While enthralled by a great read, who among us has not fan-cast its characters and imagined what a pleasure it would be to see the story played out on a screen?
Over the last few years, Netflix has become a major player for book-to-film adaptions, tackling numerous popular young adult novels, from fantasy favorites like Shadow and Bone to charming contemporary rom-coms like To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, Heartstopper, and Dumplin’. Viewers devoured them… and now we want more! So, without further delay, we give you (and the development execs over at Netflix) ten young adult books that Netflix should be required to adapt immediately.
Co-written by real-life married couple Alyson Derrick and Rachael Lippincott, this dual-POV rom-com is loosely based on their own relationship and has already become a BookTok favorite in the few short months since its release.
Plus, it’s enemies to lovers! Plus PLUS, it’s a college-aged. Plus to the third power, it’s Sapphic. Netflix, get on it!
Leah Johnson’s debut novel, about a queer Southern Black girl who decides to run for prom queen because of the $10,000 scholarship that will be awarded to the winner of the contest, was named one of TIME Magazine’s best 100 YA books of all time, but that’s not the only reason we need a Netflix adaptation, like, right now.
You Should See Me In a Crown is one of those books that’s an absolutely joyful to read from start to finish, and if there’s anything the world needs more of these days, it’s joy.
Imagine. Ravi and Pip live and in living color on your television. The Good Girl’s Guide novels, particularly the first in the series, is a near-perfect murder mystery/thriller and its small-town USA setting and beautifully-drawn cast of characters would translate perfectly to the screen.
As far as we’re aware, Netflix hasn’t adapted many YA murder mysteries, and this would be a perfect place to start.
Phil Stamper’s debut novel, which was released back in 2020, is an immensely readable tale of social media journalist Cal who is forced to relocate to Houston from NYC after his father is chosen for a new NASA mission to Mars. They move into a small community full of other families who are there for the same reason, and there Cal meets Leon.
The Gravity of Us is a treasure of a rom-com and would make for the perfect Netflix movie (plus, who doesn’t love astronauts!).
For YA readers, the name Kara Thomas has become synonymous with edge-of-your-seat thrillers, and it’s a true shame that none of them have made it to the small screen thus far. Netflix, we’re calling on you to remedy that, and suggest The Cheerleaders as a good place to start.
The story is set in the small-town of Sunnybrook, where five years ago, five cheerleaders from the local high school died within a few weeks of each other. The events seemed unrelated at the time, but one of their sisters has started to suspect there might be more tying the girls’ deaths together than anyone previously thought.
Kyrie McCauley’s beautiful, brilliant debut is different from most of the other books on this list; it’s not a rom-com, fantasy series, or mystery. Instead, it’s a quieter, contemporary YA novel, infused with bits of magic, about a family being eaten from the inside out by an angry and destructive father.
The book won the coveted Morris Award for best debut novel when it was released in 2020 and deserves a bigger audience than it’s found thus far. A Netflix film adaptation would be the perfect way to get this moving, necessary story in front of more eyes.
According to the internet, Sabaa Tahir’s bestselling fantasy series was optioned by Paramount Pictures way back in 2014 (before the book was even published!) but has yet to make it to the big screen.
An Ember in the Ashes series would be a perfect follow-up to Netflix’s already successful Shadow and Bone, and fill a gaping hole in the streaming channel’s line-up, which is sorely lacking in original fantasy content. Plus, it’s an incredible series with a huge built-in fan base. Need we say more?
There are far too few books and movies set during the bittersweet summer after high school, a time just before everything changes, when the future is somewhat unknown. Julian Winters’s debut novel, Right Where I Left You, is set during one of those summers and follows the story of a pair of best friends intent on making the time they have left together count… while also realizing that their feelings for each other might be more than just friends.
The book also touches on fandoms and gaming and is delightfully nerdy. A film adaptation would make for perfect summer rom-com viewing, in our professional opinion.
Popular from the moment of its release in 2014, We Were Liars’s audience has only grown with the help of BookTok, and its prequel Family of Liars was released earlier this year to heaps of praise (and a #1 spot on the New York Times Bestseller list to boot).
Shortly after its initial release, it was announced that We Were Liars had been optioned for film, but nothing has come of it since. Admittedly, the story could prove difficult to translate properly to the screen, but we’re confident that with the right person at its helm, it could be incredible.
Even before its release, the rights to Lee’s YA debut had been scooped up by Scooter Braun (yes that Scooter Braun) for a TV adaptation, but nothing has come of it since, which is a shame that must be rectified immediately… by Netflix, of course.
Gossip Girl meets the Tolstoy classic Anna Karenina in Anna K, which is set in the uber-posh world of New York City private schools. Plus, a sequel, Anna K Away, published in 2021, so a season two is ready-made!
Liz Lawson is the New York Times Bestselling authors of The Agathas (with Kathleen Glasgow) and The Lucky Ones. You can find her on TikTok, Instagram and Twitter @lzlwsn.