The Excitement and Fear of Books Adapted to a Show

books adapted

While I read books, the story starts playing in my mind like my own personal movie. Still, when I hear that Hollywood will adapt one of my favorite books as a show, I feel excited and afraid. Many questions run through my head. I want to see it and yet I’m too afraid to see it. Do you ever feel like that about books adapted to shows?


Let’s start with the fear. A favorite book is special. Maybe it had a great story, or it might have helped during a tough time. Whatever the reason for it being your favorite book, it holds a place in your heart. You have probably imagined the character and the story a thousand times. You might even know most of the story by heart.

Then you hear that someone plans to adapt your favorite book to a movie or tv show. Immediately there is a sense of fear. No way could anyone really match the characters in the book. Possibly they might even destroy the story and change it so much it is almost unrecognizable. It could ruin everything for you. There is a fear about your books adapted into a show.

Fear Example

I had this happen to me and just amped up my fear about books turned into a show. Growing up, and even now, I loved the book Ella Enchanted, by Gail Carson Levine. A Cinderella-style story, it told about a girl trying to break a spell of obedience put on her at birth. With fun characters and a great way to tell the story, I loved this book.

Then I heard that they would adopt this book to a movie. As it was before I knew better, I was so excited to see the adaption. I felt this book was so good, they would not need to do much to turn it into a movie. Sure I understood that some stuff would change, but still, the essence of the story would stay. I was wrong.

Eventually, the movie came out. I hated it. No, I really did hate it. After my first viewing, I refused to watch it again. It destroyed my favorite book. I even had trouble reading the story for a little bit after seeing the movie. After that, I understood the fear that comes from books turned into a show.


With the fear comes excitement. For so long you have seen the books in your head, it would be fun to see them in a movie or on tv. Maybe more people will see the movie and then read the book and understand why you love it so much. Oh, the excitement just bubbles inside.

Excitement Example

We still feel that excitement with the fear because sometimes they get it right. For example, let’s take Bridgerton. I love the Bridgerton series by Julia Quinn. I think Julia Quinn is a wonderful writer, with great characters. When I heard of the adaption on Netflix, a part of me jumped for joy. I really wanted to see how they would adapt the series. Even with the excitement, I felt the fear. It took me over a week after it came out to watch it.

This time I felt my excitement was justified. They did a great job adapting the story. First, they chose to make each book one season. That way they could focus on one set of main characters instead of trying to do it all at once. Next, even though changed quite a bit and added unnecessary stuff, they kept to the essence of the story. The people essentially stayed the same. This time I felt they did a good adaption.

With each announcement of a book adaption, I feel excitement and fear each time. Recently, I heard that The Hating Game by Sally Thorne would be adapted to a movie. I love this book, so I feel excited and afraid. What about you, how do you feel about books adapted to shows?

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