For those of you living under a rock, Hulu just announced their plan to release Sarah J. Maas’s Throne of Glass series as a TV program. Despite never having read the books, I’m still incredibly excited for what this means to YA going forward. Just imagine it. A world where all our favorite stories get picked up for adaptations. Is it not the most beautiful thing ever? Anyways, in the interest of letting Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu to know where I stand, I’ve compiled this list. A list that contains five books, all of which would make excellent programming. They just need to make it happen. So without further ado…let’s cut to the books!
1.Cinder by Marissa Meyer
Though I only read book one in the Cinder series, its potential as a TV program was immediately apparent. Marissa Meyer’s debut is a unique brand of fantasy, one that would appease hard core fans of the genre…and softies like me. But what you might really be wondering is why I would even give such an idea a chance. I mean clearly I was not a fan of this story in print. However I think it would transcend so much better on screen, where all four novels could run concurrently. This way a viewer could connect to multiple narratives at once, instead of holding out hope things get better. That’s the main reason I never continued on with the books. The potential just wasn’t enough, even as the series got progressively better reviews. Moreover, it’s just a really cool idea with massive appeal. You have Once Upon a Time fans on one side, bookworms on the other, and anyone who loves strong protagonists, all uniting together. Now that is a lot of very loyal, very passionate fans to tap into. It’s just a matter of time before some genius (aka yours truly) pulls it all together.
2.The Luxe by Anna Godbersen
Despite my belief that historical fiction is the greatest thing since sliced bread, many a fellow bookworm disagree. But strangely enough, they adore said stories when they appear in screen format. Unexplainable. Just absolutely unexplainable. But history is history, whether it’s appearing in ink or pixels. So with that being said, there’s a series I think would be immensely successful should it appear on our TV boxes. And that is Anna Godbersen The Luxe. The main plotline follows a Kardashian-esque social hierarchy, set in the 1900s. Back stabbing occurs in droves. Pretty prom dresses persist in all promotional material. What’s not to love? Though it does discuss some pretty interesting topics of the time (think Downton Abbey for 16 year olds), Godbersen generally keeps things light. And while this would be tedious for fans of the genre, there’s a huge demographic who’d adore it. Though I generally think we should hold fiction to a high caliber of depth, this just might be an exception. I really am all for tricking people into learning about the past. Also, no denying, that pitch I gave for The Luxe sounds pretty darn appealing!
3.No One Else Can Have You by Kathleen Hale
No way around it, Kathleen Hale’s debut is a weird little book. Too weird, honestly, to be successful on page. I often felt while reading that in an effort to be off beat, Hale sacrificed genuine credibility. But if TV shows like Fargo have taught me anything, it’s that the screen can be kind to such stories. There’s often ample space for concurrent threads to weave together, and thus fleshes them out in a more organic way. With that a plot goes from WTH to award winning quirky, doing wonders for a book like this. I can see No One Else Can Have You working very well as an anthology series, similar to the aforementioned show. It could focus on the far from normal residents of Friendship, Wisconsin, and the murder that shakes the town. Think in the vein of Twin Peaks. Similarly, protagonist Kit was woefully unrelatable in print, so taking the focus off her would do wonders for the overall likability of the show. Anyways, just two cents from a wannabe showrunner.
4.Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick
Shows like The Walking Dead have taken off in a major way recently. People obviously want to watch the apocalypse unfold- in all of its gritty, grim, entirely unfun ways. Ilsa J. Bick’s Ashes could be an unlikely addition to that tribe, fitting all the necessary prerequisites to a tee. The first book follows a world where an EMT has fried all electricity, altering the brain chemistry of young people as well. MC Alex must maneuver herself, and two companions, to an increasingly ominous safe zone. But after narrowly avoiding peril time and time again, she may find herself in a situation worse than certain death. Right off the bat it follows a must have formula; survival, safety, and the inevitable collapse of humanity in such a world. The quest for these things will drive the show, but the built in conflict/moral dilemma offers added depth. Moreover, Ashes is no cheap replica of success. It presents many of its own, unique ideas to build off of; and may surprise skeptics with Bick’s innovation. I swear, the second you read this story it will all come together!
5.The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle
As I described in detail with No One Else Can Have You, Moira Fowley Doyle’s debut was too strange for me. It’s not that I have such an inherent hatred of magical realism, but too often authors think flatout bizarre equates artsy and innovative. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t. I am curious however, to see what a showrunner’s take on such a book would be. Could they interpret the ‘accident season’ as a paranormal event, in the vein of Under the Dome? Or a more ambitious approach, to be the first television series to have a magical realist, plotline. The latter would be intense (aka awesome), though extremely difficult to portray on screen. But just imagine it. We’d get so much more depth on the origins, as well as an abundance of TV only storylines. It would also be the kind of adaptation that branches off into totally new directions, creating something entirely unique. Such innovation just spells Emmy, and the winner need not credit me for the inspiration.
What are your thoughts on Hulu’s recent announcement? Any books you’d love to see hit the screen? Let me know in the comments!
-Keep Calm and Read On