Some books are practically *begging* to be adapted for the silver screen . . . or streamed as a bingeable new series. Here are our top six picks for YA novels that need a film or TV adaptation ASAP.
The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna
A masterful high fantasy that reads like an epic movie, we’d simply die for a The Gilded Ones film adaptation. Sixteen-year-old Deka prays for red blood that will ensure she can become a member of her village. On the day of the ceremony, her blood is gold, the color of impurity. A mysterious woman gives her a choice: stay and submit to her fate, or journey to the great walled city and seek out the army of near-immortal girls like her—known as the alaki—to fight for the emperor. Featuring complex characters, an incredible heroine, and a rich world with issues that mirror our own, The Gilded Ones would make for one heck of a feature film.
The Black Queen by Jumata Emill
In what would surely become a heralded arthouse horror, The Black Queen tells the spine-chilling tale of the death of Nova Albright, the first Black homecoming queen at Lovett High. Murdered night of her coronation, her body is tragically discovered the next morning in the old slave cemetery she used to spend her weekends fixing up. Duchess Simmons is sure she knows who the killer is: Tinsley McArthur, the wealthy white girl who coveted the homecoming crown. Duchess is determined to prove Tinsley’s the culprit and hatches a dangerous plan to get close to her to get justice for Nova . . . even if her plan proves to be lethal.
House Party edited by justin a. Reynolds
In this equally hilarious and heartbreaking anthology, ten bestselling YA authors weave together interconnected stories about a group of teens who come together one night at a farewell-to-high-school house party no one will soon forget. We could totally see this becoming a hit comedy series or even a super fun movie as it’s got everything you could ever want: drama, secrets, kisses, and, of course, an absolutely epic rager at a mega mansion in one of Chicago’s wealthiest suburbs.
The Borrow a Boyfriend Club by Page Powars
This feel-good, swoon-worthy rom-com would absolutely make an instant teen film classic. Trans teen Noah Byrd just wants to be seen as “one of the boys,” and he’s willing to do anything to prove himself to his classmates. He interviews to join his school’s secretive Borrow a Boyfriend Club—cleverly disguised as an Italian Club—in which members rent themselves out for dates. Unfortunately, he totally fails his interview but gets a second chance to prove himself when he strikes a deal with the club’s annoyingly attractive president, Asher. In exchange for helping them with the annual talent show, Noah can try his hand at romancing Asher himself, which might go better than either expects when feelings start to grow between them. The issue is, the club only has one rule: no real boyfriends (or girlfriends) allowed.
The Fear by Natasha Preston
Fans of Pretty Little Liars and Gossip Girl, listen up: this terrifying bestseller would make one for heck of a riveting, binge-worthy teen thriller series. All around shy girl Izzy’s small fishing town, her classmates are sharing their worst fears through a seemingly innocuous viral meme. Then one by one, those classmates start turning up dead, each killed by the thing they fear they most. The murderer’s motive is gruesome, and unfortunately for Izzy, they don’t plan to stop until the whole town is dead.
Alma Presses Play by Tina Cane
Period pieces are awesome, especially when they’re set in contemporary times with super strong aesthetics like the ’80s. Picture this: a gritty coming-of-age film about a half Chinese, half Jewish teen named Alma who is always listening to her Walkman and spends her days hanging out with her friends on the stoops of the Village and biking around the streets of New York. (We can already hear the incredible soundtrack.) Lyrical and poignant, Alma’s life is full of changes and endings: friends move away, romances die, and her parents divorce, and she’s struggling to make sense of it all and find a place to land. It’s the kind of story that would translate spectacularly on-screen, and is definitely worth a read on its own as it’s written in mesmerizing, lyrical verse.