Skip To Content
    May 6, 2020

    25 TV Show And Movie Adaptations That Are Soooooo Much Better Than The Books They're Based On

    A bunch of cold, hard facts right here.

    We asked the BuzzFeed Community which movie and TV show adaptations were better than the book they were based on, and boy, did they deliver. Here's what they said:

    1. Little Fires Everywhere (2020)

    Hulu

    "The book was great, but the show was AMAZING. Can you ask for more than Kerry Washington and Reese Witherspoon? The acting was great, the story improved upon, and the characters had much more development. Also, the plot was more shocking and dramatic. Great music, too!"

    mollymartindale111

    2. To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018)

    Netflix

    "I absolutely loved the movie, so I decided to read the book. I didn’t like it nearly as much, though. Peter Kavinsky was a total tool, and not at all the 'internet boyfriend' that Noah Centineo has turned him into. I also loved the portrayal of Chris and Lara Jean’s friendship way more in the movie. In the book, she’s flaky and a bad influence, but in the movie she’s just a bit rebellious and a loyal friend."

    TakingLsKickingAs

    3. Normal People (2020)

    Hulu

    "I hated the book and thought it would make a better TV show the whole time I was reading it. The series was much better and made the characters more dimensional."

    clareb5

    4. Killing Eve (2018–Present)

    BBC

    "The books are alright, but they don’t compare at all to the greatness of the show."

    anjaxmiller

    5. The Lord of the Rings trilogy (2001–2003)

    New Line Cinema

    "The books had several parts that were a bit boring, tbh. Like, I didn't need a lot of description of the characters walking. The movies kept the good parts."

    vitaliastrait

    6. Big Little Lies (2017–2019)

    HBO

    "I absolutely LOVE all the twists and turns in the show. It left me hanging off my seat. The book was amazing, no question, but it could easily have gotten a sequel."

    vee07

    7. The Shining (1980)

    Warner Bros.

    "One that immediately comes to mind is Stanley Kubrick’s version of The Shining. It was so much more real and raw. I could barely get through the book; it was simply ridiculous."

    maddygowers

    8. Call Me by Your Name (2017)

    Sony Pictures Classics

    "Call Me by Your Name was an incredible book, but the movie, cinematography, soundtrack, and actors completely transformed it. The movie was perfect."

    shawnmendesisthebest

    9. The Handmaid's Tale (2017–Present)

    Hulu

    "The Handmaid's Tale is such a gripping show. From the actors to the appropriate music, it's so much better than the book. The episodes make you feel a chill to your bone."

    fatimagillanis

    10. Crazy Rich Asians (2018)

    Warner Bros.

    "The book was good, but the film adaptation was just so visually stunning and delivered where the book didn't."

    Lauren

    11. The Magicians (2015–2020)

    SyFy

    "Don’t get me wrong, I loved the books, but the characters had much better development in the show. Also, the books just focused on the main character’s perspective, but the show covered all of them."

    jazzy728

    12. Love, Simon (2018)

    20th Century Studios

    "I thought it was much more heartfelt and the characters were better developed!"

    muffinsfortyrus

    13. Cloud Atlas (2012)

    Warner Bros.

    "I'm definitely a 'the book is always better' kind of person, but...the movie is so good! It has an amazing cast, and the main actors play multiple characters. I love the makeup and the editing as well. It's basically six movies in one! While I also love the book, I think it's a difficult read because it's pretty long and the language isn't that straightforward. The movie's writers definitely removed some parts from the book, but I think it helped it flow so much more."

    rakidori

    14. True Blood (2008–2014)

    HBO

    "I'd say 99.9% of the time, the book is better, but True Blood is my 0.1%. The books weren't my fave, but the TV show brought the characters to life in a way the books never could. Plus, who doesn’t love Alexander Skarsgård as a hot Viking vampire?"

    kristinap48d99e23b

    15. The Namesake (2006)

    Fox Searchlight

    "It was an absolutely beautiful, well-acted movie starring Kal Penn and Irrfan Khan. I was excited to read the book afterward, but I thought the book was terrible. I can't believe they made such an incredible movie from such terrible material."

    sprivey

    16. Good Omens (2019)

    Amazon Prime Video

    "The book is hilarious and ridiculous, but the show just breathes fresh life into it. Plus, Michael Sheen and David Tennant as Aziraphale and Crowley? A+ casting."

    dianas4c3a401d8

    17. Stardust (2007)

    Paramount

    "It’s a good book, but the film is so much better, IMO. The whole film is just wonderful. It's such a brilliant adaptation and reimagining of the book."

    hannahe4f2127f4a

    18. The Vampire Diaries (2009–2017)

    The CW

    "I’ve read the books and they're just fine. I prefer the show and its spinoffs way, way more."

    chelsear4ac211bd8

    19. Looking for Alaska (2019)

    Hulu

    "I loved Looking for Alaska. It kept all the really important elements of the book but expanded on the characters and their relationships. I also really loved how they were able to flesh out the character of Alaska and make her seem like more than just Miles' idolization of her."

    liv2read

    20. The Hunger Games Movies (2012–2015)

    Lionsgate

    "The books weren't bad, necessarily, but the actors did such an incredible job bringing the characters to life."

    digigirl101

    21. Sharp Objects (2018)

    HBO

    "The book is brilliant and unpredictable, but the TV show manages to capture the unfolding sense of dread, control, and tension in the household more so than the novel. Plus, Patricia Clarkson was flawless."

    sunshine193

    22. The Princess Bride (1987)

    20th Century Studios

    "I grew up watching the movie — it’s one of my absolute favorites. I finally read the book a few years ago and was very underwhelmed. It just didn’t have the same magic that the movie did."

    jodyb4540670cd

    23. Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

    Fox Searchlight

    "The movie made the characters much more endearing. The movie had the same vibe that the book had, but it was presented even better."

    fallinggrace

    24. Ready Player One (2018)

    Warner Bros.

    "The book came out a while ago, so the movie had a bunch of current pop culture references and appealed to the audience more. Plus, the visuals obviously come across better onscreen."

    cfrinkadju

    25. And Finally, You (2018–Present)

    Netflix

    "The first book and first season were great, but the second book, Hidden Bodies, wasn't that good. However, the second season was amazing!"

    amandam4dfae84ac

    Responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.