In the age of streaming wars, we readers are reaping the benefits. Every day, we’re rewarded with shiny new trailers or casting news of shows based on our favorite books. This year especially holds a lot to look forward to, and we’ve rounded up a few of our most beloved stories hitting the big and little screens. So, mark your calendars, stock up on some popcorn, and get ready to watch these new movies and TV shows. And if you haven’t read these books yet, better hurry up!
Emily’s Pick #1: The Netflix TV show adaptation of ANXIOUS PEOPLE may have come out on December 28th, but I’d say that’s close enough to the year to add to your must-watch adaptations list—if you haven’t binge-watched it already. Fredrik Backman’s ANXIOUS PEOPLE holds the perfect plot for a TV show: an intriguing locked-room drama of strangers from all walks of life held hostage at an open house. You get a fun cast of characters, so you’re never bored, plus there are elements of an intriguing mystery story as a cop interrogates everyone involved to figure out exactly what happened. The trailer somehow manages to capture all the many emotions in the story—sad, funny, poignant, heartfelt, and more—and will get you even more excited to watch this delightful show.
An instant #1 New York Times bestseller, the new novel from the author of A Man Called Ove is a “quirky, big-hearted novel….Wry, wise and often laugh-out-loud funny, it’s a wholly original story that delivers pure pleasure” (People).
Looking at real estate isn’t usually a life-or-death situation, but an apartment open house becomes just that when a failed bank robber bursts in and takes a group of strangers hostage. The captives include a recently retired couple who relentlessly hunt down fixer-uppers to avoid the painful truth that they can’t fix their own marriage. There’s a wealthy bank director who has been too busy to care about anyone else and a young couple who are about to have their first child but can’t seem to agree on anything. Add to the mix an eighty-seven-year-old woman who has lived long enough not to be afraid of someone waving a gun in her face, a flustered but still-ready-to-make-a-deal real estate agent, and a mystery man who has locked himself in the apartment’s only bathroom, and you’ve got the worst group of hostages in the world.
Each of them carries a lifetime of grievances, hurts, secrets, and passions that are ready to boil over. None of them is entirely who they appear to be. And all of them—the bank robber included—desperately crave some sort of rescue. As the authorities and the media surround the premises, these reluctant allies will reveal surprising truths about themselves and set in motion a chain of events so unexpected that even they can hardly explain what happens next.
Proving once again that Backman is “a master of writing delightful, insightful, soulful, character-driven narratives” (USA TODAY), Anxious People “captures the messy essence of being human….It’s clever and affecting, as likely to make you laugh out loud as it is to make you cry” (The Washington Post). This “endlessly entertaining mood-booster” (Real Simple) is proof that the enduring power of friendship, forgiveness, and hope can save us—even in the most anxious of times.
Nicole’s Pick: I love scams. Okay, let me rephrase that in way that is less troublesome: I am fascinated by stories about people who engage in scams, especially when they believe they’re too smart to get caught. Enter: Anna Delvey. As chronicled in MY FRIEND ANNA, Delvey appears to be a wealthy New York City socialite who gallivants around the city paying for extravagant outings and flies all around the world taking vacations Kim Kardashian would be jealous of. But Anna pays for none of it. Eventually she pins an expensive Marrakech trip on her “friend” Rachel DeLoache Williams, who soon learns that she’s far from the only person Anna has scammed. Details of Anna’s exploits are revealed, leading to her eventual arrest. All that drama makes for a perfect TV show, and that’s what the queen of drama television, Shonda Rhimes, has given us. The first teaser trailer for INVENTING ANNA dropped recently, and if it’s any indication of the rest of the show, we are in for a treat. Starring Julia Garner as Anna, and Rhimes alum Katie Lowes as Rachel, INVENTING ANNA premieres on Netflix on Friday, February 11th.
Molly’s Pick: Before Lara-Jean Song Covey, there was Belly. Belly, who lives for the summers spent at her mother’s best friend Susannah’s beach house. Belly, best friend of Susannah’s younger, carefree son Jeremiah. Belly, who has long-harbored a crush on Susannah’s older, mercurial son Conrad. Belly, looked at as the perpetual younger sister . . . until the summer she turned pretty. This is the summer that changed everything, for better or worse. I first read Jenny Han’s THE SUMMER I TURNED PRETTY trilogy years ago—long before TATB was published and became a Netflix hit—and just recently reread the first book (for maybe the third time). Although the series published long after I was a teen, it still evokes the heartache and anguish of being a teenager. As Belly navigates her changing relationships with Jeremiah and Conrad, she also must contend with love and loss on a much bigger scale. It’s characteristically Jenny Han with swoony scenes and painful coming-of-age moments, but ultimately hopeful. It gets even juicier as the series progresses, too. I’m so looking forward to the adaptation on Amazon Prime, especially with this diverse and stacked cast.
Belly has an unforgettable summer in this stunning start to the Summer I Turned Pretty series from the New York Times bestselling author of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (soon to be a major motion picture!), Jenny Han.
Some summers are just destined to be pretty
Belly measures her life in summers. Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August. Winters are simply a time to count the weeks until the next summer, a place away from the beach house, away from Susannah, and most importantly, away from Jeremiah and Conrad. They are the boys that Belly has known since her very first summer -- they have been her brother figures, her crushes, and everything in between. But one summer, one wonderful and terrible summer, the more everything changes, the more it all ends up just the way it should have been all along.
Kelly’s Pick: THE TERMINAL LIST by Jack Carr will soon be an Amazon Prime original series in April, starring Chris Pratt! Before you watch, I recommend hearing this story come to life through the audiobook format, voiced by Ray Porter, who also narrates the other titles in the series: TRUE BELIEVER, SAVAGE SON, THE DEVIL'S HAND, and IN THE BLOOD (coming in April 2022). In this New York Times bestselling audiobook, a Navy SEAL has nothing left to live for and everything to kill for after he discovers that the American government is behind the deaths of his team. I was in so much suspense while listening to this action-packed thriller, so I'm excited to see how it's transformed into the visual format.
NEW YORK TIMES AND USA TODAY BESTSELLING AUTHOR
“Take my word for it, James Reece is one rowdy motherf***er. Get ready!”—Chris Pratt, all around great guy and star of The Terminal List, coming to Amazon Prime
A Navy SEAL has nothing left to live for and everything to kill for after he discovers that the American government is behind the deaths of his team in this ripped-from-the-headlines political thriller that is “so powerful, so pulse-pounding, so well-written—rarely do you read a debut novel this damn good” (Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author).
On his last combat deployment, Lieutenant Commander James Reece’s entire team was killed in a catastrophic ambush. But when those dearest to him are murdered on the day of his homecoming, Reece discovers that this was not an act of war by a foreign enemy but a conspiracy that runs to the highest levels of government.
Now, with no family and free from the military’s command structure, Reece applies the lessons that he’s learned in over a decade of constant warfare toward avenging the deaths of his family and teammates. With breathless pacing and relentless suspense, Reece ruthlessly targets his enemies in the upper echelons of power without regard for the laws of combat or the rule of law.
With “crackerjack plotting, vivid characters both in and out of uniform, and a relentless pace to a worthy finish” (Stephen Hunter, #1 New York Times bestselling author), The Terminal List is perfect for fans of Vince Flynn, Brad Thor, and Nelson DeMille.
Heather’s Pick #1: If you’ve half-memorized movies like You’ve Got Mail and 10 Things I Hate About You, then you’re not going to want to miss THE HATING GAME. Available to rent on streamers like Apple TV and Prime Video, the newly released rom-com is a pretty faithful adaptation of Sally Thorne’s 2016 book of the same name. Lucy Hale (from Pretty Little Liars) plays Lucy Hutton, a publishing assistant who spends every workday glaring daggers at her nemesis, fellow assistant Josh Templeman (brought to life by Austin Stowell). When the pair learn they are up for the same promotion, their rivalry seems poised to reach new heights (or lows). So why does Lucy suddenly get the feeling that her hatred for Josh may not actually be hatred at all?
Heather’s Pick #2: Looking for a breezy binge? I recommend checking out THE ASTROLOGICAL GUIDE FOR BROKEN HEARTS, an Italian-language TV series you can stream on Netflix. Based on the novel of the same name by Silvia Zucca, it’s the story of Alice Bissi, a 30-something single woman who’s struggling both at work and in her personal life. (And haven’t we all been there?) After meeting Theo, an astrologist who takes zodiac signs very seriously, Alice decides to test his theory that dating someone with a complementary star sign will lead her to true love. What follows is a fun series of romantic escapades that will make you root for Alice more and more . . . even as you start to suspect that the One for her was already in her orbit.
NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES
Frustrated at the path her life has taken, Alice decides to take control of her personal life using astrology as her guide in this quirky, steamy, and hilarious romantic comedy.
Alice Bassi is (a little) over thirty, single (not by choice), and she can’t help but feel that she is failing at this whole adulthood thing. She’s stuck in a dead-end job, just found out her ex-boyfriend is engaged to his pregnant girlfriend, and Richard Gere hasn’t shown up with flowers and a limo to save her from it all.
On one particularly disastrous morning—when Alice would much rather have stayed home, curled up with her favorite rom-coms—she meets Davide Nardi. Handsome yet indecipherable, Davide would be the leading man of Alice’s dreams—if only he weren’t the “hatchet man” brought in to help streamline production and personnel at the small television network she works for.
In the midst of all this, Alice runs into Tio—an actor and astrology expert who is convinced he can turn her life around with a little help from the stars. Skeptical but willing, Alice decides to take Tio’s advice and only date men whose Zodiac signs are compatible with hers. Unfortunately, it turns out that astrological affinity doesn’t always guarantee a perfect match, nor prevent a series of terrible dates, disappointments, and awkward surprises. It also doesn’t keep Davide from becoming more attractive every day.
Perfect for fans of Bridget Jones’s Diary and Star-Crossed, An Astrological Guide for Broken Hearts is a witty, sexy, and relatable portrait of a modern woman’s search for love and a dream job, only to discover that your destiny isn’t always written in the stars.
Emily's Pick #2: Big Little Lies creator David E. Kelley is behind Netflix’s upcoming six-part anthology series adapted from the gripping thriller ANATOMY OF A SCANDAL by Sarah Vaughan. As the title suggests, this book looks at the innards of a messy scandal within a wealthy British political family. When Sophie Whitehouse’s husband (who also happens to be a friend of the prime minister) reveals a horrible secret, their pasts, fears, and relationships are put on center stage in this #MeToo courtroom and domestic drama. With an added element of multiple POVs, this will be riveting to watch on the screen as the scandal reveals itself from all angles.
SOON TO BE A NETFLIX SERIES
Instant International Bestseller
“A nuanced story line perfectly in tune with our #metoo times.” —People, Book of the Week
“One of the season’s most buzzed-about thrillers.” —Bookish
Some people’s secrets are darker than others.
Sophie Whitehouse has a lovely home, two adorable children, and a handsome, successful husband. In other words, she has the “perfect” life. But everything changes the night her husband James comes home and confesses an indiscretion. Suddenly, her neat, ordered world is turned upside down. Did she ever really know the man she married?
And, as it turns out, James’s revelation is just the tip of the iceberg. He stands accused of a terrible crime. But, the truth is even more shocking than anyone ever could have thought. Is James the guilty perpetrator or an innocent victim of a toxic agenda?
In this riveting story of love, revenge, and deception, no one’s motives are pure, but some people’s secrets are much darker than others.
Photo credit: iStock / Tero Vesalainen