As book lovers, we’re never quite satisfied when one of our favourites is turned into a movie or tv series. The casting must live up to how we originally pictured them, the plot must never stray too far from the book, and all the little easter eggs and moments must perfectly translate from paper to screen.
It’s not an easy task. Alas, that hasn’t stopped an overwhelming amount of book adaptations to hit the screen – both big and small – with releases like Everything I Know About Love, Persuasion, and My Policeman turning a new page on an old book.
And if we’re lucky enough, some of the book-to-screen adaptations actually exceed our expectations and do the book justice, which is all we can truly hope for. That’s why we’re keeping our eyes peeled this year for what’s to come – particularly on streaming.
Below, a list of some of the best book-to-screen adaptations for 2023, with everything from stunning thrillers to modern love stories coming your way.
Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
What it’s about: The coming-of-age story follows a young girl named Kya, often referred to as “Marsh Girl”, who grew up alone on the Carolina Coast in a town called Barkley Cove. Unwelcomed by people in the town – who are suspicious and scared of the outcast girl – Kya quickly becomes a suspect when a local man is found dead.
Where to watch it: Where The Crawdads Sing is available to watch now on Prime Video.
Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
What it’s about: Told in the style of a music documentary transcript, Daisy Jones & The Six follows the meteoric rise of the fictional band of the same name. While each member of the band has their own story to tell, it’s the push-pull relationship of LA-based singer-songwriter Daisy Jones and the band’s frontman Billy Dunne who really have us captivated.
Where to watch it: Daisy Jones & The Six is available to watch now on Prime Video.
Lessons In Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus
What it’s about: Set in the early 1950s, Lessons in Chemistry follows Elizabeth Zott, whose dream of being a scientist is put on hold in a society deeming that women belong in the domestic sphere, not the professional one. When Elizabeth finds herself pregnant, alone and fired from her lab, she accepts a job as a host on a TV cooking show, and sets out to teach a nation of overlooked housewives – and the men who are suddenly listening – a lot more than recipes.
Where to watch it: Lessons In Chemistry will premiere on Apple TV+ this year on October 13.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
What it’s about: A tale of love, courage, power, and letting our true colours shine through, Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue makes a point to prove that true love isn’t always diplomatic. It follows Alex, the son of a President, who is forced to make amends with a prince, Henry, after an altercation between the two sees U.S./British relations take a turn for the worse. Staging a truce, the two embark on a fake friendship that soon turns into a secret romance that could derail the campaign and upend the two nations.
Where to watch it: Red, White & Royal Blue will premiere on Prime Video this year on August 11.
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson
What it’s about: Designed to make us laugh, think, and grow, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck reveals a counterintuitive approach to living a good life. Filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humour, it’s a much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real talk to remind us that there are only so many things we can give a #@%! about, so we need to figure out which ones really matter.
The Power by Naomi Alderman
What it’s about: In The Power, the world as we know it takes a drastic reset after a vital force sees teenage girls develop the power to electrocute people at will. As the Power evolves from a tingle in their collarbones to a complete reversal of the power balance of the world, the novel follows remarkable characters from London to Seattle, Nigeria to Eastern Europe.
Where to watch it: The Power is available to watch now on Prime Video.
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
What it’s about: A Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick, The Last Thing He Told Me follows Hannah, a woman who must forge a relationship with her sixteen-year-old stepdaughter Bailey in order to find the truth about why her husband Owen mysteriously disappeared. In her attempt to find out the truth, Hannah realises that her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey might hold the key to discovering Owen’s true identity, and why he disappeared.
Where to watch it: The Last Thing He Told Me is available to watch now on Apple TV+.
The Silo Saga by Hugh Howey
What it’s about: The Silo Saga tells the story of the last 10,000 people on Earth and their mile-deep home protecting them from the toxic and deadly world outside. However, no one knows when or why the silo was built and any who try to find out face fatal consequences. Juliette, an engineer, seeks answers about a loved one’s murder and tumbles onto a mystery that goes far deeper than she could have ever imagined, leading her to discover that if the lies don’t kill you, the truth will.
Where to watch it: Silo is available to watch now on Apple TV+.
The Minds Of Billy Milligan by Danny Keyes
What it’s about: The Minds Of Billy Milligan chronicles the life of Billy Milligan – changed to Danny Sullivan in the show, The Crowded Room – who was found not guilty of multiple sexual assault charges in Columbus, Ohio. Despite his arrest, Billy had the charges against him dropped after his lawyers argued that his dissociative identity disorder stopped him from being aware of what he was doing. As a result, he was committed to a psychiatric hospital for a decade.
Where to watch it: The Crowded Room is available to watch now on Apple TV+.
In The Clearing by J.P. Pomare
What it’s about: Alternating between the perspective of two different women, In The Clearing was inspired by a real-life cult and tells the tale of Freya, who has gone to great lengths to feel like a ‘normal person’, and Amy, who has only ever done what’s expected of her. As their connection becomes clear, secrets of the past bubble up to the surface and expose a small town’s dark underbelly.
Where to watch it: The Clearing is available to watch now on Disney+.
The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart by Holly Ringland
What it’s about: Spanning two decades, The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart follows a young girl, Alice Hart, whose violent childhood casts a dark shadow over her adult life. After a family tragedy in which she loses both her abusive father and beloved mother in a tragic and mysterious fire, a young Alice is taken to live with her grandmother June on a flower farm where she learns the dark secrets about her and her family’s past.
Where to watch it: The Lost Flowers of Alice will premiere on Prime Video this year on August 4.
Boy Swallows Universe by Trent Dalton
What it’s about: Set in Brisbane in 1983, Boy Swallows Universe follows the complicated life of Eli, who has a lost father, a non-verbal brother, a mum in jail, a heroin dealer for a stepfather and a notorious crim for a babysitter. Amid all of this, Eli is just trying to follow his heart, learning what it takes to be a good man, but life just keeps throwing obstacles in the way. A story of brotherhood, true love and the most unlikely of friendships, Boy Swallows Universe is a heartbreaking, joyous and exhilarating novel.
Where to watch it: Boy Swallows Universe will premiere on Netflix this year.