7 Awesome Book to Screen Adaptations in 2021

Sarah Garnham
5 min readMar 19, 2021


We’ve all been there, we’ve walked out of a movie theatre or switched off the final episode of a Netflix series and embarked on our comparison to a much-loved book. I for one always get SO excited about book to film adaptations, hence my new venture, Paper to Reel, where I discuss books and their on-screen counterparts. Once I know a personal favourite novel of mine has a confirmed upcoming adaptation, I’ll spend months waiting for news of casting and researching into the screenwriters and producers. Am I ever disappointed with the film adaptation of a much-loved novel? Yes, definitely, as I know many others are, but I certainly have times when I absolutely adore the film makers’ visions of the characters and even smile at the small and unexpected changes they make to the storylines. So here are some of my favourite adaptations that have already hit our screens and a few that we can eagerly anticipate for the future!

  1. Sweet Magnolias — A feel-good series of books by Sherryl Woods has already seen its first season on Netflix. Both the books and the 10- part TV series are based in the charming town of Serenity, but even picture-perfect villages have their woes and this series certainly show us just that. In my opinion, the casting was excellent and the actors brought vulnerability and strength to their roles, giving the series depth and intrigue. So, who did they cast? Main character, Maddie Townsend is played by JoAnna Garcia Swisher, who you’ll recognise from a number of productions, including Privileged. And who remembers Oz from American Pie? Well, if you do, you’ll recognise Chris Klein who plays Maddie’s ex-husband and father to her 3 children. If you haven’t already binge-watched this adorable series, then perhaps have a read of the books first before you reach for the remote.
  2. Bridgerton — I’m not sure if I’ve spoken to anybody who hasn’t yet either seen or at least heard of steamy Regency drama on Netflix, Bridgerton. Based on a series of books written by historical romance novelist, Julia Quinn, the series is full of gorgeous people in stunning costumes dancing, fighting and well, ahem, let’s face it, getting down and dirty. Think Pride and Prejudice with a bit of Fifty Shades of Grey thrown in and you’ve got yourself a pretty good mental image of what to expect. And the books…well, historical romance certainly has a well-known connection with erotic content and if you liked that element of the TV series, then you certainly won’t be disappointed by the graphic descriptions in the book. The first series is based on Quinn’s first novel, The Duke and I and there 7 further novels after this. You can buy the book by clicking here.
  3. Firefly Lane — Netflix certainly likes to produce its fair share of appealing and escapist romantic series. I know that during the lockdown, Netflix delivered some absolute winners, which served as comic relief in the somewhat tumultuous times of numerous restrictions; Emily In Paris (not based on a book by the way), Sweet Magnolias and Bridgerton are great examples of this and Firefly Lane is certainly no different. Kristin Hannah has actually written a sequel to Firefly Lane called Fly Away and this 2-book series will whisk you away into a feel-good yet somewhat heartbreaking world at times. The Netflix adaptation of the first book will certainly serve the same purpose. Why not try the books first by clicking here.
  4. To All the Boys: Always and Forever — The final Netflix movie in the Lara Jean trilogy has landed and it certainly went out with a bang. With the first 2 books being adapted so well in terms of casting, storyline and the stunning colour scheme (I’ll talk about that a lot in my next blog). This movie came face to face with high expectations, but in my eyes it delivered and it ended with a bittersweet feeling of pride for production versus disappointment that the trilogy had reached its end. I’d highly recommend the charming books by Jenny Han. There are differences as always, but for me, the books and the movies complement each other beautifully. Look out for my next blog which will discuss the book versus the Netflix adaptation — you can purchase the book here.
  5. Anatomy of a Scandal — With many reviews of this book by Sarah Vaughan drawing on comparisons between the novel and the all too real and disturbing #metoo movement, this book is a must-read Westminster tale of a scandal. It certainly didn’t go unnoticed by Netflix as they’ve snapped it up as yet another tense drama to keep us on our toes this year. The stellar cast includes Downton Abbey’s Michelle Dockery, Sienna Miller and Rupert Friend, so it’s certainly not just the intriguing storyline that has piqued my interest in this one! There’s still time to read the book before the series hits the screen, so why not purchase it here.
  6. Death On The Nile, Agatha Christie Although it has been delayed before, it seems to be set on being released on 17th September 2021. It’s exciting news that Agatha Christie’s most exotic murder mystery is ready to hit the screens this year with a revamped adaptation, starring Tom Bateman, Gal Gadot and up and up and coming star, Emma Mackey, best known for her sassy performance in Sex Education on Netflix. If you haven’t already indulged in Christie’s nail-biting mystery, then now is the time: get your copy of the book here.
  7. The Last Letter From Your Lover, JoJo Moyes — The movie adaptation of this incredibly moving love story follows a London journalist who uncovers a love letter from 1960 during a search for a compelling story. Emotional and romantic, this story of two women’s love, loss and betrayal has been turned in a film on Netflix and we’re just eagerly awaiting the release date. We can look forward to some beautiful casting because Felicity Jones and Shailene Woodley have been snapped up to play the two female leads. There’s still time to read the book before the movie hits, so why not buy it here.

So there we have it, 7 books that have sky-rocketed to fame following TV and film adaptations, whether they be in the past, or waiting for us in the future. The anticipation to see how the story unfolds on the screen compared to the book and seeing your favourite characters brought to life though the director’s vision is really quite an amazing thing. I’d love to know what you thought of the books and/or TV series in the comments below!

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I may receive a small commission for these purchases, however I only ever promote books that are in keeping with the theme of Paper to Reel and that have a personal connection to myself or my guests.



Sarah Garnham

Hi I'm Sarah, Virtual Assistant to bestselling authors and self-proclaimed book lover. Follow my blog which discusses book to film/TV adaptations. Enjoy!