"The Casting Was Perfect": 15 Book Adaptations That Readers Actually Love

    "That book and movie were amazing. Both are beautiful and still haunt me to this day."

    Well, well, well. If it isn't me, back again with yet another list of user-submitted, commenter-vetted book adaptations that met (and, in some cases, exceeded) the standards set by their source material. From YA romances to classic blockbusters to button-eyed (and terrifying) animated tales, here are 15 adaptations that are good enough to put smiles on the faces of the audience members most primed to be disappointed: people who read the book first.

    Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity. 

    1. "Coraline! One of the few instances I've ever seen where an adaptation is so loyal that they only added, not took away. It matched the spirit of the novella perfectly and gave it life with the amazing animation."

    Two animated characters in the kitchen

    2. "I always thought The Outsiders was a pretty great book adaptation; they stuck to the storyline and even kept a lot of the original dialogue."

    Rob Lowe and Patrick Swayze in The Outsiders

    3. "Jurassic Park. The book is good, but no movie has ever brought pages to life like Jurassic Park. The movie also made the kids much better characters, in my opinion."

    Laura Dern and Sam Neill touching a fallen dinosaur

    4. "The Color Purple. I read the book years ago and was so moved by it, then I watched the movie and loved it just as much."

    Celie and Shug sitting on a bed

    5. "Never Let Me Go is actually better for me as a film because of the world building (background posters, for example) that really set up Hailsham and its purpose early on."

    Three young people sitting at a restaurant table

    6. "The Bridges of Madison County was a great movie. I remember how upset I was when I heard that Clint Eastwood was going to be the romantic lead because he was Dirty Harry. I was blown away by how great he was. Meryl Streep playing Francesca was amazing as well."

    Clint holding a camera and smiling at Meryl

    7. "I think The Baby-Sitters Club show on Netflix did a pretty good job of bringing the books to life."

    Young girls sitting in a bedroom

    8. "Practical Magic. The movie is a thousand times better than the book."

    Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock standing over Goran Visnjic

    9. "I loved Sense and Sensibility. I was hoping to see it mentioned. It is such a good movie, with a very young Kate Winslet. It's one of my favorites."

    A man gives flowers to a young woman

    10. "Heartstopper should be on here! The casting was perfect, and the whole show captures the vibe of the comic so well."

    Two people lying together and hugging on a beach blanket

    11. "Wonder is an excellent adaptation! I read it to my students every year and always recommend the movie."

    Two children sit at a table in a school cafeteria

    12. "Brokeback Mountain was a 30-page short story adapted into a full-length movie. It was amazing how they expanded that story so beautifully."

    Heath Ledger embraces Jake Gyllenhaal from behind

    13. "Love, Simon is an insanely good film! It’s an adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, and it just captures all the little details perfectly, like how Simon has 'hour to hour, note to note' written on his blackboard wall, for example. Not to mention, he and Bram are the cutest couple ever, exactly how I pictured them. Love it."

    Young man stands by himself next to a car with other young people behind him

    14. "Both Legally Blonde and The Devil Wears Prada were meh books that were adapted into iconic movies."

    Miranda Priestly stands at her desk in front of Andrea Sachs

    15. And finally: "Women Talking. The recent Sarah Polley movie is adapted from Miriam Toews's book of the same name. Having experienced both, I thought it was a very positive adaptation of the original novel, and maybe even more meaningful. Check it out if you have not read it or seen the movie."

    Women standing or sitting in a barn