Or we’d watch on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Yahoo Originals or any online streaming service, really.
Recently it was reported that HarperCollins struck a deal with Insurrection Media to option and develop their books for TV or digital originals, you know, like Netflix shows. The first book that is being developed under this deal is a YA book because clearly the suits know what’s good. Mila 2.0 by Debra Driza is currently in the works to be made into a show and we’re down with that because that book is about a girl who doesn’t realize she’s an android!
In light of this news, we’re here to offer Hollywood (and our bosses upstairs) some other options from the HarperCollins bookshelf that would be epic TV shows.
1. Legacy of Kings by Eleanor Herman
Similar TV Shows: Game of Thrones, Rome, Outlander, Reign
What the YA world (and the rest of the world for that matter) needs is another Game of Thrones-type show to fill the inevitable void that plagues us after each season of the hit HBO show. There are a lot of YA fantasy books out there that could fill this role, but we think Legacy of Kings would actually be the closest and best option as a Game of Thrones replacement. This book is a re-imagining of Alexander the Great as a teenager and has a HUGE cast of characters and spans multiple different continents, has magic elements, tons of action and fight scenes and all the romance you could ask for. The best part is, we heard the rights to this book were already sold so now it just needs to happen. MAKE IT HAPPEN, PEOPLE.
2. Front Lines by Michael Grant
Similar TV Shows: The Man in the High Castle, Band of Brothers, Bletchley Circle
There hasn’t been an amazing show about World War 2 since Band of Brothers and The Pacific and we’re ready to change that. We can totally picture Front Lines by Michael Grant as a beautiful mini-series made for one of the fancier cable networks or Hulu. The book is re-imagining of WW2 is women could enlist and fight in the war and the plot follows three different girls and their journey to enlist, train and enter the war. And that’s just the first book. Front Lines is the first book in a series which means TV producers will have plenty of source material to work with, and it would certainly be a first for TV. And with all the popularity for Amazon’s The Man in the High Castle right now, I don’t see how Hollywood executives could turn down something like Front Lines!
3. Avalon by Mindee Arnett
Similar TV Shows: Firefly, Battlestar Galactica, Cowboy Bebop
Remember when space operas used to dominate the airwaves with Star Trek and all of its spin offs and BSG and Firefly? Well, we propose Hollywood bring back the space opera. Why not? Star Wars is back in action, and we’re getting space-set movies every year lately with Gravity, Interstellar and The Martian, so why not bring that to the silver (or digital) screen? To the people with Decision Making Powers reading this, we urge you to read and then produce a show based on Avalon by Mindee Arnett. It’s just a two book series which means it’s already finished which means you don’t have to wait until the author
George R.R. Martin finishes the story. The book is about a group of teenage space pirates that is very reminiscent of Firefly and even Cowboy Bebop.
4. How to Love by Katie Cotugno
Similar TV Shows: The Secret Life of the American Teenager, Teen Mom, Jane the Virgin
You know how that Showtime show The Affair is told in a present and past and he-said, she-said format? What if there was a teen version of that show that was decidedly less depressing and was more hopeful? That show could be How to Love by Katie Cotugno! The book is about two teens who fall into a messy love and then one day the guy leaves the girl and doesn’t look back. Three years later, the girl now has a three year old daughter and out of the blue, the baby daddy shows back up and complications and mixed emotions ensue. A contemporary show like this would be golden on a network like Freeform, MTV or The CW but we could also see it working really well on a digital platform like Hulu!
5. The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney
Similar TV Shows: Gotham, Daredevil, Supergirl, Arrow
This little, underrated gem of a book would be perfect for Hulu or Amazon Prime to rival Netflix’s Jessica Jones or Daredevil. The Brokenhearted by Amelia Kahaney is a teen novel that is basically the result if Batman and The Bionic Woman got busy and had a book baby. Set in the ruined fictional landscape of Bedlam, a Gotham-like city, this duology is about a girl named Anthem Fleet who ends up with a bionic heart in her chest, because of reasons, and now has these killer powers. Thanks to her mechanical heart, she can run faster, jump higher, fight better, all making her the best weapon Bedlam has against crime!
6. The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness
Similar TV Shows: I can’t think of any, but maybe you can in the comments below?
Do you remember watching Buffy and wondering why no one else in the high school ever seems to know about all the supernatural crap happening or ever actually gets involved except to die when the Big Bad blows up the school? So, what if you aren’t the Chosen One like Buffy or Katniss? The one who’s supposed to fight the zombies, or the soul-eating ghosts, or whatever the heck this new thing is, with the blue lights and the death? That is exactly the story that Patrick Ness tells in The Rest of Us Just Live Here. So imagine a show about regular, normal teenagers who live in a world where all this crazy stuff is happening around them and they’re just like, trying to get through Monday, man. Wouldn’t that be a fun/funny show to watch? I know I’d watch it.
7. Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter
Similar TV Shows: iZombie, Once Upon a Time
Alice in Wonderland + Zombies = RATINGS GOLD. I don’t really have to say more, do I? Okay, fine, I will. Just imagine the ridiculous sets and costumes that would be on a TV show based on Alice in Zombieland by Gena Showalter! The book isn’t so much of a retelling of Alice in Wonderland as it is an homage to it, but I’m pretty sure TV execs could change some things around and make it a bit more of a straight retelling (you know, ’cause you gotta hook in those viewers!) And since there are four books in the series, show writers will have plenty of source material to work with! I hope you are paying attention to this blog post, Hulu!
8. Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Similar TV Shows: The 100, Misfits
Well the good thing about the Shatter Me book series by Tahereh Mafi is that this has already been optioned for TV by ABC Signature Studios with Tahereh on board as a Consulting Producer. But until we actually see the show IRL, we’re going to list it here because we all know that when movie or TV rights are acquired for a book it’s wonderful news, but it doesn’t always mean that a show will actually happen. Dear ABC Signature Studios, here’s why you need to make this show happen: Go read chapter 62 in book 2, Unravel Me. *every YA book lover reading this is nodding their heads in unison to this*
9. The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight
Similar TV Shows: True Detective, The Bridge, The Leftovers
Everyone loves a good mystery show, especially when you have absolutely no clue as to whodunit and every episode ends on a cliffhanger. The Outliers by Kimberly McCreight (she wrote that mega-bestseller Reconstructing Amelia) would be the perfect book to adapt for a teen version of True Detective or Twinpeaks. The Outliers is the first in a trilogy (the first book goes on sale in May) and it’s about a girl whose best friend goes missing and she must figure out where she is and who took her, but just when you think you’ve read something like this before, the story takes a VERY SHARP left turn and gets weirder and crazier. Please make this one into a show, Netflix!
10. Die for Me by Amy Plum
Similar TV Shows: The Vampire Diaries, Shadowhunters, Teen Wolf
The whole paranormal thing might not be all that popular in the YA book world right now, but with the success of shows like The Vampire Diaries (oh look, that’s based on a Harper book too!) and Supernatural, we believe a show based on the popular Die for Me series by Amy Plum would be a big hit. Set in the ultra gorgeous city of Paris, Die for Me introduces a new version of the undead with revenants, beings who are fated to sacrifice themselves over and over again to save others’ lives. When Kate falls for Vincent, a revenant, she must choose between a normal life—or the love of her life. This series is very sexy and filled with all the drama and intrigue any nighttime (or digital) soap opera could ask for!
What other YA books would you add to this list? Tell us in the comments below!