Books on the Big/Small Screen 2017

Posted February 27, 2017 by Tara in Review /// 3 Comments

You guys, there are so many books coming to both the big and small screen this year. I don’t think I’ve ever been so excited about all the bookish things I’ll get to watch this year. Of course, I figured I’d share the love by letting you all know about some of the most exciting book-to-TV and book-to-movie adaptations we can look forward to in the coming months.

I think what makes me most excited is that several of these are Netflix and Hulu original TV series, meaning the book’s content is spread over several episodes. This model finds a happy medium between cramming everything into a movie (where key details are often left out) or extending them unnecessarily through an ongoing TV show (eg, Pretty Little Liars, which deviates heavily from the books). Though the Netflix and Hulu series could potentially extend the universe of the book into new content in later seasons, I get the sense that these series are meant to act as stand-alone adaptations of their source content. I love that some of my favorite stories can not only come to life on the screen, but also potentially find new audiences through the hype of being featured on these streaming sites.

So, without further ado, here are the adaptations I’m most excited for this year

Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher (TV: Netflix Original Series)

Though I read the book waaaaaay back in 2007 (because I’m a hipster like that), I’ve been waiting for this to be a movie since the day I turned the final page. There’s something about the format of this that just screamed for it to be presented beyond the page — but I never would have dreamed that we’d get a full mini-series adaptation! I’m thrilled that Netflix has decided to devote adequate time to each of Hannah Baker’s tapes/reasons. However, I do have to confess that I remember very little about the actual events of the story beyond Clay’s tape and the final tape. Watching this may feel like reading it for the first time all over again. I wrote a brief review of the book in the very early days of my blog that you should check out if you want to know more!

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood (TV: Hulu Original Series)

Y’all, I love The Handmaid’s Tale so much that I named one of my wedding tables after the book. I’ve known this was coming to the small screen for some time now, so seeing an actual release date makes me even more anxious to watch. It’s just an added bonus that we get the story in a series rather than a single film! The timing here couldn’t be better, either. With Trump’s recent election and the current political climate in America, I feel like we need this story (cautionary tale?) to reach a broader audience.

Famous in Love by Rebecca Serle (TV: Free Form/Hulu)

This one is just plain fun. Again, this novel is coming to life as a series rather than a movie. Is this a trend we can continue? I love it. While Famous In Love is not my favorite book in the world, it should make a fun little ABC Family series that I can watch when I just need something light. The story is about a girl who lands the lead role in the movie version of a YA love triangle trilogy of books, and she falls in love with both male leads while trying to balance her new-found stardom. It’s basically my own biggest teenage fulfillment dreams realized in a novel. Adult me is a little more cynical, but I’ll still watch. Check out my review of the first and second books if you want to know more!

The Circle by Dave Eggers (Movie)

I loved this dystopian novel, and I can’t wait to see Emma Watson take up the role of its lead character, Mae, on the big screen. I flew through this book when I first read it, which is no surprise — it has been called a “modern 1984” many times over. The Circle tells the story of a young woman who begins what appears to be her dream job at a Google-esque company. However, she quickly realizes that the company’s goals take technology and surveillance to a frightening place. With Tom Hanks and Emma Watson in the leads for the film, this should be worth paying for a movie ticket! Check out my review of the book if you want to know more.


The Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie (Movie)

I’ve seen the old versions of this movie on TV, but I never imagined the classic novel would be made into a film again. Daisy Ridley and Johnny Depp star in this updated film, and I hope the whole thing is an over-the-top, art deco visual feast! There aren’t many details about the film yet, as it comes out in late 2017, but I will definitely be re-reading the novel in anticipation. I don’t care if I already know the twist ending — this is one story worth reading again and again.

Anne of Green Gables by LM Montgomery (TV: Netflix)

I’m a little hesitant about a new Anne, as I am so fond of the Megan Follows version with Jonathan Crombie (RIP!) as Gilbert Blythe. But even though I don’t feel that I will love this the way I loved the version from my childhood, I’ll still tune in to watch when it comes to Netflix on May 12. Cross you fingers that the new adaptation does the series justice!

Honorable Mentions

The above adaptations are all for books I’ve read, but I’m also excited about a few movies and shows coming out this year for books that are on my TBR list. I like to read the book before seeing the movie, so these should light the fire under me to read these books already!

The Dinner by Herman Koch (Movie)

Someone recommended this to me when I read (and loved) We Need to Talk About Kevin. F’ed up families, dirty secrets, and lies are very in now (Suburban Noir, I guess?), and this film is jumping on the bandwagon. Just like I happily watched Gone Girl and Girl On The Train, I think I’ll be checking this one out.

Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon (Movie)

I’ve been hesitant to read this book because of the controversy over the ending (and the very fact that I’ve had the ending spoiled for me already). But the movie looks so cute and I know it’s one that a well-read YA fan needs to read. Time to buy the book and prepare for the premier!

So those are just a few of the book-to-screen adaptations I’m looking forward to this year. I know there are many more things coming out that I also want to see, and possibly a few that I missed. Did I miss a favorite of yours? Let me know in the comments — I’m always looking for something to watch or go see!


Tara is a PhD student studying education. Her dissertation will be on digital book communities as public pedagogy (ask her about it!), though she often takes a break from all of that to read books about oppressive governments and sassy teenagers. In a former life, she was a middle school teacher and middle school librarian. In her future life, she's a professor of YA lit. In her free time, she drinks a lot of coffee while planning her next grand adventure (there's always something).

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3 responses to “Books on the Big/Small Screen 2017

  1. I am currently watching 13 Reasons Why (in tape 3 somewhere). My (work) partner raved about how good it is at handling the aftermath of suicide – which my family has lived through, three times – so I wanted to see how they handled and delivered this tough topic. I also really want to see Murder on the Orient Express. Definitely seeing in theatre!

    • I’ll be interested to hear what you think of it, since my Facebook wall is filled with controversy over the series. A lot of people think it’s irresponsible, while others found it moving and important. I’ve finished the series (I watched it in two days!) and thought it was faithful to the mood and plot of the books .

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