This is a meme by The Broke and the Bookish and we’re kinda in love with these lists.
We’ve done this topic before, but I’m going to assume we have new books to add to this list. And just to put us all at ease let’s pretend that we’re also in charge of the adapting and casting?
- Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo: Fantasy! Heist! Diverse characters! Definitely deserving of a well-made Netflix show. <3
- The Perilous Life of Jade Yeo by Zen Cho: Smart, snarky protagonist! Who loves books! And writes! In the ’20s! In London! Romance! Hilarity!
- Check Please! by Ngozi Ukazu: It just … it needs to be. The fans are already on-board.
- Legend by Marie Lu: I’ve been falling back in love with this series. I know it’s dystopian and people are pretty much over it, but guys, you haven’t read anything like this one. It deserves more affection. They just need to get the casting right.
- Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer: Young genius! Weaponized fairies! Adventure! Fantasy! Actual character development for the jerk!genius!
This is a tough one because I don’t watch TV shows all that much. But hey, let’s pretend I do.
- Heroine Complex by Stephanie Kuhn
This could TOTALLY work, you guys. One Chinese superhero with a half-Japanese girl who has more to her than she admits. Lots of colourful side characters, evil demon cupcakes (that explode on impact), a delicious love interest…magic…and just…I’d watch this. I’d watch this a LOT.
- Friday Barnes series by R. A. Spratt
This would work really well as an episodic series where each episode contains new mysteries for Friday to solve.
- The Checquy Files by Daniel O’Malley
This is totally cheating since I hear this has been optioned for a TV series.
- The League of Princes trilogy by Christopher Healy
I feel like this would be can be adapted to TV really well. I mean, Once Upon a Time was well received. I feel like this one would be too.
I’m going to broaden this theme out a bit and look at books that I think would make for great miniseries or big-screen films.
- Thunderstruck by Erik Larson: This thrilling, Edwardian-era murder mystery tells the interwoven stories of the notorious and unlikely murderer Hawley Crippen and the obsessively innovate inventor Guglielmo Marconi. Absolutely gripping from the first page to its breathless finale, this true story would make for a fantastic miniseries.
- Under Heaven by Guy Gavriel Kay: Pretty much anything by this Canadian master of historical fantasy would lend itself well to the miniseries treatment. Emperors and warriors, ghosts and spirits, love and betrayal, strong characters and complex stories – pretty much everything you could ask for in a sweeping fantasy.
- The Sword of Summer: Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard by Rick Riordan: A movie version of this is probably already in the works, if Hollywood knows what’s good for it. From the creator of the massively successful Percy Jackson series, Magnus Chase tells pretty much the same story (unwitting son of a god discovering his powers), but focuses on Norse mythology, rather than Greek. Exciting, action-packed stuff that’s sure to delight young audiences.
- The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands: This middle grade historical novel by debut Canadian author Kevin Sands is absolutely fantastic, and is just crying out for a screen adaptation. There’s a fascinating historical setting, clever characters, a high-stakes mystery, powerful alchemy, and so much more, all wrapped up in an exciting and engaging story.
- Cinder by Marissa Meyer: This futuristic retelling of the Cinderella fairy tale would make for a gripping miniseries event. Science fiction, fantasy, romance, action-adventure, there’s something for everyone in this popular story. Plus, it’s part of a series!
- Sorcerer to the Crown by Zen Cho: all the praise I’d heard for this book had not been exaggerated, not by one mote. Zacharias and Prunella are perfect. “Oh my goodness, I love this!” was my refrain from the prologue to the final page. Sorcerer to the Crown is indescribably good.* I would love to see this as a movie or translated to tv.
- Jane has mentioned The Blackthorn Key, so all I will add is that it is historical fiction that reads like fantasy. Plus (minor spoiler), explosions, every filmgoer’s not-so-secret addiction.
- Nimona and Lumberjanes: the rights have been bought. I just can’t wait.
- The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden (and the other books in this series) by Jill MacLean: kids figuring things out in present-day Newfoundland. Does not pull any punches about children’s capacity for cruelty, or about adults’s capacity for justifying neglect/abuse, or about humans’s capacity for healing and forgiveness.
- Death in the Stocks by Georgette Heyer: because I am a sucker for murder mysteries, and the characters are … if you met some of them IRL, the kindest (most accurate) thing you could say is that “_____ is quite the character.” Antonia is breathtakingly forthright, and her brother Kenneth, artist and suspect number one, is outrageous. This would be a guilty pleasure show for sure, especially if it is followed up with Behold, Here’s Poison, which has a cameo from one of the leads of Death in the Stocks.
- Gotham Academy: who doesn’t want more of Maps? I don’t know if this would be a good or a terrible idea (graphic novel to live action or animation would be hard), but it would be awfully fun to watch.
*If you insist on comparisons, those to Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer are apt – now imagine your favourite work by either author written to include faeries and magic, from an (<3) intersectional feminist perspective (!!!), with the irreverent humour of P.G. Wodehouse, Patricia C. Wrede, and Caroline Stevermer.