11 Books That Need To Be Made Into Netflix Series

by Kerri Jarema
Hannah Burton/Bustle

With the success of A Series of Unfortunate Events, the upcoming Selena Gomez produced Thirteen Reasons Why, and our favorite classic heroine Anne of Green Gables hitting the screen, the time is ripe for more books as Netflix series.

We already know that the marriage of literature and Netflix is a match made in heaven. There are so many books that we love that haven’t yet been given the on-screen treatment (even after years of fan petitions, countless dream casting Tumblr posts, and some that have even stalled at the screenplay) and we think it’s only right that Netflix looked into a few of them. We could all use a new binge watch every now and again, and what better show to watch than a story we already know we are completely obsessed with?

We’ve compiled a list below of some of our favorite reads, the ones that we have been itching to see on-screen adaptations of ever since we read them. There are modern contemporaries, classic fiction, memoirs, graphic novels and so much in between that we know would make obsession worthy series, even if you’ve never even actually read the book…though it might be best to keep that part to yourself.


'My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories' by Various Authors

What would make a better Netflix miniseries than this sweet YA collection? It's tailor made for a holiday, with the twelve stories equating to twelve episodes. And there is something for everyone! Laini Taylor's fantasy, Matt De la Pena's contemporary, Kiersten White's magical realism... all wrapped up in one perfect festive bow. And obviously it would have to premiere for the Twelve Days of Christmas, because, duh.

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'Just Kids' by Patti Smith

Patti Smith's memoir of coming-of-age as a creative in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s would make the perfect Netflix series. Smith's writing is atmospheric, which would lend to some beautiful imagery, while her sometimes tumultuous relationship with best friend Robert Mapplethorpe would make for some serious drama. This would make the ultimate summer binge watch.

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'Nimona' by Noelle Stevenson

Joining the ranks of Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, this graphic novel about anti-hero Nimona, villain Lord Ballister Blackheart and superhero Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin would make the ideal blockbuster Netflix series. Not only is Nimona hilarious page-turner that would make for one compulsively watchable series, it explores more serious themes of good vs. evil and conformity vs. individuality. Netflix, if you're listening, please make this one.

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'All-American Girl' by Meg Cabot

OK, this one is a bit of a throwback, but this classic Meg Cabot duology deserves the Netflix treatment. This book follows Samantha Madison after she saves the President of the United States from an assassination attempt and her life gets turned completely upside down. Not least of which because she is now taking an art class with the President's very cute son, David. In our current political climate seeing this sweet, funny coming-of-age story on screen would be just the kind of escapism we need.

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'Brown Girl Dreaming' by Jacqueline Woodson

Jacqueline Woodson's timely, gorgeous memoir of growing up in the South during the Civil Rights movement would be the perfect material for a sweeping, epic Netflix miniseries. We've always wanted to delve further into Woodson's story, and we can just imagine the beauty of some tear-inducing voice-overs of her prose poetry. We're grabbing the tissues, already.

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'Eleanor and Park' by Rainbow Rowell

This story about two misfit kids is tailor made for Netflix. You've got 90's references, you've got the intensity of first love, you've got harrowing family dynamics, you've got discussions about race and gender, you've got one of the most perfect open endings we've ever read. Just imagine this one premiering in the fall, and watching it curled up under a blanket with a cup of hot chocolate. Right?! Come on Netflix, let's make this happen.

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'The Bell Jar' by Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath's shocking, emotional classic about the brilliant, talented, beautiful Ester Greenwood's plunge into the grip of mental illness while grappling with the societal expectations place on her would make an ideal Netflix adaptation. The themes of mental health and women's place in society is still all too relevant today, and the 1960's setting would offer one of our favorite atmospheres for an on-screen world.

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'Station Eleven' by Emily St. John Mandel

This modern dystopian novel would make a terrifyingly beautiful on-screen experience. Set in the eerie days after civilization's collapse due to a flu-like virus, Station Eleven jumps back and forth in time and character perspective to offer an all-encompassing, all too realistic tale. With luminous discussions of love and friendship, creativity and accomplishment, death and disappointment, and what it means to be alive, this is a series that would definitely win some statues comes awards season.

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'Anna and the French Kiss' by Stephanie Perkins

Perhaps the ultimate case of "Why hasn't this book been made into a movie yet?" we think Anna and the French Kiss would made an even better Netflix series. Just imagine all the breathtaking shots of Paris...and of whatever hottie they cast to play Etienne St. Clair. We're talking Paris, complicated young love, a close-knit group of friends, family drama, this story has got it all! This beloved YA novel has been begging for an on-screen adaptation, and we think it's time Netflix stepped up to the plate.

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'Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe' by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Benjamin Alire Saenz's beautiful book about two Mexican American teenagers grappling with their identities, their families and their futures would take our breaths away on screen. Saenz's writing is ethereal, flowing seamlessly from one vignette to the next, while he discusses more hard-hitting topics like race, PTSD and sexuality. Also, can we get Lin-Manuel Miranda to reprise his role as the narrator of the audiobook to do some voice overs? It's not like the man is super busy or anything.

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'Six of Crows' by Leigh Bardugo

The dark, gritty mix of fantasy and an Ocean's Eleven worthy heist plot on screen? Yes, please. The diverse cast-of-characters (who are all unreliable yet somehow lovable) would already make this a groundbreaking Netflix series, while the twist and turns, heart-pounding action and generous heap of magic would any fan of epic action-adventure begging for more.

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