Lights, Cameras And Books! How The BookTok Craze Took Over Our Screens With One Adaption At A Time


The Internet has space for every hobby and passion, from creating rooms for a niche community of folks who like to crochet to nerds who love to delve into storytelling and books. The digital space, aka social media apps like TikTok or Instagram, where books are discussed with Sherlock Holmes energy is known as BookTok or Bookstagram. Books have always been our go-to escape tools in this bustling world.

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Most of us started our reading journey by turning pages, which has now narrowed down to scrolling on our Kindles or tablets. A hashtag that bloomed during the pandemic began with the purpose of helping fans urge others to read their favourite novels, but slowly evolved into a script machine for filmmakers.

Heartstopper loveteam are fan of Adele and Taylor respectively - Base - ATRL

Over the past few years, we have witnessed almost every month a BookTok sensation come alive on our screens. The reason simply lies behind the book’s strong fanbase, who always cheer for their characters to come to life, whether, in a mythological series like The Witcher, a lighthearted read like To All The Boys and Heartstopper, or a head-spinning biopic like American Prometheus.

Love them or hate them, these adaptations are here to stay and claim their space in theatres or streaming platforms, especially the romantic ones, because everyone is a sucker for an old-school read and watch. On World Book Day, we are looking back at some of the most popular book-to-screen adaptations and introducing you to the upcoming ones who are all set to join our watchlist:

1. Red, White And Royal Blue

A cliche yet heartwarming watch. Red, White, and Royal Blue is the fan-favourite love story of Alex Claremont-Diaz, the First Son of the United States, who falls in love with Henry Fox-Mountchristen-Windsor, the Prince of England. The book explores the themes of honouring one’s true nature, attempting to strike a balance between public duty and private desires, and the value of independence and diversity over conformity as the two young men work out their relationship and eventually brave public opinion by declaring their feelings openly. Extra points for the delicious casting.

Stream On: Prime Video

2. To All The Boys Series

There’s no way you could have escaped the chokehold this movie series had on everyone. Based on the New York Times bestseller series, this trilogy takes you on a dramatic yet fun journey of a teenage Lara Jean Covey, who writes love letters when she gets a crush too big to handle, but she never actually sends them. One day her deepest secrets are revealed, and she creates an elaborate plan to save herself from being too embarrassed, but it all goes pear-shaped when it turns out to be more than fake.

Stream On: Netflix

3. A Good Girl’s Guide To Murder

This BBC-adapted series is based on the popular trilogy of novels by British author Holly Jackson. A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder is the first book in the YA mystery series, which became a New York Times bestseller and has sold millions of copies worldwide. The series takes place five years after a murder-suicide shook the town of Fairview.

Popular high school senior Andie Bell was murdered by her boyfriend, Sal Singh, who then killed himself. At least, that’s what everyone believes, including the police. The case is closed, right? But Pip Fitz-Amobi (Myers), now a high school senior herself, sees how the gruesome murder still has a grip on her hometown, and she thinks there’s more to the story. The show will later come on Netflix as well. First episode date: 30 April 2024

Stream On: BBC Three (Starting: 30 April)

4. The Idea Of You

Based on a book of the same title, The Idea of You’s plot revolves around Solène Marchand, played by the icon Anne Hathway, a thirty-year-old owner of an art gallery in Los Angeles who is reluctant to take her daughter, Isabelle, to meet her favourite boy band. But since her divorce, she’s more eager than ever to be close to Isabelle. The last thing Solène expects is to make a connection with one of the members of the world-famous August Moon.

But Hayes Campbell, played by Nicholas Galitzine, is clever, winning, confident, and posh, and the attraction is immediate. The fact that he is twenty years younger further complicates things. What begins as a series of clandestine trysts quickly evolves into a passionate and genuine relationship.

Stream On: Prime Video (May 3)

5. Boys Over Flowers (F4)

And if we are talking about books, let’s take a moment to appreciate one of the popular manga that has been adapted in various languages, like Korean, Japanese, and the most popular and latest Thai version. The story starts with Gorya, a simple girl who works at a flower shop. She passes an exam and gets accepted into a prestigious and luxurious school attended by the wealthy. The school is ruled by an elite clique known as the F4, consisting of four rich, handsome, and spoiled boys. Things go south when Gorya stands up to their bullying, leaving all the boys in awe, especially Thyme, the group’s leader.

Almost instantly smitten by Gorya, Thyme romantically pursues her, but she has no interest in him due to first impressions. She instead falls for his best friend Ren. However, Ren is still in love with his childhood love, Mira. In all the chaos of school, Gorya can’t help but find herself falling for Thyme because of his generosity to her and her family and his change of character. (She fixed him.). 

Stream On: Viki

6. Percy Jackson and the Olympians

Percy Jackson and the Olympians, is an adventurous journey of demigods into the world of Greek mythology. The series, based on Rick Riordan’s books, features a captivating narrative filled with suspense, humour, and mythical wonders. In the 2000s, Percy Jackson was as popular as Harry Potter; children enjoyed reading about the magically endowed demigod figure. It possessed the ideal balance of supernatural creatures and magic. The story revolves around the 12-year-old demigod Percy Jackson who is oblivious to his status as a demigod and lives his life like any other human. Things suddenly take a turn when he starts realising his powers.

Stream On: Disney+ Hotstar

7. Priscilla

The movie is inspired by Priscilla Presley’s 1985 memoir Elvis and Me, which shares her side of the story about her marriage to Elvis. The movie’s portrayal is lavish, exquisitely designed, and banks on aesthetics with tastefully done costume styling, makeup, and hair. Each of these elements is designed to give an insight into the melancholic but highly realistic journey of this relationship with a huge age gap.

Elvis, who is portrayed by the picture-perfect Euphoria alum Jacob Elordi, is shown to be attracted to young Priscilla’s air of frail innocence. This has sparked an intense debate on Presley’s actions in courting, or perhaps more accurately, capturing, Priscilla as the years go on. In today’s times, this sort of problematic behaviour would fit the definition of groomer—a fact you realise early on in the film. It will leave you quite disturbed.

Stream On: Mubi

Lastly, several more BookTok works, including The Song of Achilles, It Ends With Us, and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo,are currently being adapted for the big screen.

Also, read: If Watching K-Dramas Is Your Favourite Hobby, You’ll Love The Feelings You Will Feel With These 7 Books

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- Digital Writer


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