the town and its residents—including a hot-shot pilot named Jonah. Her story has all the ingredients of a must-watch show.

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Alanna

Alanna

by Tamora Pierce

Emily’s Pick #2

This series by Tamora Pierce was everything to me growing up, and I’m pretty sure Alanna’s stubbornness strongly influenced my own. With each passing year, I’ve often wondered: “Where in the world is this movie adaptation?” We got Harry Potter, Twilight, and the Series of Unfortunate Events. Surely, something needs to be in the works for this equally epic four-book fantasy series of my childhood? In this series, Alanna of Trebond longs to be a knight, but, alas, only boys are allowed to train. So, in the vein of She’s the Man, she switches places with her twin brother and goes on to become one of the top pages in training in Tortall. For this film adaptation, Alanna’s bright red hair and purple eyes would make for some epic visuals, and Prince Jonathan better be the gorgeous heartthrob I always imagined.

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