Did you know that Goodreads has a list of 28,871 books that its users have said should be made into movies, the top ten of which are all YA titles? They are:

  • City of Ashes, by Cassandra Clare
  • Hush, Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick
  • City of Glass, by Cassandra Clare
  • Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare
  • Marked, by P.C. Cast
  • Graceling, by Kristin Cashore
  • Shiver, by Maggie Stiefvater
  • Frostbite, by Richelle Mead
  • I’d Tell I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You, by Ally Carter
  • Matched, by Ally Condie

My Top 10 List of Books That Should Be Made Into Movies

That’s all well and good, and some of those I agree with, but here are the ones that I think should really be added, because they’re not only full of cool, imagined worlds, imaginably handsome and pretty lead characters, but also active plots and engrossing stories:

Starbound trilogy (These Broken Stars, This Shattered World, Their Fractured Light):

I can just imagine the spectacle of a huge, Titanic-like spaceship crashing to the ground of some unpeopled planet, the tension of a Rose-like female lead and a Jack-like male lead, and the pace of a plot that pits them against not only each other, but the life-threatening challenges of a totally unfamiliar planet.

Cover of These Broken Stars with a young, elegant woman and young, handsome man trying to hold hands across the emptiness of space. One book on my top 10 list of books that should be made into movies
Cover of These Broken Stars books with the faces of two random celebrities that a Pinterest pinner thinks should play the lead characters.
These are the actors that Pinterest pinner Lisa Amabile thinks should play the leads.
A young woman and man trying to hold hands across the emptiness of space, behind the words "This Shattered World." One book on my top 10 list of books that should be made into movies
Pictures of two random celebrities, a woman and a man, that a Pinterest pinner should play the parts of the main characters of This Shattered World, One book on my top 10 list of books that should be made into movies
These are the actors that Pinterest pinner Lisa Amabile thinks should play the leads.
I think Charlize Theron and Chris Pyne should be the leads in this one.

Fever Crumb trilogy

I’ve talked about the Mortal Engines series a bit on Goodreads, and the first one of that trilogy was made into a movie by the same name. Because the Fever Crumb trilogy is a prequel to the Mortal Engines series, telling the backstories of some of the main characters but taking place long before Mortal Engines and in very different locales, I think it counts as separate enough to merit a movie of its own. Those backstories are, in some ways, more compelling than the plot of Mortal Engines, in part because they make the books–and, thus, the movies they could be made into–more about the people and less about the constant fighting. That gets a little old for me sometimes.

A Curse So Dark and Lonely

I talked about this book here. This movie would be Beauty and the Beast on steroids, with a modern, teenage, disabled girl as its heroine. Picture a lush but lonely kingdom and dragons with a little bit of Washington, D.C. thrown in.

"A Curse So Dark and Lonely" book cover

Children of Blood and Bone

I raved about this book here (I tend to do that alot!). This movie would be Black Panther…with magic instead of superpowers, an all-black cast, and bigger in scale. I can just picture the scenes this book’s unique magic system and conflict would inspire: big sea battles where the ammunition is magic, grand quests and chases, ancient artifacts coming to life. Plus, this book’s theme, which has to do with the injustice of police killings of unarmed black men, is pretty relevant to today.

"Children of Blood and Bone" across a mass of white hair

Educated

If you’ve read this memoir, you know that, even though it’s extreme, it couldn’t be made-up. It’s a harrowing description of the author’s upbringing in an extremist, survivalist, anarchist household where she received no education and was constantly put in dangerous situations as a matter of course. For her, seeking safety meant fighting against all odds to get an education, which she did: a doctorate from Cambridge. Though it’d be memoir, the movie wouldn’t lack for drama, conflict, or a happy-but-complicated resolution. You can find my full description and review of the book here.

Unearthed

Like I said here, if Unearthed doesn’t get made into a movie someday, I’ll give up on any hope I ever had of Hollywood having good sense. This would Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom set on another planet and involving some high tech…and a younger cast.

Impostors

Although any movie made based on this book would inevitably have to include a lot of battle scenes, it would also have some really cool, unique high tech (think city-building), and characters motivated not just by conflict but also by love and a real desire for peace. Full review here.

This Mortal Coil

This book’s based on the premise that our genes can be hacked. Programmers can help people change the way they look with a few lines of code. In a future where humanity’s been brought almost to extinction by a fast-moving plague, those that have survived have panels (like motherboards) installed right under their skin to heal cuts and bruises and make them taller. But no one except for Catarina Agatta’s father has been able to figure out how to hack the genes that control people’s immunity or decrypt the plague, thus finally providing an effective vaccine, and now he’s dead. She’s got to figure out how to release that decryption to every surviving human being, but the quest to figure that out uncovers secrets about him that she wishes she’d never uncovered.

So, for the movie, picture people with blue skin or feathers, vast underground bunkers, and vicious pigeons, and you’ll begin to see the smorgasbord of fascinating images it would include.

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