12 Best-selling Books to Read Before They Hit The Big Screen

Book-to-movie 2023
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For over a century, the eternal question of whether a movie can achieve the same depth as the book it is based upon has sparked many heated debates among book lovers. And this year is no exception. 

From dazzling takes on modern best-sellers like Will Trent and The Nightingale to daring reimaginings of familiar classics like Salem’s Lot and Withering Heights, we unveil twelve book-to-screen adaptations that are set to make a splash in 2023. 

The Pale Blue Eye (The Pale Blue Eye by Louis Bayard)

Image Credit: William Morrow & Co
Image Credit: Netflix

When a young cadet is found hanging from a tree outside the West Point Academy, Augustus Landor is summoned to look into possible motives for suicide. The prestigious institution insists on total discretion, which causes further impediments to Landor’s investigation. As body mutilation and other chilling evidence come to light, the retired detective sets off on a hunt for a serial killer. Desperate for some inside information, he recruits Edgar Allan Poe, an eccentric student, whose dark poetry and penchant for the supernatural, have already raised some eyebrows among his fellow cadets.

This young scholar, who will later be known to the world as the father of the horror genre, plays a pivotal role in the twisted game of revenge.

Release Date: January 2023 on Netflix

Starring: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, and Gillian Anderson

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Mayfair Witches (The Witching Hour by Anne Rice)

Image Credit: Arrow
Image Credit: AMC

The Witching Hour is an extremely long novel, but don’t let that put you off reading as once you open the first page you soon find yourself completely absorbed in the chilling tale of the Mayfair Witches. This novel is a spellbinding, engrossing, well-written tale with complex and mysterious characters. The settings of each generation of the family, from the plantations on Haiti to the modern day gothic mansion in New Orleans, are so richly described that you can easily imagine yourself in those places. There are plenty of compelling twists and turns in the plot to keep you interested and the suspense is drawn out to perfection.

Release Date: January 2023 on AMC and AMC+

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Tongayi Chirisa and Harry Hamlin 

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Emily (Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë)

Image Credit: Chartwell Classics
Image Credit: Embankment Films

Loosely based on the life of Emily Brontë, this elegant blend of fact and fiction might not be a direct adaptation of Wuthering Heights, but rather a speculation on what inspired Emily Bronte to pen her famous novel.  

Wuthering Heights is a wild, passionate story of the intense and almost demonic love between Catherine Earnshaw and Heathcliff, a foundling adopted by Catherine’s father. After Mr Earnshaw’s death, Heathcliff is bullied and humiliated by Catherine’s brother Hindley and wrongly believing that his love for Catherine is not reciprocated, leaves Wuthering Heights, only to return years later as a wealthy and polished man. He proceeds to exact a terrible revenge for his former miseries.

The action of the story is chaotic and unremittingly violent, but the accomplished handling of a complex structure, the evocative descriptions of the lonely moorland setting and the poetic grandeur of vision combine to make this unique novel a masterpiece of English literature.

Release Date: 17 February 2023 in theaters

Starring: Oliver Jackson-Cohen, Emma Mackey and Fionn Whitehead

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Salem’s Lot (Salem’s Lot by Stephen King)

Image Credit: Goldston Books
Image Credit: NewLine

When two young boys venture into the woods, and only one returns alive, it becomes clear that something terrifying resides in an ideally New England town where well-hidden secrets are dragged out into light. From stakes and crosses to vampiric hypnotism and coffins, this exquisite vampire tale has all conventions of Dracula and Hammer Horror.

Release date in cinemas: TBD 2023 on Netflix

Starring: Lewis Pullman, Pilau Asbaek and Spencer Treat Clark.

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The Nightingale (The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah)

Image Credit: Macmillan USA
Image Credit: Media Agency

On the eve of World War II, France is engulfed by fear. Soon the lives of the Rossignol sisters from the tranquil town of Carriveau, will be changed forever. 

Vianne, will be forced to share her house with an abusive German commander while secretly helping dozens of Jewish orphans to conceal their true identities. Isabelle, will join the anti-Nazi partisan movement rescuing downed Allied pilots and facilitating their return home. Despite their differences, a young mother and a teenage rebel will each make ultimate sacrifices in their fight against the common enemy. A tribute to the War’s unsung heroes, this historical novel exposes the extraordinary acts of courage performed by French women. 

Release date in cinemas: 22 December 2023 in theaters

Starring: Elle Fanning, Dakota Fanning

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The Color Purple (The Color Purple by Alice Walker)

Image Credit: Weidenfeld and Nicholson
Image Credit: Oprah Daily

“The Color Purple is a novel by Alice Walker, published in 1982, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1983. Forty years later, it is still considered an important work of feminist African American fiction. The book deals with the struggle for empowerment and emancipation of an uneducated and abused Black woman.

The Color Purple documents the traumas and gradual triumph of Celie, an African American teenager raised in rural isolation in Georgia, as she comes to resist the paralyzing self-concept forced on her by others.”- Leynes

Release date in cinemas: 20th December 2023 in theaters

Starring: Danielle Brooks, Halle Bailey, Colman Domingo

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All The Lights We Cannot See (All The Lights We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr)

Image Credit: Scribner Books
Image Credit: Ingo Pertramer/Netflix/Fjedner

For Marie-Laure, a young girl, who lost her sight in her childhood, survival hangs on her ability to navigate labyrinths and trust her instincts. With the help of her father, Daniel LeBlanc, she learns to navigate the streets of Paris through miniature models and discovers the world through Braille books. Even in the darkest moments, when Marie-Laure’s family is forced to flee to Saint-Malo during Nazi occupation, the girl never loses hope. Her resourcefulness and resilience allow her to join the French Resistance, charms an enemy into an ally, and carry on her father’s mission to protect museum’s most prized possession.

Captivating and vivid, this Pulitzer-winning novel intricately weaves multiple threads through time and space, bringing the World War II setting to life.

Release Date: January 2023 on Netflix

Starring: Christian Bale, Harry Melling, and Gillian Anderson

Buy it on Amazon

The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes (The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins)

Image Credit: Scholastic
Image Credit: Scholastic

“In The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes, the tenth Hunger Games are about to begin, more than a half-century before Katniss Everdeen would make her debut as a fierce tribute and become the thorn in the side of Panem’s President Snow.

At the age of 18, the presidency is far from Coriolanus Snow’s thoughts. This year, the Gamemaker is adding a new twist to the Hunger Games. The student mentor of the winning tribute will be awarded a scholarship to attend a university. Coriolanus has every intention of winning that prize. When the Gamemaker assigns him to tribute Lucy Gray of District 12, however, he thinks his dream is stone-cold dead. That is, until his tribute sings like a songbird and everybody listens. Including his heart.”- J. Ash

Release Date:  17 November 2023 in theaters

Starring: Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer

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Knock at The Cabin (The Cabin at the End of The World by Paul Tremblay)

Image Credit: Titan Books
Image Credit: Universal Pictures

There is nothing more invigorating and more therapeutical than a cosy cabin getaway. Nestled in the heart of a lush forest, a lake-side retreat offers a chance to reconnect with nature and spend some quality time with loved ones. Or, at least, that’s what Eric and Andrew thought before taking a family trip to the woods. 

The first red flag is raised when their daughter Wen delivers a disturbing request from a stranger. Things take an even more unsettling turn, when four messengers, armed with makeshift weapons, invade the cabin. According to their prophecy, a family member must be sacrificed in order to save civilisation and the clock is ticking…

Release Date:  3 February 2023 in theaters

Starring: Rupert Grint, Ben Aldridge, David Bautista.

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Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire)

Image CreditT: ATRIA BOOKS
Image Credit: Warner Bros.

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand. 

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. Yet he has no idea that he has met his match.

Release Date: 12 April 2023 in theaters

Starring: Austin North, Virginia Gardner, Dylan Sprouse.

Buy it on Amazon

Will Trent (Triptych by Karin Slaughter)

Image Credit: Arrow
Image Credit: ABC

In the city of Atlanta, women are dying—at the hands of a killer who signs his work with a single, chilling act of mutilation. Leaving behind enough evidence to fuel a frenzied police hunt, this cunning madman is bringing together dozens of lives. Among them is Michael Ormewood, a veteran detective, whose arrogance and explosive temper are threatening his career. And Angie Polaski, a beautiful vice cop who was once Michael’s lover before she became his enemy.

But another player has entered the game: a loser ex-con who has stumbled upon the killer’s trail in the most coincidental of ways—someone who may be the key to breaking the case wide open…

Release Date: 3 January 2023 on ABC and Hulu

Starring: Ramón Rodríguez, Jake McLaughlin, and Sonja Sohn.

Buy it on Amazon

Great Expectations (Great Expectations by Charles Dickens)

Image Credit:Penguin Classics
Image Credit: FX/BBC

When an orphaned Pip suddenly finds himself in possession of “great expectations”, he soon learns the shattering truth behind the residents of Satis House. Having been groomed for the life of a gentleman by Miss Havisham, the true identity of his benefactor seems clear to the young man. Yet an embittered old spinster, who is haunted by the memories of her tragic wedding, sows seeds of hatred for the male sex in her young daughter’s heart. Soon Pip will discover that some acts of kindness can inflict the deepest wounds designed to tear his soul apart.

Release Date: TBC 2023 on Hulu and FX

Starring: Olivia Colman, Fionn Whitehead, Matt Berry. 

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Stella is a Marketing Consultant and has been writing content for Full Text Archive since 2015. When she is not writing, she is meticulously planning our social and e-mail campaigns. Stella holds a bachelor’s degree in English and Russian Literature, which has provided a broad foundation from which she continues to explore the written world.

She spends her free time reading, visiting old castles and discovering new coffee shops. She can be reached at stella

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