Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together.
I used to believe that books should never be made into movies because the books are always better. I also used to believe that audiobooks didn’t count as real reading and neither did graphic novels.
I no longer believe that.
Story trumps format.
Does that mean watching the movie means you read the book? Hah, no. But it does mean there are a shit ton of fantastic movies and shows based on books that are just as good if not better than the source material.
Outlander, for one. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before, for another. Crazy Rich Asians for a final one (ugh that movie was stunning).
Of course, for all of the fantastic adaptations, there are some notable flops. Ender’s Game. Artemis Fowl. Whatever the fuck was going on with Blood and Chocolate. But I think the notable reason those failed were either because they strayed too far from the source material (and the heart of the book itself) and either relied too heavily on special effects to make up for the gutting of the story or the special effects technology just wasn’t there. Howl’s Moving Castle is just about the only movie that departed from the source material but kept the heart and was just as good if not better than the book.
So while special effects are fantastic, there are a couple of series that I’d love to see as shows that I’m…leery about seeing as shows? Which sums up about 95% of my hesitation with the Shadow and Bone series, which apparently is going to combine the younger Shadow and Bone with the older and more complex Six of Crows? Ehhh.
Books That Are Perfect for Adaptation But Not Really
The world-building is robust, the aesthetics are there and the plotlines and characterizations are bitching, but while I would die to see any of these on screen I just don’t think filmmakers would do it justice. The only one that would look remotely good is The Dragonriders of Pern series, and I feel that filmmakers would go too Game of Thrones gritty with it and that’s not really necessary.
Books That I Would 100% Get Behind Being Adapted
All of these would be fantastic movies, IMO (heh it’s my blog is all my opinions).
I think that with an aesthetic and tone similar to Hidden Figures and with enough of the historical space-age sets already in existence, The Calculating Stars would be brilliant and beautiful and hit the false-nostalgia of those 50s romancers (while make them exceedingly uncomfortable to the realities of that time period) and inspire more girls and women to begin or continue careers in STEM.
And The Downstairs Girl is fucking perfect. Seriously, how many Victorian period pieces with white women do we have? A bajillion. Let a Chinese-American girl shine. This book would be a delightful movie that I would watch the hell out of.
Speaking of marginalized voices, I would love love love to see more rom coms. I feel that they are making a comeback, but in less problematic ways than the rom coms of the 90s. There are so many intensely amazing books out there, but I want something with the optimism of Check, Please!, the heat of Get a Life, Chloe Brown, and the decisiveness of One to Watch.
I want it all.