Unless you have been living under a rock, you’ve heard about the novel, To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, and it’s wild success. The Netflix series was inspired by what was originally a YA novel by the fantastic Jenny Han. Netiflix added some young actors like Lana Corder and Noah Centineo (swoons), and created a runaway hit. As an advocate for YA novels, I am quite proud of the movie’s success. Han’s The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy was one of the most memorable trilogies I’ve read to date, and according to its Amazon page, it’s soon to be a movie! Let’s get these types of books into movies, movie-making people!
Why do producers turn books into movies?
According to an article from The Verge, book adaptations benefit authors since books don’t make much of a profit. In addition, popular books have a following all their own. If you make these books into a movie, you have an automatic audience. That’s a win-win for both the author and the production company (if the adaptation is good).
How many times have you been to the movie theater this year? That number is probably not as high as it would have been 10 years ago. We stream from the comfort of our home, so companies like Netflix take the movies we love into our homes, another win-win. Girlboss, Orange is the New Black, and Making a Murderer are all popular Netflix originals that have their origins in books. Here’s my list of YA novels that would make great Netflix originals.
The Red Queen
There are many things that Netflix does well, and one of those is content about royalty. The Crown, Reign, The Christmas Prince (as questionable as the acting may be, you can’t argue it’s about royalty) are just some of the Netflix originals about a monarchy. The Red Queen combines royalty with the dystopian world of The Hunger Games and the magical powers of Harry Potter. This would be a high-budget film as it requires elaborate sets and special effects, but I’m sure Netflix has that kind of money available. The story’s protagonist, Mare, is a young woman with a strong will and amazing electrokinetic powers. I could see Chloë Grace Moretz in this role as she has experience with darker parts. The two princes that compete for Mare’s heart could be any two handsome actors, one being the shy prince and the other the confident one. Call me crazy, but I think the Sprouse twins would be fantastic!
The Probability of Miracles
I read this book in early high school (which seems like decades ago) and the message and lessons it taught me have stayed with me to this day. I love a good high-budget, action-packed flick, but sometimes it’s nice to get something more realistic. The Probability of Miracles by Wendy Wunder is centered around Campbell Cooper, a young woman who is dying of cancer and her family’s move to Promise, Maine in hopes of finding a miracle cure. Even though Cam has cancer, the characters are rarely in a hospital. Instead, they are in the quaint-yet-beautiful Promise. If you’re thinking about an idealistic northeast coast scene, you’re right. Cam makes some quirky friends (one of whom is a very cute boy) and tries to change her outlook on life, despite the cancer. If Netflix were to produce this, they could shoot in a real-life small town in the northeast for authenticity. I think Zoey Deutch would make a great Cam. As for Asher, the love interest, what about Bo Burnham? I think he and Deutch would have great chemistry, and better yet, he’s from Massachusetts!
An Abundance of Katherines
An Abundance of Katherines might be my favorite John Green novel. I remember this being the first and only book that has ever made me laugh out loud. And how could it not be funny? The protagonist is a child prodigy who has dated 19 girls named Katherine, his best friend is named Hassan and is obsessed with Judge Judy, and it takes place in Gutshot, a town that claims to be the final resting place of Archduke Ferdinand-Franz. It’s comedic gold, and with the success of screenplays based on Green’s work like The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns, Netflix has to catch up. Any actor that can pull off the adorkable look could work as the protagonist Colin. Hassan would have to be played by someone with perfect comedic timing. Maybe we could put Kumail Nanjiani in a time machine and use his 18-year-old self.
Where’d You Go Bernadette
Mysteries make great films, and so do comedies. Put them together, and you would have Where’d You Go Bernadette. In this book, Bernadette’s daughter Bee tries to find her mother who went missing right before the family’s big trip to Antarctica. The story is told through Bee and documents, notes, and emails related to the case. This could make for a very original film. When I think of a mother-daughter duo, I always think of Reese and Ava Witherspoon. They look like twins! They’d be perfect for these roles, and we all know Reese is a powerful actress. I’d imagine that skill got passed on to her daughter.
Regardless if you’re the “book was better” type or not, movies based on books give those books a boost. Netflix, show the YA genre some love!