TV Show and Movie Recs Based on Your Favorite Books
Updated: Jul 26
While I will always be the fondest of books, I also have a soft spot for tv shows and movies. Usually, I can't squeeze as many of either into my everyday life as I would like so I inevitably end up binging one or the other on Netflix after a period of abstinence. All of this leads to late-night marathons, not the exercise kind, as I veg on the couch with a remote in one hand and popcorn in the other.
In my long love affair with both, it recently came to my attention I had yet to incorporate my love of tv shows and movies into my book blog. I mean I know my blog is primarily book based but I truly had never thought about bringing it together with my love of shows and movies. An unacceptable realization for me as a die-hard TV junky.
It got me thinking about how I wanted to go about combining my two great loves of books plus TV and movies. I then decided a recommendation post for shows and movies based on books would be the perfect fix. I obviously have my all-time favorite shows I'd love to talk about one day, looking at The Vampire Diaries, but today we're going purely for TV and movie recs based on your favorite books.
Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Red, White & Royal Blue has quickly risen to become one of my newest favorite books. I haven't read as many LGBTQ+ books in my life as I'd have liked, especially considering I'm bisexual, because growing up I didn't have a community I could talk to about the kind of representation I wanted. This means now that I'm older I want to make up for all the lost time and I'm glad I picked up Red, White & Royal Blue.
In case you're unaware, Red, White, & Royal Blue follows the cute romance between the first son of America and a British prince. Their romance is nothing short of historical and charmingly hilarious. Casey McQuiston spares no punches with her abrupt humor.
The show I would recommend for lovers of Red, White & Royal Blue is the modern remake of One Day At A Time. It just finished its 4th season after a transfer from Netflix to PopTV and is as fun, heartwarming, and impactful as ever. The show follows a Latinx family as they navigate their life in America which reminds me similarly of Alex's background. The teenage daughter is also an incredibly well-written LGBTQ+ character in the same character type as Alex.
Pretty Little Liars
I read Pretty Little Liars approximately a decade ago so bear with me. I did love the books and found them to be a great choice for teenage me. Sadly, as a teenager, I had the attention span of a walnut and couldn't stay focused as I got to book 10ish to find they were still being published.
This doesn't mean I don't still have an appreciation for the books. It was the first-ever series of ebooks I bought after all. I started off as a fan of the show and then moved to the books, which I will readily admit I dropped both around the same time - again the attention span of a walnut.
Of course, when creating this post the obvious choice for a recommendation is the already existing TV adaption of the books but today we're going past that selection. The book and show, despite their differences, both feature a group of girls who are being stalked and tormented by the mysterious 'A'.
My recommendation for a tv show or movie if you enjoyed PLL is Netflix's Secret Obsession. Secret Obsession follows a character played by Brenda Song, a childhood throwback star, as she recovers from amnesia following a traumatic event with the help of her husband. I won't spoil it but you'll have to trust me when I say this movie has massive stalking vibes and all the twists you could want in a lifetime movie channel-esque way.
Belly Up by Eva Darrows
Belly Up by Eva Darrows is an under-appreciated book that I will champion until the end of time. I figured I would throw it on the list and maybe if you enjoy the show I recommend for it you'll decide to give the book a shot. Think of it as bookish reverse psychology.
Belly Up by Evas Darrows is an awesome intersectional feminist YA rom-com with a diverse cast and plenty of shenanigans. It showed representation for groups I'd never seen portrayed in media so honestly, on all that alone I urge you to read it. I'm not even joking.
The show I would compare Belly Up to is a modern revamp of Gilmore Girls - like GG but more inclusive. I love GG more than life in a nostalgic sense so that is high praise coming from me. Sure there are definitely some plot discrepancies between the two but at their core they share a similar heart and laugh out loud humor.
Both Gilmore Girls and Belly Up follow a kickass matriarchal family with ensuing funniness. Women lead books and shows are the best anytime but in these ones particularly it works. Their shared generational connections and the ability to play up an exaggeration of those relationships shines through.
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh
The Beautiful by Renee Ahdieh was a book I squeezed in at the last second before the end of 2019, simpler times for sure. I'm happy I did because it became one of my favorite reads of the year. It blew away all my expectations and brought vampires back better than ever.
My summary of The Beautiful is, picture it, New Orleans, 1800s, and vampires. Perfection in a series. I will die on the hill that it is the best vampire book I've ever read - sorry in advance to Twilight fans. Renee Ahdieh's vivid descriptions and storytelling lay a base for the epic events that take place within the book's pages.
My recommendation for a show or movie based on The Beautiful may not be my most groundbreaking choice but I'll stand by it. The Originals, and the universe it's set in, is one of my favorite shows and it has major The Beautiful vibes. It's a combination of vampires and New Orleans, much like its book pairing, and follows all the drama in a lavish setting.
Aside from vampires and New Orleans, The Originals also displays similar character types of jaded vampires and strong, curious women. There's no doubt in my mind The Beautiful and The Originals make the best compliments of one another. If you want a great vampire story with top-notch vibes I recommend both.
I've Got My Eyes On You by Mary Higgins Clarke // Or Any Mary Higgins Clarke Book
I'm a die-hard Mary Higgins Clarke fan and I have been since I was a kid. My grandma used to buy trash bags filled with books from the library for $0.50 a bag. She would then send me home with an armful of the bargain books in my tiny arms. Mary Higgins Clarke wrote the first full-length novel I ever read and I wouldn't have it any other way. It laid down the foundation for my love of reading and the mystery genre.
We all know Mary Higgins Clarke is the queen of mystery so I absolutely needed to combine it with my love of true crime. My recommendation if you love anything Mary Higgins Clarke is the reboot of Unsolved Mysteries. The update features killer unsolved mysteries as its predecessor did in a more documentary style. I thank the creator every day they ditched the cheesy graphics and reenactments of the original.
In terms of how it goes with Mary Higgins Clarke books, Unsolved Mysteries spins tales of mysteries of all kinds, from murder to missing person to paranormal. The stories are gripping and enthralling in the same fashion as any Mary Higgins Clarke book. They are done in the same matter of fact, journalist approach as her books with hints of possibilities scattered throughout.
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