Read It before You See It in 2024

By Elise Damasco

These books are being adapted for film or TV shows. Read them before the shows are released!

  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

    2009 by Maguire, Gregory

    Although Wicked is widely recognized as a musical about two witches from the Land of Oz, it was first published as a novel in 1995. The novel is the first of a four-book series that explores themes of good versus evil. The upcoming 2024 movie, starring Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande, is the first in a two-part adaptation.

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  • It Ends with Us

    2016 by Hoover, Colleen

    Although Colleen Hoover has been publishing novels for more than a decade, her popularity skyrocketed in the past few years due to social media trends. This, her most popular novel, is an emotional romance that tackles difficult topics such as abuse and dysfunctional families. The movie adaptation stars Blake Lively.

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  • The Lightning Thief

    2005 by Riordan, Rick

    Unlike the 2010 movie adaptation of this book, the new TV show adaptation of this beloved mythology-based series has fans excited due to Rick Riordan’s involvement in its creation—if you love page-to-screen titles, you know it’s always a good thing when the author has a say in production! If you’re not familiar with Percy Jackson, try this series if you like action and adventure, brave characters, and Greek mythology.

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  • Harold and the Purple Crayon

    1955 by Johnson, Crockett

    Almost 70 years after its publication, this imaginative picture book about a four-year-old’s adventures is getting a movie adaptation. This book has had quite a few page-to-screen attempts dating all the way back to 1992, but its theater release is finally scheduled for this year (however, this is the third time it’s been scheduled for release).

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  • The Three-Body Problem

    2014 by Liu, Cixin

    This sci-fi novel, set during China’s Cultural Revolution, is the first book in an intricately plotted series about humans coming into contact with an alien civilization. It will be adapted into a television series.

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  • The Two Towers: Being the Second Part of The Lord of the Rings

    1993 by Tolkien, J. R. R.

    The Lord of the Rings already got movie adaptations a while ago, but the upcoming adaptation, entitled The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim, will be an animated film. It will take place 183 years before The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

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  • Boy Swallows Universe

    2019 by Dalton, Trent

    12-year-old Eli dreams of being a journalist, but sometimes life throws other things at you. Set in the working-class suburb of Brisbane, the book explores drugs, crime, and violence, while remaining humorous and bittersweet. Based on semi-autobiographical details, it is a coming-of-age novel with heart. It is now also a Netflix series.

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  • Fool Me Once

    2016 by Coben, Harlan

    When Maya, a former special ops pilot, sees footage on her nanny cam of her husband playing with their two-year-old daughter, she knows that can’t be right—because her husband had been murdered two weeks ago. Full of questions, secrets, and deception, this twisty thriller has been recently adapted into a Netflix series.

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  • The Expatriates

    2016 by Lee, Janice Y. K.

    Set in Hong Kong, this novel follows three American expat women, all with their own unique struggles, whose lives become intertwined. It focuses on themes such as friendship, identity, and community, and has been adapted into a television mini-series titled Expats.

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  • The Outrun

    2017 by Liptrot, Amy

    Amy Liprot finds herself back home on Orkney as she tries to come to terms with her addiction in this reflective memoir. Grounded in a strong sense of place, this memoir is perfect for readers who enjoy nature writing and recovery stories. The film’s screenplay is cowritten by the book’s author and stars Saoirse Ronan.

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  • The Watchers

    2021 by Shine, A. M.

    Borrowing from Irish folklore, this suspenseful horror novel/soon-to-be-movie dives into the supernatural after Mina is left stranded in a forest, where she eventually becomes trapped in a concrete bunker. But she is not alone—there are other trapped strangers, and among them are the very creatures holding them captive.

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  • Heartstopper

    2020 by Alice Oseman

    This sweet coming-of-age graphic novel series is known for its awkward but charming exploration of teen relationships, friendships, sexuality, and mental illness. Although it started off as a web comic in 2016, Heartstopper has come a long way, with Season 3 of the TV show being released this year.

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