Bound for the Screen- 6 Steven Spielberg Ready Books You Need to Read Now

This Top Ten Tuesday (hosted over at the Broke & the Bookish) is all about books we want to see as movies. Talk about an impossible choice! But even amongst so many options, I think I’ve picked some real winners, all of which are destined for Oscars success. Each have some aspect I feel would translate well to the screen, be it the characters, romance, or endless action. In some instances I’ve even taken it upon myself to name a director (how kind am I 😉 ) So without further ado…let’s cut to the books!

Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys

Ruta Sepetys’ debut novel, Between Shades of Gray, is currently being adapted to the big screen. Filmed under the name Ashes in the Snow, I’m EXTREMELY pumped to see how everything comes together- especially now that I’ve been taunted by photos of production on her Twitter. That excitement dulls though in comparison to my want need for a movie adaptation of Out of the Easy. As a matter of fact, I would consider going into film myself; simply so I can ensure this lofty project is underfoot. You know, with all the tender love and care it deserves. And because I’m a connoisseur of all things historical fiction, I can personally tell you a movie like this has never been made before! There’s mystery, there’s romance, there’s a kick butt heroine… what more could you ask for? Couple that with the seedy French Quarter setting, and you have a perfect portrayal of 1950’s tantalizing underbelly. Granted not all great books are destined for Oscar success, but Sepetys is a rare breed of author in the way she packs each page of her story with endless detail. This creates several alleyways a director could turn in order to capture the tale they’re interested in telling. Tell me I’m not alone in my stance.  

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

Summer 2014- The Fault in Our Stars. Summer 2016- Me Before You. Summer 2018- Eleanor & Park??? I think so. No one may die in Rainbow Rowell’s tale of first love and ‘80s nostalgia, but you’d be hard pressed to find a young woman leaving the theatre with dry eye’s. Naysayers may say the appeal of E&A ends with seventeen year old girls, but I think not. First you have the MILLIONS of Rowell fans who’ve propelled it to the Bestseller list since 2013, then there’s their non-reader friends who they drag along (adolescents do nothing alone), and couple that with their boyfriends who- in the scheme of chick flicks -don’t think it’s that bad. On the Hollywood side of things there’s the director who now has enough money for their fifth beach house, and an Asian actor who finally gets to head the season’s hottest blockbuster, #diversity.  It’s a win win for everybody! Some reasons why I would personally find myself at the midnight screening include seeing the ‘80s-tastic setting captured on the big screen (what can I say? I’m a sucker for good history), and the experience of reliving the amazing characters come to life again. Eleanor and Park are such complex and nuanced people that it would really show a young actors burgeoning chops. Fingers crossed for many years of Rowell book to movie adaptations.

Not a Drop to Drink by Mindy McGinnis

It’s no secret that post apocalyptic movies are hot right now, and I think Not a Drop to Drink would be a great addition to that trend. The setting- one where the world has experienced a major drought for the last decade- has a kind of timeless horror acutely similar to our current world. Moreover, it’s action packed in a way that still allows growth for character growth and quality storytelling…aka the perfect combination. But all this pales in comparison to the amazing protagonist that is Lynn. She’s kick butt and flawed and entirely deserving of an entire movie to tell her story. Way cooler than Katniss, if that gives you any idea of how much moviegoers would love her. Plus, the same way Hollywood is always in need of more diverse leads, they could also stand a dose of ladies leading the action films. Honestly everyone just needs to read this book and see for themselves what I’m talking about.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

The Night Circus isn’t quite magical realism, but it definitely incorporates more elements of the surreal than your average fantasy. And as the aforementioned genre gets more and more attention on the big screen, I think it’s time for a director to tackle Erin Morgenstern eccentric debut. It would definitely be a big budget production, akin to that of Avatar, but with great risk comes great reward. Just imagine the circus setting coming to life before our own eyes: the contortionist and fire eaters and merry go rounds. It’s such an atmospheric story, and I would love to see how a different storyteller interprets all of the other worldly happenings. Oh, and who can forget the romance? It’s dramatic in only the way a life or death conflict can deliver, and will totally get you caught up in the feels. The actors who portray Marco and Celia would have to have a light touch, but they for sure have plenty of material to work with. The only downside to this adaptation? It may draw Morgenstern away from writing a second novel.

Passenger by Alexandra Bracken

I know this series has yet to be concluded, but I already vote for it to be made into a movie. Now that’s a vote of confidence! However anyone who’s read Passenger knows exactly what I’m talking about. It’s original, fast paced, comical, and yes, it’s historical fiction! As comes with the territory of 400+ page books, there’s a ton of material for a director to work with. But the part I’m absolutely most looking forward to? The romance of course! It truly is the star of the show in this book. Largely, this is owed to Nicholas and Etta (whom I totally ship) and just the strength of their individual characters in the dynamic. Both are very flawed, but so relatable that you’ll root for them from the very first page. On screen it’ll be a necessity they’re portrayed by a strong lead, however I have hope that the right actor is out there. Alexandra Bracken’s first trilogy, The Darkest Minds, is already set to hit the screen in a year, and I can only hope the producers decide to pick this one up as well.

The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Though I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Scorpio Races in print, I think it has massive potential to translate well on screen. Its success hinges on the atmosphere a director can build (think dark, dreary, post war Ireland), so with that in mind I nominate Steven Spielberg to front this project. I don’t ask for a lot, you know? 🙂 But seriously, this story is right up his alley. It contains every aspect of an epic tale, and really transports a reader (or movie goer) to the moment. Add in the Irish folklore and you have a story with hardcore depth, the kind not usually seen amongst your average new releases. And just think about how awesome flesh eating water horses would look on screen. Finally, similar to what I mentioned with Not a Drop to Drink, Puck is about as tough of a protagonist as they come. The power behind each of her thoughts and actions will surely transfix the audience, hooking them heart and soul into her plight.

What books do you want to see as movies? Do you agree with my list? Let me know in the comments!

-Keep Calm and Read On

2 thoughts on “Bound for the Screen- 6 Steven Spielberg Ready Books You Need to Read Now

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