book vs movie, discussion

Winter Binge – YA Books Adapted into TV Shows

I don’t know what part of the world you’re reading from, but here it’s been a pretty cold winter lately. We had the hugest snowstorm last Monday in the last 20+ years and were literally buried under snow.

So what does one do on days like that where it’s too cold (or impossible) to go outside?

Why, let’s binge some fun shows, right? And what would be better than a show that is based off of books that were amazing?

Here are a number of TV shows that have been more recently adapted from popular YA novels. Unfortunately I’m not sure where you can watch them based on where you live, but hopefully one or two or these are accessible and pique your interest for a particularly cold winter day for bingeing!

One of Us Is Lying [2021-] (Karen M. McManus)

A brain, an athlete, a princess, a criminal, and a “basket case” walk into detention – but only the first four make it out alive.

An update from Karen McManus recently saying that this show is coming to all international Netflix platforms so if you’re outside of the US, I’m super excited for more audiences to see this. You can read our review of the book here.

Panic [2021] (Lauren Oliver)

No one knows who invented Panic or when it first began. But in the forgotten rural town of Carp, Texas, the game is the only way out. Every summer the graduating seniors risk their lives competing in a series of challenges that force them to confront their deepest fears for the chance to win life-changing money. Anyone can play. Only one will win. Let the games begin.

Perhaps an older book, but the thrilling ride of a crazy game run by teenagers I think adapts well into a TV show format.

Shadow & Bone [2021-] (Leigh Bardugo)

Dark forces conspire against orphan mapmaker Alina Starkov when she unleashes an extraordinary power that could change the fate of her war-torn world.

Season 2 is currently filming! I love the cast so much, including the newest ones added for season 2. They’re what I pictured them to be regardless of the fact that the storyline isn’t exactly as the books are – more like fan fiction as even Leigh described it.

Shadowhunters [2016-2019] (Cassandra Clare)

After her mother disappears, Clary must venture into the dark world of demon hunting, and embrace her new role among the Shadowhunters.

A bit of an unpopular opinion, but I rather liked the movie version starring Lily Collins, though I must say Katherine McNamara portraying Clary isn’t so bad either. This was also filmed in the city I love, Toronto, so that adds extra points for the familiar sights.

Tiny Pretty Things [2020] (Sona Charaipotra & Dhionelle Clayton)

Follows the world of an elite ballet academy, and charts the rise and fall of young adults who live far from their homes, each standing on the verge of greatness or ruin.

Definitely different from the books, especially with the protagonist we follow in the show, but still an altogether interesting story about the hidden dangers within a competitive dance school. Also filmed in Toronto!

Pretty Little Liars [2010-2017] (Sara Shepard)

Four friends band together against an anonymous foe who threatens to reveal their darkest secrets, while also investigating the disappearance of their best friend.

An oldie but a great bingeable show if you haven’t already watched it. Sure, there’s a lot of typical high school drama going on (with plenty of dashes of murder) but it’s definitely entertainment value. Plus really gorgeous fashion on all the girls for the fact that they’re just going to school? You can also look out for the reboot coming out in the near future, Pretty Little Liars: Original Sin.

Nancy Drew [2019-] (Carolyn Keene)

Young Nancy Drew makes plans to leave her hometown for college after high school graduation, but finds herself drawn into a supernatural murder mystery.

You know I love those Nancy Drew books, and I’ve enjoyed the older movie starring Emma Roberts as Nancy. This TV series was super interesting. Also, fun fact: the actress playing Nancy, Kennedy McMann, is the daughter of YA/MG author, Lisa McMann. What a small world!

Hardy Boys [2020-] (Franklin W. Dixon)

When the Hardy boys, Frank and Joe and their father, Fenton arrive in Bridgeport they set out to uncover the truth behind the recent tragedy that has changed their lives, and in doing so, uncover something much more sinister.

I can’t include Nancy Drew without the Hardy Boys. I love that most of the cast is Canadian, and the relationship between the brothers was perfect, all while juggling a mystery with personal ties on their own.

Looking for Alaska [2019] (John Green)

A new arrival at a boarding school falls in love with a beguiling female student.

Probably one of the bigger hits that launched John Green into more fame, this adaptation of this book was different than I expected but also fascinating, particularly with Kristine Froseth as the titular lead.

Cursed [2020] (Thomas Wheeler & Frank Miller)

A teenage sorceress named Nimue encounters a young Arthur on her quest to find a powerful and ancient sword.

While the book may have sucked for many people (I had the ARC prior to the release of book or show), the show may not divide people as much with its take on Arthurian legend. I think the story was always meant better for a show or movie so maybe this is the first that the movie is wayyy better than the book.

Dash & Lily [2020] (Rachel Cohn & David Levithan)

A whirlwind holiday romance builds as cynical Dash and optimistic Lily trade dares, dreams and desires in the notebook they pass back and forth at locations all across New York City.

It may not be Christmas (I probably should’ve posted this in December), but regardless of time of year, this is such a fun and heartwarming story of love and family.

Anne with an E [2017-2019] (L.M. Montgomery)

The adventures of a young orphan girl living in the late 19th century. Follow Anne as she learns to navigate her new life on Prince Edward Island, in this new take on L.M. Montgomery’s classic novels.

I’d like to think Anne is the kinda gal that fits for all ages, especially since I’ve adored her since I was a kid. But I do think she definitely fits into the YA age group as she explores who she is and what her life will be like on the beautiful island of PEI.

Notable Upcoming Releases:

The Summer I Turned Pretty (Jenny Han) [2022]

A love triangle between one girl and two brothers. A story about first love, first heartbreak, and the magic of that one perfect summer.

A scene with the main cast portraying their characters

I Believe in a Thing Called Love (Maurene Goo) [in development]

Red Queen (Victoria Aveyard) [in development]

Vampire Academy (Richelle Mead) [2022]

In a world of privilege and glamour, two young women’s friendship transcends their strikingly different classes as they prepare to complete their education and enter royal vampire society.

Announced Main cast

A Court of Thorns & Roses (Sarah J. Maas) [in development]

Have you watched any of these? Any that pique your interest? Let’s chat in the comments below ❤


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