5 Netflix book Adaptations that went from good to bizarre, 2022!

For every bookworm who is always tucked in a corner with a book in front of their face, there is a mind that scans those words and imagines how those scenes might look in a book to movie adaptation.

Well, Netflix leaves no space for secret imaginations, as it has been bringing them to life for a while. As much as books provide a readymade plot and fanbase, the production might be successful in luring the fans in with the announcements of their favorite book being turned into a movie or series. The real challenge here is standing up to what the fans expect from the adaptation movie.

As a reader myself, it genuinely disappoints us when great books are turned into movie adaptations that make us want to throw our screens and scream like hulks. Either that or the movie adaptations are so exceptional that we end up wanting to hug the people who gave in their all. 

Being much of a romance person, these are the five movie adaptations that had me counting the days until their release. To know more about what I felt once I watched them, did I throw my laptop or hug it? Read further!

So the very first one that goes on the list of book to movie adaptations is:

5 Netflix book adaptations

#1 The Viscount Who Loved Me

It is safe to call this Netflix adaptation the bad boy and badass girl story. 

Summary: Half sisters Kate (Kathani) and Edwina Sharma arrive at the ton with their mother. The purpose of their arrival is to find a suitable love match for Edwina. On the other hand, the Rake with a capital R, Anthony Bridgerton, has finally decided to marry, not for love but to carry on the family line. Anthony wants nothing more than a wife who takes up all the duties after his mother. The whole season revolves around Anthony trying to court Edwina while also trying to convince Edwina’s elder half-sister, Kate Sharma. She believes that Anthony can never be capable of making a good love match for her sister.

My take on the book to Netflix adaptation:

For this one, I’d like to say that I wanted to throw the book and scream, but this Netflix series made me want to love Bridgerton all the more. While Julia Quinn did a pretty, well, not so-pretty job at the book, Shondaland gave us something worth worshipping in this Netflix adaptation! The slight hand touches, stolen glances, the raw tension, and practically the trying to avoid our feelings because of our duties part- all of it made this season ten times better than the previous one!

It was the brown girl who loved her tea with Indian spices and despised English tea as much as she despised chauvinistic Anthony that made me want to watch the series further. I knew Kate Sharma was going to be my all-time favorite main character the moment she rode onto the screen on her horse, and in the next scene, she was trolling the English tea with a secret smile. 

To say anything about Anthony was that the Rake in the book was a guy who wasn’t a ten, but the Rake in the movie was a man who was a nine, one point subtracted for chauvinism, but he had a deep-rooted fear of bees. Well, safe to say his fear worked in his favor. 

Also, this reviewer would like to appreciate Edwina Sharma’s character development. She went from the girl who wanted nothing but marriage to the girl who had discovered herself through the course of the events and was aware of her own wishes.

Daphne, literally and figuratively, brought her A game into this season with her matchmaking skills and the pall mall. Benedict was just his usual goofy self, and Collin was still hung up on his past love matters. 

The little Indian bits that this book to movie adaptation on Netflix contains, like Kate oiling Edwina’s hair, the Haldi ceremony, the designs of their jewelry and their costumes, and the cover of Kabhi Khushi Kabhi Ghum playing in the background – which also gave many brides their bridal entry song – was what made this season loved by Indians, and of course this reviewer.

What I loved the most about this season was that it wasn’t of the type where the girl takes the responsibility to make the bad boy better as if she is his personal therapist! There was much more to this season than just Anthony, Edwina, and Kate, but for that, one has to spend those six hours in front of the screen to enjoy this with a cup of Masala Chai, or the Chai tea latte, your choice. But for me, this was the best Netflix adaptation from the book that wasn’t so best.

I’d definitely give this one a 4.5-star rating.

#2 HeartStopper

Alice Osman’s graphic novel Heartstopper was churned out in a Netflix adaptation this year, and the whole LGBTQIA+ community was here for it!

Summary: When the guy sitting next to you in the homeroom is cute like a golden retriever, and you are the gayest person alive, sparks fly! The story follows Charlie Spring, who develops a crush on Nick Nelson, the rugby lad of the high school he goes to. 

My take on the book to Netflix adaptation:

I would be lying if I said I didn’t watch this series more than ten times. Because I did, and it is now my new comfort series. I’ve never seen anything cute, cuter, or cutest than this adaptation series! Even the fall leaves doodles are so famous that the moment you google Heartstopper and the search loads, a few fall leaves flutter across the screen. Another thing that caught everyone’s attention was the lock screen of Charlie’s phone that said GAY PANIC! Which is pretty much what every gay watching this Netflix book adaptation went through.

Alice Osman and the casting team did their best to find the main leads and the side characters exceptionally similar looking to the ones in the graphic novel. Even the Border Collie, Nellie Nelson, Nick Nelson’s dog, passed the woof-woof cast check.

Now, gays, bisexuals, pansexuals, lesbians, and queers – basically homosexual people – might agree to this that sacrifices are offered to the homosexual gods. Hence, their crushes turn out to be gay, so they get their happily ever afters. If this is not what Charlie did, then I’m still wondering how Nick Nelson, the straightest person Charlie’s friends had ever seen, turned out to be bisexual! 

What I loved the most about this Netflix adaptation, apart from the cute chemistry between the main characters – Nick and Charlie – was the queer representation the community actually craves for. Like really craves for! They gave us all: Nick – Bisexual, Charlie – Gay, Elle – Transgender, Tara – Lesbian, and Darcy – the all-time favorite lesbian. Olivia Colman did such a great job as Nick’s mother that almost all of the queers ended up wishing for an accepting parent like her. This series was a welcome change from the traumatic coming-out stories we are used to seeing.

This series is officially renewed for another season! And we can’t wait to see Nick, Charlie, and their friends, back on the screen to give us another season filled with cuteness. This is undoubtedly one of the most accurate and best Netflix book adaptations that stood to the expectations of the fanbase. 

If you decide to watch this one, get cozy in a corner and gather fluffs around you because chances are you might end up feeling mushy.

I’d rate this one, too, with a 4.5-star rating!

#3 Love and Gelato

Love and Gelato, a novel by Jenna Evans Welch, was turned into a book-to-movie adaptation. 

Warning: Please roll your R’s while reading this one because it is purely Italian, or so I thought when I started with the movie.

Summary: Lina Emerson, a high school graduate, is forced to take a gap year to fulfill her mother’s last wish, which is to travel to Italy. With the help of her mother’s diary, given to her by her godmother, she navigates through Italy and the new experiences she faces on her way to finding herself. 

My take on the book to Netflix adaptation:

This one-hour fifty-two minutes movie contains more Italian than I’ve heard in my entire life of twenty-one years. Although I did try learning Italian, that didn’t work out, and neither did this movie because of it. Imagine focusing more on the subtitles than the movie. Yes, that was not a good experience.

Having read the novel, there weren’t many parallels between the book and the movie adaptation. 

But through all the Italian that had my head spinning, the main character Lina Emerson managed to be intriguing. She was a natural. Her frizzy, not-so-curly curls, her simple looks, and her mother’s diary tucked under her arm took her along the city through her eyes. She was discovering – the city and herself, and I sat through the movie solely for her character development. There was a certain depth to her. She had spent her life within those boundaries due to her mother’s sickness, and the sudden change that came with fulfilling her mother’s last wish was somewhat less welcomed, but in the end, it was all about would it work out for her or not. And it did!

Lina Emerson’s love interests; what to say? Well, there were two, and one of them was the type of guy who had the money to lure but not the brains to be a keeper. The other one though was more fitting to the name of this movie, Love & Gelato. 

Even though this movie adaptation didn’t manage to woo me, it was a nice one-time watch; but very cliche, in my opinion; a girl goes to a European country to find herself and has many options to fall in love but chooses herself. Yes, it sounded to me like Queen of Kangana Ranaut and reminded me of Julia Roberts in Eat, Pray, Love.

For this one, I’d say that the novel was better than the movie adaptation; and the movie was only partly good because of its characters and the splendido scenarios of Rome and Florence. Plot-wise, it was a movie filled with cliches, is all I can say.

It is suitable for a one-time watch to experience the Italian summer and the beautiful montages, or for this one, I’d instead reread the book.

However, I’d give this book to movie adaptation a 2-star rating.

#4 Persuasion

Oh. My. God.

Do I see Jane Austen rolling in her grave? Because she might be after this book-to-movie adaptation is released!

Summary: Anne Elliot, an unmarried regency woman, the middle daughter of the three of Sir Walter Elliot of Kellynch Hall, once had a chance at love but was persuaded into blowing it because he didn’t come from an upstanding family with a large fortune. More than eight years later, the Elliots are in debt and are advised to take out a lease on Kellynch. The tenants end up being the close ones of Captian Frederick Wentworth, the former lover ‘Ex,’ if you will, of Anne Elliot. Wentworth is now angry at Anne for being persuaded into leaving him and announces that he’d marry any suitable girl who can fancy him, leaving behind a distressed Anne.

My take on the book to Netflix adaptation:

Novel: “There could have been no two hearts so open, no tastes so similar, no feelings so in unison, no countenances so beloved. Now they were as strangers, nay, worse than strangers, for they could never become acquainted. It was a perpetual estrangement.”

Netflix adaptation: “Now we’re worse than exes; we’re friends.”

Way to go, modernizing the dialogue to match whose tastes exactly? This Netflix book-to-movie adaptation brought nothing but disdain to the fans. I wanted nothing more than to shut my laptop and open the novel and bury myself in a corner where the dialogues of this movie won’t be able to catch up to me. Yet, here I am through with the whole movie and knowing this dialogue by heart only due to the pure annoyance of it. 

Why is it so difficult to adapt an Austen novel? She was one of the greatest classic authors, and Persuasion, published six months after her death, was the most straightforward novel with the purest of love. Our Anne Elliot wasn’t so bouncy and lively; she was tired of life waiting for love and wasn’t at all proud of her decision to leave Captain Wentworth. Reading that one sentence from the novel is enough to delve into the depths of Anne’s and Wentworth’s painful separation and how it still affected them after so many years.

Even though it was Netflix’s take at remaking the novel into a Netflix book adaptation, it certainly didn’t live up to the expectations of Janeites, and neither to the regency era. 

Only watch this one if you’re a non-Janeite. If you are one, avoid this at all costs and instead read the novel.

I’d want nothing but to rate this one a negative, but since they at least managed to give us a somewhat proper Wentworth’s letter at the end and a manageable ending, this Netflix adaptation gets only 1-star from me. 

Also Read: The year 2020 a Big Loss for Bollywood, 2020 Movies

#5 First Kill

This one, although not adapted from a book, is actually adapted from a short story written by V. E. Schwab named the same. 

Summary: Juliette, a legacy vampire, has to make her first kill to avoid the aftermath of not drinking from a human. While Calliope, a monster hunter, is eager to get a chance to make her first kill. When the two come across each other in high school, Juliette expresses a raging crush on Calliope, and Calliope makes plans to kill Juliette. The plot revolves around the enmity between the whole vampire legacy and the monster hunters; and how it affects the lives of Juliette and Calliope and their love throughout the series.

My take on the book to Netflix adaptation:

To be honest, I’m not a big fan of monsters, they’re slimy, and they creep me out. This Netflix book adaptation was an exception only because of the great chemistry between the main leads and the plot of the series. It was different; it was pleasing, to say the least, but not a sight for sore eyes because it was scary as hell.

Everything I ever hated, monsters, snakes, and two lesbians breaking up at the end – was all included. Whenever either of those appeared on the screen, I watched it by keeping one half-closed eye on my phone and one eye fully closed, only the latter one I watched with both eyes open, wishing for the second season to just arrive immediately, at once!

Now, I’m not the one who would do so much eye-closing yet watching the series, which draws the conclusion that it was a good Netflix book adaptation. The overall lesbian community was rooting for the moms of the main characters to fall in love, and I couldn’t agree more. Elizabeth Mitchell looked nothing short of dazzling. 

If you watch this one, make sure you love monsters or sit with a bucket because when they’re killed and the slimy stuff escapes them, you might feel like throwing up.

Other than that, this was an excellent book-to-series Netflix adaptation, and I’d rate it 3-stars as I await another season.

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