Thursday, 12 January 2012

Discussion: Books You Want to See As Movies

I can't remember if I've done a discussion on this before but I was just thinking about it and wanted to do a post on it (and we wanted to post a discussion post now that we have threaded comments so we actually can discuss it with you).

The thing about movie adaptions is that they can rarely ever stay completely true to the book - the most the book fans can hope for is that they'll still capture the heart of the story and characters and that the thing that we love about the book won't get lost in translation. There are good book-to-movie adaptions, awful ones, mediocre ones and ones that, while they're good movies in their own right, are so different that they probably shouldn't be considered adaptions of books.

There's so many books that I wish would be made into movies, so I'm going to list some and the reason why I'd like to see them as movies. So, assuming they could be made with a great script, perfect cast and capturing the heart of the book, these are some I'd like to see as movies:

Between Shades of Gray by Ruta Sepetys

This is a brilliant book and it's a story that deserves to be told. It has the potential to be such a heartbreaking, amazing movie if it was done well and if they got actors that could pull off the things these characters go through... It'd be one of those movies that makes me cry and yet I'd love it anyway. It'd be awesome if they cast actual people from the Baltic states in the movie instead of having Hollywood actors fake accents.

Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel

This one already has a movie but I don't like the movie version much (it wasn't awful, just didn't do justice to the book). I didn't like some of the casting or the score and it could be done so much better. It had a very soap opera feel to it. So I'd like a better adaption of that book - I'm usually not into the idea of Hollywood doing American remakes of non-English speaking movies but in this case, I'd be cool with it purely because it provides an oppertunity to do another adaption and try and get it right in the way the original movie didn't.

 Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley

There's a lot of art involved in this book and it'd be great to actually SEE the art in a movie - it'd be one of those fun movies but not...mindless entertainment because there's something deeper in the story and the characters and if a movie version didn't lose that in translation then it'd be great.

And the characters? I love the characters in this one, they were just so real and awesome and loveable and realistically annoying at times and brilliant.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

I'm not sure why I want to see this one as a movie, I just do. I'm not sure how it would work as a movie, but if they made it work then it could just be this really amazing and original and brilliant movie.

Melina Marchetta books - really, I'd like to see all her books as movies (there already is one for Looking for Alibrandi which is a decent movie) but I'm going to choose two for this list and it's only two because the genres of the books are so different:

Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

This could be such an awesome high fantasy movie - I haven't seen many of those that are really good but this one... it's definitely one I'd like to see on the big screen. I don't have much to say on why I'd like to see it as a movie, I just think it'd be awesome because the book is awesome and there's lots of stuff that would just be great to see visually instead of having to imagine it and the characters are fantastic and complex and just - I'll stop before I fangirl.

Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta

This book is amazing and it'd probably be difficult to translate it into a movie because the plot is kind of confusing to begin with and there's a past and present storyline in the book that is all intertwined in ways you gradually find out throughout the book. But if they managed to get the script right and got an amazing cast for it, the movie could Melina Marchetta has actually written a script for it, so maybe it will happen.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Again, he's an author that I'd like to see all of his books as movies and this one could have happened but didn't - I wish it would (I think this is the one that John said he had read the script for and that it was amazing).

I mostly want to see the characters brought to life, see actual people being these characters and I want them to make me bawl like a baby or laugh when certain things in the plot happen. It'd just be awesome.

Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma

This is a total taboo subject: consensual incest between a brother and a sister and the story is one of the most hearbreaking ones I've ever read. It wouldn't be the first time sibling consensual incest was portrayed in a movie, but it'd be different from all the others. It'd take an amazing script, director and cast to pull it off and do the story tastefully that makes people sympathize with the characters instead of being against them, but if they did it right... it could just be really brilliant. And hopefully it'd make people be a bit more open minded or question their beliefs on the issue (or at least the legality of it).

The Demon Trappers series by Jana Oliver

One of the things I love about this series is the world - it reminded me a little of the world in the TV show, Dark Angel...not that they're the same, but the feeling it gave me.
The world was just so raw and real and broken but in this way that was just kind of fascinating to read about and I'd just love to see that instead of picturing it. Plus, the characters and the story would be fun to watch.

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khaled Hosseini

This one has an IMDb page so I think maybe it might happen. Again, this is more about the characters - I want to see them brought to life and I really liked the movie adaption of The Kite Runner so this one could be great too.

There are others that I'd really love to see but a lot of them are already in the process of becoming movies or have had the rights sold so they could actually be movies within the next few years (like Hourglass by Myra McEntire and Divergent by Veronica Roth) and ones I just forgot to mention and then the list got so long (like Nevermore by Kelly Creagh and The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson). So yeah, I'll stop there.


1. What books would you like to see as movies (if it was done right with a great cast, script, director etc.)?
2. Thoughts on the books mentioned in this post?
3. What upcoming book-to-movie adaptions (that are actually in the works/definitely happening) are you looking forward to?



I have to agree with Lanna on Between Shades of Gray, as well as Hourglass and Divergent. Plus a few others.

Beauty Queens by Libba Bray

I loved this book yes, but I'd love to see how they would handle it. Would they include the commercials and voice overs? Who would they cast as the villains? What about our pirates and beauty queens, especially Taylor? Libba built a world I would love to see on film if done right.

Across the Universe by Beth Revis

This is sci-fi light, so I'd mostly love to see how they handle the spaceship and the new culture and how they'd cast everyone since they're supposed to look very similar. It'd be interesting to me.

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Most of the reason I loved this book was the beautiful writing which can't really be transferred to screen well, but the characters and relationships were a close second, the world building the third. I would love to see Juliette's transformation and the world and the fighting and just..everything. It could be epic.

Two-way Street by Lauren Barnholdt OR Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson
These are both road trip books I love and I love different aspects of them, so I can't really pick which I'd rather see (but I don't think we need both.) Both books have a fantastic dynamic between the two main characters. Two-way Street has a tense road trip that would be awesome to see and Amy and Roger's Epic Detour has a lot of music tie ins and stops that would be entertaining. I'd be happy with either one.

So, that's my much shorter list. Now, feel free to answer Lanna's questions from above.



  1. All of these books you guys mentioned are awesome, even though I haven't read all of them. I do tend to be very skeptical when it comes to books-to-movie-adapations but I think these books could turn out to be amazing movies. As for the questions for some reason, I want The Giver to be made into a movie. I can not wait for The Hunger Games movie!

  2. There is actually an IMDb page for The Giver with the release date set for 2013, so that one might happen. I still need to read that book, loads of people have told me it's awesome. :)

    Oh, and I concur about THG movie. I wasn't too thrilled about a few of the casting choices but it looks like they'll do a good job.

  3. I love it when my favourite books are made into movies but I'm always worried too!

    I agree with you about wanting to see all of John Green's novels adapted but I love his characters so much and I'm not sure if they'd be as likeable on screen. I would still definitely watch them though with my fingers crossed!

    A lot of the books I love are more about the characters and not very high-concept so I don't know if they'd get a 'Hollywood makeover' to make them more actiony (lol).

    I'd love to see Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (don't know if that's happening already?) or Between by Jessica Warman. I reckon Wither by Lauren DeStefano would work well as a movie and I'm dying for the Goddess books by P.C Cast to be adapted too. Those movies would be so much fun!

  4. I was squeeing through some of your picks there. The book thief, A thousand splendid suns, JELLICOE ROAD! Finnikin, Looking for Alaska, Forbidden, Graffiti moon (which I hear is amazing) and between shades of gray . I'm all for. Of course there are some major flaws when you turn a book into a movie but I love these books so much i really wouldn't care. And yes! When I heard about JR my heart was just soaring. I've nearly finished it for the fourth time. It gets me every time :)



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