Is anything more exciting than learning your favorite book has gotten a movie deal? Sure, there might be some trepidation, an anxiety that the filmmakers get it *just right* but whenever I hear about a book I love coming to the screen, I can’t help but get a little giddy! And even if the movie doesn’t turn out just right, I can always use it as an excuse to get people to read the book. So here is a list of my favorite books that have become movies.
TWI-LIGHT. Need I say more? Twilight was a major YA breakout hit in the mid-2000’s, garnering millions of fans. Legions of teens were more than just excited to see their fave vampires and werewolves on the silver screen. There was literal screaming when Edward appeared on screen. I would know, I took a group of friends to see it for my fourteenth birthday and a dear friend of my mine nearly fainted when he appeared. The movies are now infamous, launching Robert Pattinson and Taylor Lautner as the teen heart-throbs of the decade. And the films just kept rolling, turning the fourth and final book into two movies, completing the saga. Overall, the films were lauded as a solid adaptation, that matched the tone of the books. My favorite part of the movies (asked no one but I will tell you): Michael Sheen as Aro. MICHAEL SHEEN. His performance alone was worth the price of a ticket, even if he doesn’t appear till film two.
I Know What You Did Last Summer
by Lois Duncan
I think I can easily say I Know What You Did Last Summer has become an icon of 90’s horror-slashers. Starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, and Freddie Prinze Jr, the movie even had the honor of being spoofed in the first Scary Movie. What you may not know is that the movie is based upon a book of the same name by YA horror legend Lois Duncan. The film is only loosely based upon the book. While that means fans looking for a true-to-source adaptation may be disappointed, it means you can experience both spoiler-free!
Down a Dark Hall
While we’re at it, Lois Duncan has more than one movie adaptation in her list! Her book Down a Dark Hall was turned into a film starring Uma Thurman and Anna Sophia Robb in 2018, while her 1976 book Summer of Fear was adapted by horror-movie icon Wes Craven in 1978, and then remade in 1996. Killing Mr. Griffin was adapted for a TV-movie in 1997. The Stranger with My Face was never adapted, but there is a Film Festival in Hobart Australia named after the book. (btw: I can’t with this. Not only a ton of movie adaptations, but an entire film festival?)
The Hunger Games
by Suzanne Collins
Remember when J-Law wasn’t a part of our lives? Me neither. But, it must be said that there was a time before she played the bad-ass bow-wielding rebel that is Katniss Everdeen. I think the movies were tone-perfect adaptation of the books, keeping so much of the rawness that made the books so powerful, even if that final scene was…awkward. The cast is perfect, and the costumes are impeccable. And Elizabeth Banks as Effie Trinket… let’s just say she might be my Patronus. Man, now I really want to re-read all these books. And then re-watch all the movies. And then learn archery.
by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
I *claps* LOVE *claps* THIS *claps* MOVIE. And yes, I know it isn’t entirely faithful to the books. Like, not even a little. BUT – I still love it. With a cast like Jeremy Irons, Viola Davis, and Emma Thompson, what’s not to love. Also, Rachel Brosnahan pre-Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is in this, alongside a pre-Solo: A Star Wars Story Alden Ehrenreich (who’s southern accent is so on point and so CUTE. Ugh.) And while it may not be a faithful adaptation, the movie is what brought the books to my attention in the first place. Can’t we love both the books and the movies for different reasons, guys? …Guys?
Cirque Du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant
by Darren Shan
I remember there was a point in my middle school career when everyone was reading Cirque du Freak. Thus it wasn’t so surprising that it was optioned for a movie. And when buzz started coming out about the cast (Josh Hutcherson, Salma Hayek, John C. Reilly, Willem Dafoe?!) I was more than pumped. Unfortunately, the movie is TERRIBLE. Truly, the worst. Like, so bad you guys. Watch it on Netflix. It’s amazing in the worst way possible. At least we still have the books to turn to. *sobs*
To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before
by Jenny Han
This movie is the perfect modern spiritual successor to EVERY TEEN 80’s ROM-COM EVER. That is all. You are dismissed. No, but in all seriousness, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before is an adorable jaunt following the romantic missteps of Lara Jean. Whenever Lara Jean has a really intense crush, she writes her crush a letter and then keeps it in a hat box in her room. Until, one day, her letters get sent. What follows is ADORABLE and SO PRECIOUS and I JUST CAN’T WITH IT.
by Trish Cook
Telling the story of Katie, who spends all her time behind specially tinted windows due to an extreme sensitivity to sunlight Midnight Sun is a romantic love story about seeking connections and love through impossible odds. When Charlie Reed happens upon Katie playing her guitar outside late at night, the two embark on a star-crossed romance. The movie stars Bella Thorne and Patrick Schwarzenegger, and no lie, even just the ad made me tear up. Bring your tissues to this one, folks! Though, dare I say it? The book is better!