Fans will usually maintain that the book is way better, but that won’t deter them from watching the big/small screen adaptation of their favourite novels.

In recent years, more and more TV networks have started to bring literary hits to life. Of course, comparison between a TV show and the book source is inevitable. The good thing about television adaptations (as opposed to films) is that these shows have the luxury of more time to develop the storyline and characters.

So take note, book-lovers. Here are some new TV shows that started out chapters and words:


1. “13 Reasons Why”

13 Reasons Why
Source: Tu En Linea
  • Author: Jay Asher
  • Network: Netflix
  • Cast: Dylan Minnette, Katherine Langford, Alisha Boe, Brandon Flynn, and Ross Butler

Jay Asher’s 2007 best-selling novel was in development as a movie but was later turned into 13-episode TV series on Netflix. “13 Reasons Why” follows a boy named Clay Jensen who mysteriously receives a box of cassettes recorded by a girl named Hannah Baker, who committed suicide. Inside, Hannah explains 13 reasons why she decided to take her own life. Selena Gomez is a producer on the project.

2. “Big Little Lies”

Big Little Lies
Source: HBO
  • Author: Liane Moriarty
  • Network: HBO
  • Cast: Laura Dern, Reese Witherspoon, Nicole Kidman, Shailene Woodley, and Alexander Skarsgard

The story centres on a trio of mothers – Madeline, Jane, and Celeste – in the same town, all dealing with different obstacles but are connected to a grisly murder that threatens to turn their perfect lives upside down. From the very beginning, we are told that someone is killed. But the victim and perpetrator isn’t revealed until the final episode of the series.

3. “The Handmaid’s Tale”

The Handmaid's Tale
Source: Hulu
  • Author: Margaret Atwood
  • Network: Hulu
  • Cast: Samira Wiley, Alexis Bledel, and Elisabeth Moss

Regarded as a critical piece of feminist literature, “The Handmaid’s Tale” takes place in a futuristic dystopian setting where a woman’s worth is based on her fertility. Women are forced to give up their names and they are treated by men more like objects than human beings. Unlike the book, audiences will learn that the real name of handmaid heroine Offred is June.

4. “A Series Of Unfortunate Events”

A Series Of Unfortunate Events
Source: Netflix
  • Author: Lemony Snicket
  • Network: Netflix
  • Cast: Neil Patrick Harris, Malina Weissman, and Louis Hynes

After the tragic death of their parents, the Baudelaire orphans – Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – must navigate their way through some terrible situations. Neil Patrick Harris plays the evil guardian Count Olaf, who will stop at nothing to obtain their inheritance. The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans and disguises, in order to discover clues to their parents’ mysterious deaths.


5. “Fresh Off The Boat”

Source: Abagond
  • Author: Eddie Huang
  • Network: ABC
  • Cast: Hudson Yang, Randall Park, and Constance Wu

The sitcom starring an Asian-American family is loosely based on Eddie Huang’s autobiography, “Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir”. The comedy series follows the Huang family after moving to Orlando, Florida from Taiwan. From their eyes, we get to see just what the Asian experience in America is really like.

6. “American Gods”

American Gods
Source: Starz
  • Author: Neil Gaiman
  • Network: Starz
  • Cast: Ricky Whittle and Ian McShane

Shadow Moon is released from prison shortly after discovering that his wife and best friend were killed in an accident. He returns to his hometown only to find himself smack in the middle of an epic war between the Old Gods and the New Gods. While Neil Gaiman’s sweeping high fantasy novel is told from someone’s perspective who has no clue who these people are, this television adaptation has been very clear about the gods we’re meeting.

7. “Mindhunter”

Source: Netflix
  • Author: Mark Olshaker and John E. Douglas
  • Network: Netflix
  • Cast: Jonathan Groff

Produced by David Fincher and Charlize Theron, the upcoming Netflix series is based on special agent John Douglas’ real life experience in working with the FBI. For years, he studied some of the most notorious serial killers and rapists on how their minds work in order to solve unsolved cases. Hence, the nickname “Mind Hunter”.

8. “The Cormoran Strike”

The Cormoran Strike
Source: HBO
  • Author: Robert Galbraith (J.K. Rowling)
  • Network: HBO
  • Cast: Tom Burke

Written under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith, J.K. Rowling’s bestselling crime novels follows a war veteran turned private detective, Cormoran Strike, as he solves a series of unique cases. The 7 episodes will be divided into 3 episodes for “The Cuckoo’s Calling”, 2 for “The Silkworm”, and 2 for “Career of Evil”.

Honourable Mentions:

  • “Midnight, Texas” series by Charlaine Harris
  • “Sharp Objects” by Gillian Flynn
  • “The Terror” by Dan Simmons
  • “Anne” by L. M. Montgomery
  • “Girlboss” by Sophia Amoruso
  • “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot

Sources: Screen Rant, Pop Sugar, Bustle, Buzz Feed.

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