Five Genre Books That Would Make Great Movies
From The Hunger Games to Harry Potter, it seems inevitable that when a book or book series becomes popular enough, it'll be made into a movie. And while there are some amazing on-screen adaptations out there, there are also plenty more books which would make terrific outlines for movies. Here are five suggestions for books which deserve the movie treatment:
Far From You by Tess Sharpe
This book has flown rather under the radar but deserves recognition for its careful handling of difficult topics including sexuality, misogyny, and drug addiction. The story's main character is Sophie, a young bisexual woman who struggles with an addiction to prescription drugs but is determined to find out what has happened to her best friend, Tess. It is a murder mystery novel which manages to avoid feeling crass or exploitative by focusing strongly on the bond between these two young women. The book's distinctive structure of flipping between current and past events would be as effective in a visual form as it is in text, and given the high but rarely discussed rate of drug addiction among LGBTQ youth and adults, its themes are bound to resonate with many people.
Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo
A romping fantasy story which sets a heist-type plot in a sprawling city in a magical universe, this has been one of the big hit young fantasy novels of recent years. The crew of thieves who come together for the plan are a diverse group of different backgrounds, ethnicities, and sexualities, and include characters with disabilities and mental health issues. It might be a challenge to transpose the format of the book, as the point of view switches between each of the six main characters, allowing the reader to get to know each of them individually. Though the format could be difficult to translate into a movie, the author and this book, in particular, have a vocal and enthusiastic fan base who would love to see this world brought to life on screen.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
This beautiful, moving story of two young Mexican-American boys who fall in love has become a cult favorite among LGBTQ youth. It combines a strong sense of place with its setting of El Paso, Texas in the 1980s, with a deep consideration of complex issues of ethnic identity, sexuality, and family. The coming of age story is a tried and tested format for youth-oriented gay cinema, but the nuance of the book's examination of Hispanic identity in America brings something new and compelling to the table. There have been rumors that there is interest in making it into a movie, but nothing has been confirmed yet. However, fans of the books will be happy to hear that the author is working on a sequel to explore the boys' relationship further.
The Gentlemen Bastard series by Scott Lynch
I'm shocked that these playful, funny, and exciting books haven't already been snapped up for a film adaptation. Set in a rather traditional fantasy universe but featuring outrageous and delightful plots, these books examine how people of, shall we say, flexible morality might make a living in a fantasy world. The 'con men meet magic' set up of the first book is charming and sinister by turns, and the second book swings into a swashbuckling pirate adventure. These stories are notable for the prominence of well-written, well-rounded female characters, who live vivid lives despite the rather hopeless misunderstandings of the young man who is the main character. Many adult fantasy writers could stand to learn from this example!
The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken
This brutal but unforgettable book chronicles a future in which a mysterious disease kills off most of the children in the USA, and those who survive go on to develop strange psychic powers. In a fit of panic, the adults elect for all of the surviving children in the country to be rounded up and sent off to 'rehabilitation camps' which are more like concentration camps than medical centers. One interesting feature of the book is its protagonist, Ruby, who is unlike many traditional Young Adult heroines: she is not brave, she is constantly uncertain about herself and her abilities, and she is profoundly traumatized by her experiences. The exploration of her trauma and her mistrust of all those around her brings another level to the dystopian setting by seriously considering the psychological effects of the world in which she lives. At a time when fear of the dangers of young people seems to be at an all time high, this book would make a timely and relevant movie.
Each of these books would make a terrific screen adaptation, but we should also give a shoutout to The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, which is currently being adapted into a TV series; The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller which would make an epic history movie, and The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss which has been optioned as both a TV series and a movie. If you have suggestions for books that you'd love to see adapted, then let us know in the comments!