Hello everyone, and welcome back to The Bookworm’s Fantasy! I hope you’re all doing well. Today’s post is different to anything I’ve ever published before. I’m going to be talking about book to film/TV adaptations, and exploring which books I’d like to be made into films. I’ll be mainly focusing on Psychological Thrillers in these posts, as they’re my favourite books to read! I really hope you enjoy these posts – please leave any feedback in the comments below. So, keep reading…
A Brief History.
The film adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s ‘Gone Girl’ was the start of something new and exciting. The film was highly successful, and I believe this started the craze of Psychological Thriller novels being adapted into films and TV shows. Now, we see them everywhere! Some of my favourite book to film/TV adaptations include Louise Doughty’s ‘Apple Tree Yard’ (which was made into a BBC series), Emma Donoghue’s Room (which is a fantastic film), and Paula Hawkin’s ‘The Girl On The Train’ (one of the most popular book to film adaptations of the genre). A TV series of Caroline Kepnes’ ‘YOU’ is coming soon to UK Netflix, and I’m really excited to watch it – although I am skeptical.
As primarily a book reader rather than a film viewer, I am always skeptical when a TV series or film is made of one of my favourite books. I worry that the film or TV show will not do the book justice, the characters/acting will fall flat, or generally the film will just not capture the magic of the book. This is especially a worry when it comes to Psychological Thrillers, as the director must capture the suspense and tension within the story, and make the viewer feel scared or anxious.
At the end of the day, film/TV is a totally different medium to books. When reading a book, you have the freedom of your own imagination, and your interpretation of the characters/location/plot are going to be entirely different to somebody else who reads the same book. When watching a film, you DON’T have your own imagination to rely on, and everybody who watches it sees the same things. It’s a tough thing to achieve, but these are some of the books I’d love to see come to life on the screen.
Books I wish were made into films
Sometimes I Lie by Alice Feeney.
‘Sometimes I Lie’ is a claustrophobic, shocking Psychological Thriller all about the ways in which deep-buried secrets can come back to haunt us. The narrative follows the life of Amber Reynolds, who begins the novel in a coma. As the narrative unravels, we travel back in time to that fateful night where everything changed…
I believe that this book really lends itself to film. There are three different narratives, which would be difficult to depict on screen, but it is possible and other films have managed it! The opening of Amber being in a coma, and then the time jumps into the past to discover how she ended up there, would be really visually interesting. Plus I love the story!
The Girl In The Red Coat by Kate Hamer.
‘The Girl In The Red Coat’ is an emotional, moving read all about the disappearance of a young girl. She is taken from her mother whilst out at a festival one day, and the reader sees both Carmel and her mother’s anguish, as they struggle to adapt to their newly-destroyed lives.
This book would make the perfect film, due to the sheer power and emotion of the story. There is so much they could do on screen to depict the emotions experienced, and they could explore both the characters’ lives as they adjust and try to move forwards. I can imagine this film being a real tear-jerker! The story is truly engaging and inspiring, and I’d love to see that translate to the screen.
Friend Request by Laura Marshall.
‘Friend Request’ is an exceptional debut thriller, all about the dangers of social media and how exposing it really is. When Louise Williams receives a friend request on Facebook from her presumed-dead schoolmate Maria Weston, her life is thrown into turmoil. Because somebody is after her, and they want to expose the truth about the night Maria died.
This story is really relevant and topical at the moment, so I believe it would make the perfect film. There’s a growing appetite for films about the power of social media, and I believe that this would be a great addition to that sub-genre. This book is really powerful and captivating, and it’d be interesting to see how they could pull that off on screen. I’d definitely watch it!
Books I wish were made into TV series
Pretty Baby by Mary Kubica.
‘Pretty Baby’ is a claustrophobic, tense psychological thriller, with a moral lesson at its core. When Heidi lets a total stranger into her home, her entire world is turned upside down. She believes she is doing the right thing – but when secrets about Willow’s past begin to emerge, it soon becomes clear that nothing is as it seems…
This would be really interesting as a TV series. Each episode could explore a different aspect of each characters’ lives – as there are multiple characters and narratives within this story. There’s a lot to unpack in this book, which is why I feel that it would lend itself to TV better than to film. The story is fantastic, and I’d be intrigued to see who they would cast as the leads!
He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly.
‘He Said/She Said’ is an exceptional Psychological Thriller, meditating on the difficulties of trust and betrayal. The novel follows the lives of Kit and Laura, whose lives are torn apart after they witness a young girl being attacked. Years later, Kit and Laura struggle to to cope with their anxieties and lead normal lives…and then the events of that night come to the forefront of their lives again.
This story is complex and contains many time shifts, which is why I believe it would work better as TV than film. The book is engaging and captivating, and I’d love to see that translate to the screen! There’s a really interesting element too, as the book explores the theme of solar eclipses, so that would attract a lot of viewers in my opinion! This would be quite a dark TV show, so you’d have to be prepared for that!
Anything You Do Say by Gillian McAllister.
‘Anything You Do Say’ is a compelling Psychological Thriller with a thought-provoking morality at its core. The narrative follows the protagonist Joanna, who is forced to make a life-changing decision when she is involved in a terrible crime. But which path will she take, and will it be the right one?
I have to say, THIS is the TV series I’d be most excited to see out of any of the books I’ve talked about. The narrative is fascinating and very unique, and I think it would work fantastically as TV. Each episode could switch and reveal what happens to Joanna regarding which choice she makes. This wouldn’t work as a film in my opinion, as there wouldn’t be enough time for them to address all of this – but bring on the TV show!
Happy reading 🙂