Here is a a twist on the usual books to movies adaptation posts. Today I bring you a list of 10 popular movies to books; yes, these are books adapted from or written based on the screenplay of the movie. The term used for this is novelization. So while I am yet to read most of them, based on the movies (most of which I have watched more than once – tbd, many times), as well as reviews for the books, these are sure to be cool novelizations to enjoy!!
This week’s theme over at ThatArtsyReaderGirl is a freebie and I have been having this post in a half-baked draft mode for eons now, seems like I first wrote it when the silent era movies were made 🙂 But the ‘freebie’ aspect of this week’s theme finally got me to finish writing it and so here it is…
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More About Novelizations
What is Novelization?
A novelization is a derivative novel that adapts the story of a work created for another medium, such as a film, TV series, comic book or video game. Film novelizations were particularly popular before the advent of home video, but continue to find commercial success as part of marketing campaigns for major films. They are often written by accomplished writers based on an early draft of the film’s script and on a tight deadline [source: Wikipedia]
Novelizations were first written for silent films (makes sense, right?) during the 1910s and 1920s. Later, novelizations continued to be popular for movies: these books helped people to re-experience the movies in an era before the home video. Even after the advent of the VCR and the DVD players in homes , novelizations remained popular, and some of them (such as those for Star Wars and Alien) have sold millions of copies.
Today, novelizations serve as an additional advertising for movies, especially franchises, and as a link between the movies in a series. And often, authors writing these use novelizations as a platform for their own writing career, while at other times, established authors write adaptations/novelizations for movies.
10 Popular Movies To Books
Cool Novelizations To Enjoy
My list of movies to books includes the movies I have enjoyed watching (some multiple times over the years); and that I am sure I will enjoy reading as well. A couple of these are ones I realized I had read without realizing that the books came after the movie.
10 Things I Hate About You
Okay, another family favorite as far as the movie is concerned.. or at least one I and my teens love! So I was happy to find a book based on this movie which is kind of based on another story I enjoyed reading (Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew). I am yet to read this one as well, and hope to enjoy it given the novelization is by David Levithan.
I was not sure which came first until I actually looked into it and learned that the movie came first here. But from what little I read of the book a few years ago (and then stopped for some reason), the book is worth reading (so I might just go look for it again, read it, and then watch the movie – though the movie was first). And while I am not a fan of horror movies now, I did watch my share of them, and this movie is one worth watching as well (for those who love sci-fi and horror – if somehow you have not watched it yet)
This beloved movie actually has a few different novelizations – from board books to middle-grade levels. There is the Little Golden Book version of Coco, which I adored! And there is a graphic novel/comic version – Disney/Pixar Coco: The Story of the Movie in Comics. Then there is the Junior Novel for middle-grade readers and also a really beautiful (well, they all are) bilingual edition. Of the four, I have read three of them and loved them all. I previewed the bilingual version and it looks, as I mentioned, beautiful!
While Clueless is based on Austen’s Emma, the movie inspired a novel of its own – yet to read it – but seems like it is a good read! And apparently a series as well (which I have not checked out at all) and even a picture book that, from the little I have seen of it, seems tot adorbs (sorry!)!
Dead Poet’s Society
I truly loved the movie, and I have to say that this novelization is a well executed one indeed. I got the book from the Friends of the Library ongoing sales at my local library and enjoyed reading it. The Dead Poet’s Society book that will make you want to watch the movie (if you haven’t seen it yet, or rewatch it, if you have!)
Also, this was one of those where I would have easily assumed the movie was based on the book – if not for the footnote right there on the cover!
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial in His Adventure on Earth (E.T., #1)
This movie is a family-favorite, and one we all watch while having a box of tissues handy, for yes, we all feel weepy watching it (even for the nth time). I picked up this book at either one of the used book stores in my neighborhood or at Half Price Books (nothing close by for me, unfortunately). I am yet to read the book, but it has pretty solid reviews on Goodreads.
Note: the book reviews do mention certain topics that might not be for younger readers, so parents – read the book first. (in case you plan to do a movie-book tie-in night)
Another family favorite movie that we watched only in the recent years when it came on Amazon Prime. Again, I am yet to read the book (, but if it is anything close to the movie and reviews it has, then I know it will be a fun ride – read, I mean! However, I did read and enjoy The Goonies: The Illustrated Storybook for younger readers (3+ years)
While not a die-hard fanatic, I think I can safely say I am a huge MCU fan! I am yet to watch the latest (but only because I am hoping to watch it with the other fan in my family who is away at college now – and he will be back this week!). And Iron Man is certainly one of my favorite characters (and movie series within the MCU). So I look forward to reading this book (which I just added to my reading list)
I saw the book first, years ago, and got it for myself, and maybe even read it though I can’t recall, for I did go through a phase of romance novels aka Mills and Boons in my late teens! And honestly, I don’t recall if I watched the movie as well, but I am pretty sure it is a yes to both the book (which is in India) and the movie, and I am pretty sure I loved them both!
The book has an interesting story behind it: Segal wrote the screenplay which was approved for production. Paramount then requested Segal to adapt the story into a novel as a preview of sorts for the film. So the confusion is not unfounded in this case (source).
Have not read the book yet but can easily watch the movie a few times over again! Have you watched it? What do you think?
More Movies to Books!
- 2001: A Space Odyssey
- Back to the Future series
- Many James Bond movies
- Many Indiana Jones movies
- My Girl
- Miracle on 34th Street
- Pirates of the Caribbean series
- Rambo series
- The Karate Kid movies
- Jaws movies
- The Ghostbusters movies
- The Mummy
- Independence Day
- Star Wars Trilogy
And if you want more movies to books, you can check out the Movie Novelizations website as well as Goodreads.
And then there are some movies I thought must have a book behind them, but they don’t seem to have one. Maybe I will save that for another day.
References, h/t, and Further Reading
About Movies to Books or Movie Novelizations
Here are a few articles I loved reading and found thought fodder from as I researched for and wrote this post.
- Yes, People Still Read Movie Novelizations . . . And Write Them, Too (VanityFair)
- Are Novelizations the Scum of Literature? by Mel Giden (WayBackMachine)
- To Some, a Movie Is Just an Outline for a Book (The New York Times)
- Popular TV Series and Movies Maintain Relevance as Novels (The New York Times)
- 10 Great Halloween Movies Based on Books to Watch Together
- It’s a Wonderful List of Holiday Movies Based on Books
- 50+ Great Family Friendly Movies for Valentine’s Day
- 30 Great Children’s & Young Adult Books Made into Movies
- 35 Movies Featuring the Radio: My Ode to Them
- Top 10 Books Vs Movies
And Now, the End of This Post
Dear reader, have you read any of these books? Or watched the original movies? Or like me, did you read the book and think the book-to-movie thing was true until later (or maybe now)? Are there any movies (not based on books) that you would have loved to read a book of?
10 thoughts on “10 Popular Movies To Books: Cool Novelizations”
I didn’t know Coco was also a novel. Interesting!
My post: https://lydiaschoch.com/top-ten-tuesday-what-books-should-actually-be-about-based-on-their-titles/
Goonies is one of my favorite movies, and I remember reading a novelization of it years ago. Then watching the movie again and becoming upset that some scenes from the book weren’t in the movie.
Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!
Interesting! I had no idea novelizations had been around for that long, but that makes total sense. I’m not usually a fan of book-to-movie adaptations so I don’t know how I’d feel about the other way around. I’ve never actually read one. Maybe I should…
Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!
I don’t think I’ve ever read a novelization of a movie or tv show. I loved Love Story (the movie). I know that Star Wars and Star Trek have a lot of books and series based on the movies and tv show.
I love a good novelization. When I was younger I read the Star Wars (original movie) novelization and it was fun . I didn’t know there was one for Dead Poets, and wow that Segal cover has SUCH a 70’s vibe.
Interesting reverse switch
Some of my most rated films here, Rainman is a classic. I love this film. I also love 10 things I hate about you.
Great list, Vidya. It just seems backwards to me. I know many books have been made from kids/family movies, but some of the others surprised me.
Coco is turning into a must watch for our family and love the animation! I didn’t know about Goonies being a book either. I must find it now 🙂
Cool list! I don’t think I’ve ever read a novelization, but my kid has a few books that are companions to TV shows she watches. She loves them.