7 Book to Screen Adaptations We Love
Recently we have seen such an influx of movies and tv shows that began life as books. There are actually quite a few coming out that we are highly anticipating (Inheritance Games 😱). Each month we hope to feature a new set of adaptations for us to discuss with you. This month we are featuring adult/ya book adaptations that we (possibly) loved more than the books themselves.
Pride and Prejudice
I'm going to start off with a very unpopular opinion. The 2005 adaptation of Pride and Prejudice featuring Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen is the better adaptation of P&P. Usually you will hear people say they prefer the Colin Firth version (let's be honest, it's your favorite because of that lake scene (lookin at you Becca!), because it more closely follows Jane Austen's novel.
My preference is entirely due to chemistry. P&P is one of my top 3 favorite classic novels (along with Jane Eyre and Great Expectations), and it is hard to find actor/actress combos that can perform with the depth that Darcy and Elizabeth have. Kiera Knightly and Matthew Macfadyen have it, no question. I swear my tv was steaming from some of the looks Macfadyen was sending Kiera's way. If you are looking for an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice that is full of chemistry, this one is the one for you.
You can rent Pride and Prejudice on iTunes.
The Time Traveler's Wife
I'm not really one who likes books that constantly jump around timelines. While I whole heartedly love The Time Traveler's Wife (and cried like a baby reading it), the movie starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams was true perfection. It is just so much easier to follow what is happening instead of the constant jumping around and trying to remember what time period that chapter is in. If you are in the mood for a good cry, check out this adaptation!
You can rent The Time Traverler's Wife through iTunes and Amazon.
I guess we should have started this post that we love all of the books included here. This is not one of those, we hated the books but enjoyed the movie (maybe you'll see that later 😉). These are all books that we really enjoyed and even loved, we just felt like the casting/cinematic experience one upped the book. I love what Diana Gabaldon has done with the Outlander universe. She has made history romantic and you can tell that she thoroughly researches for every single novel that she writes in this time travel world. Outlander is actually one of my top 10 favorite books of all time. I fell in love with Jamie and Claire. My heart broke when Jamie....🙊 Just kidding, no spoilers here. I have to give it to Showtime and Ronald D. Moore though. Sam Heughan as Jamie tipped this one in the shows favor. I definitely think that future books are better than the seasons of the show, but for Outlander itself, the first season is better.
You can stream seasons 1-4 of Outlander on Netflix. Season 5 is available on Starz. Season 6 will be available in late 2021 on Starz.
Memoirs of a Geisha
2005 was a good year for book to film, as our next choice is also from that year. Memoirs of a Geisha is such a brilliantly written novel, but the vivid storytelling. excellent casting for the movie, and Rob Marshall's stunning direction make it the clear winner. Featuring a full cast from all over the world, Ziyi Zhang out performs her costars in her role as the main character Sayuri. I highly suggest both the book and the movie.
You can stream Memoirs of a Geisha on Netflix now.
There are certain stories that you really enjoy in their book form, particularly when they are basically an amalgamation of all of your childhood fantasy favorites poured into one very well executed storyline. But, the real magic happens when a perfect cast, writers, and showrunner comes along to perfectly execute the book then take it to the next level where it becomes its own piece of art that stands alone. That is what happened when Sera Gamble got her hands on SyFy's The Magicians. This show has it all - crisp writing, chemistry of the whole ensemble, and even several wonderful musical numbers - basically, what funny fantasy for adults should look like. It elevated a story that was already good into greatness.
You can stream all 5 seasons of The Magicians on Netflix now
Shadow and Bone
The adaption of Leigh Bardugo's fantastical Grishaverse was one of the most anticipated of 2021. As with most fantasy adaptations, this was going to come down to impeccable casting and creative writing because it was bringing two book series into one show. In this case, the team behind Shadow and Bone did a stunning job! The casting is so wonderful and the chemistry is truly outstanding. It brings the greatest parts of the books and perfectly brings it to life on screen. One of the things that I really love about the recent Netflix fantasy adaptations is that they feel very catered to the reading fanbase because they don't spend a ton of time on explaining the world, they just go with the story, and let the audience become immersed in the world. Also, Jesper and the goat -- whoever decided that was a thing deserves all the humor awards. #nomournersnofunerals
You can stream season 1 of Shadow and Bone on Netflix now. Season 2 will be coming next year!
The Handmaid's Tale
As I mentioned with The Magicians, the best adaptations occur when the screen version becomes a piece of living art on its own. There is no doubt that, despite its incredibly bleak and prescient storylines, that The Handmaids Tale will go down as one of the best adaptations of all time. While it seems like it would be easy to make Margaret Atwood's 1985 novel come to life, the challenge comes with making terrible characters palatable over and over to keep people coming week to week. But, that is just what the team at the show has managed to do. Every single actor on the screen demands your full attention and takes you on an emotional journey. Is it kind of a horrible journey at times? Yes. Is it worth it? Absolutely. To my knowledge, this is the only adaptation that has inspired the author enough to re-visit the world and publish a sequel which is saying something.
You can stream all 4 seasons of The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu now. Season 5 is anticipated to release in 2022.
What are your favorite adaptations? Did we miss any?
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