Before I get started on this week’s Top Ten Tuesday, I just want to note that many of these are not books I love. In fact, I often think that not that great books make pretty awesome movies (or work better in a visual medium) because movies and TV hit notes differently than books do. I’m thinking here of both Legally Blonde and Derby Girl. I don’t particularly care for the Legally Blonde movie, and I think the book is a disaster. But! The basic premise was there, so the screenwriting team was able to make it work and make it better. Derby Girl feels like more of an outline than anything, but the author (also the screenwriter) turned it into a really good movie (Whip It!) that puts the (less than) mediocre book to shame.
1. You Look Different in Real Life by Jennifer Castle: This wasn’t originally on my list, but after thinking about it, I think it’d make a really good TV show. The characters have dynamic relationships with each other, and the personal conflicts they have would play well into a bigger arc about the societal conflicts they face. I could really see a show playing around a lot with the documentary part (kind of like the Docuventary episodes in Felicity). Bonus: meta-narratives! And isn’t meta always fun?
2. Flygirl by Sherri L. Smith: I didn’t particularly like the way passing was handled in this book (and I haaaaated the ending), but I think a movie could do a lot to highlight the tension and fear Ida Mae experiences both at home and in the service. Plus, I would love to see Patsy Kake in action. I’m just saying.
3. The Magic Christmas by Francine Pascal: Okay, yes, Sweet Valley Twins, but. This book is such a good stand alone, and it doesn’t really require understanding the backstory of the twins or knowledge of the world. In fact, any old set of twins will do, which is why I think it works so well. This is a fun fantasy novel with a cool setting, and the conflicts are sibling/twin-universal and not just Elizabeth and Jessica focused. Excellent movie material.
4. Ditched: A Love Story by Robin Mellom: The whole time I read this book I pictured it as a Can’t Hardly Wait type movie, so the leap to the big screen is logical as far as I’m concerned.
5. Cara Lockwood’s Bard Academy books: I think these books would make a fun TV show. It’s about a boarding school for juvenile delinquents with classic book characters that come to life. Think Once Upon a Time but with teens and smart literature references and no flashbacks/fairybacks. So…gold, basically.
6. Mr. Chickee’s Funny Money by Christopher Paul Curtis: Someone on Goodreads said this would make a good cartoon, and I couldn’t agree more. The ginormous dog and the Men in Black style agents just cry out for an animated treatment. Also, there’s a talking dictionary. I mean, come on. There’s probably enough here for a television series, but a movie would also do nicely.
7. Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley: Like Before Sunrise but with teenagers and art. Sort of in the same vein of Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (another movie I preferred to the book!). I like this book a lot, and I would love to see this kind of story in a movie. Basically, as evidenced by my inclusion of Ditched, I love stories that take place over the course of one night/day.
8. The Girl in the Wall by Daphne Benedis-Grab: This book is plot-driven and action-packed and Die Hard-esque. So, really, I don’t know why it hasn’t been optioned yet. I would be pissed if this book were turned into a movie and all of the interesting roles went to boys, though. That’s pretty much the only way this book could be ruined by being turned into a movie.
9. Michele Jaffe’s Bad Kitty series: I think these books would make a fun movie. They’re caperesque with great characters and mystery. Also, I love smart characters, and even the most seemingly shallow characters are assets to the team. Plus, I like the idea of a group of girls ( and one boy) solving crimes together.
10. Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: I found this book slow at the beginning and a little hard to get into (my daughter and her friends did not particularly care for this book because of that), but, as a film, that slowness would be eliminated because Queenie’s plight as a prisoner would be much more engaging if it were visually rendered. Plus: female spies! Win!