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Season 5, Episode 3

The Book Was Better, Maybe? Part 2

July 21, 2022

Jen and Tana talk about their favorite book to streaming series adaptations and some of the upcoming book to series adaptations they are looking forward to seeing. Book recommendations for young adult and middle grade readers.

Titles Mentioned in This Episode

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Jen 0:01 This is Planet Book with Jennifer and Taña . On this show, we talk about the stories that mean the most to us. If you love books, you've come to the right place. Planet Book is made possible by the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Welcome to the Planet. I'm your host, Jennifer.

Taña 0:16 And I am Taña .

Jen 0:17 Alright, in the last episode, we talked about our favorite YA book to movie adaptations, and the ones we were most looking forward to. Today, we're going to talk about the book to series adaptations that we really, really love, and then a couple that we're looking forward to.

Taña 0:38 Great.

Jen 0:39 Well, I am going to start off today because, you know, I think in previous seasons I talked about Alice Oseman's 2018 graphic novel, Heartstopper. It had been a webcomic, and then I think through Kickstarter, it was turned into a book, Heartstopper. I've read the entire series of graphic novels. There's four or five and they are all great. It was just such a sweet, tender story.

Taña 1:13 It is. I read the first one only. A very, very cute little story.

Jen 1:17 Right? And so let me tell you, I was worried. I was so worried that something I loved so much was going to be turned into a pile of junk. So I went into this TV Netflix series. It was a 2022. April of 2022, it came out on Netflix as I think an eight episode series. Oh my! It delivered!

Taña 1:44 You liked it?

Jen 1:45 Yes, yes, it was so sweet. And I think it goes back to kind of what we were talking about before: casting and author involvement. So the teens that were cast were actual teenagers.

Taña 1:59 That's a big one.

Jen 2:00 Not twenty five year olds. So it's also - I didn't find a rating on this, but I think it's solid - like if it says PG-13,it's almost PG practically. These kids are fairly wholesome kids.

Taña 2:17 It's rather innocent.

Jen 2:18 Yeah, it's innocent, but in terms of diversity and representation… It really has great representation in terms of various gender identities or sexualities. And it's dealing with 9th and 10th and 11th graders, kind of how they're dealing with that. Alice Oseman is British, so it's set in a British High School. So we're looking at Charlie, who is a kid that came out the previous year and had been bullied. And so basically, he sits down next to this kid, Nick, that's a rugby player. And you think, "uh-oh, what's gonna happen?" It ends up they forge this great friendship. So you look at the way sometimes, when you start making a new friend, sometimes you meet their friends, and they meet your friends.

Taña 3:13 Exactly.

Jen 3:14 And so they're kind of an odd couple, in terms of friends. Because you've got this, you know, super athletic,

Taña 3:21 They're from two different groups.

Jen 3:22 but totally… Yeah. Totally sweet. Like, he's the biggest sweetheart, this Nick, I love the character. You have the different groups and how sometimes different groups aren't as accepting, sometimes, of your new friends. So you're dealing with that. And you're also dealing with Charlie kind of getting a crush on Nick. And the question is: Nick kind of seems like he likes Charlie back. So we've got to figure out is Charlie just reading into this? Or is Nick actually falling in love with Charlie? Agh! Just so precious. Nick was just like, "Oh, hey. I'm the rugby player that sitting next to the out gay kid, and I'm not gonna bully him." You know, that's kind of like what you think it's gonna be at first.

Taña 4:09 Right.

Jen 4:10 But then they, you know, kind of are giving each other butterflies, and I don't know… It's just you can tell they're falling in love.

Taña 4:21 Well, that seems to - and they did a good job. Will there be a season two? Do you think?

Jen 4:25 There better be. Right now it has a 100% critic score on Rotten Tomatoes and a 98% audience score.

Taña 4:34 Wow, that's one of the highest I've ever seen.

Jen 4:36 And again, we're recording this in May, so who knows that might change. But at least from the fans that have watched it - just go watch it. Sorry. That's my last thing I'll say about it.

Taña 4:52 Well, one of my favorite ones is on Peacock. I don't know. Peacock is not as big of a streaming service as others. It was released to Netflix International, and they are looking at a season two, but right now it's only on Peacock here in America. It's a series, the book is by Karen McManus, One of Us is Lying. It's a teenage mystery. I will say that I thought the casting - they cast slightly older kids and it threw me off at first but the story was well enough done. And everything was well enough done that I settled into it.

Jen 5:28 So, when they cast older, did you think that meant for like more violence and sex and that kind of stuff?

Taña 5:34 I think it was so that they could. The violence, you don't see a whole lot of violence in it, even though it's about a murder.

Jen 5:42 Yeah.

Taña 5:43 But it was rated TV-MA. But again, I think it was rated higher than it - yes, there's some alcohol and drugs and smoking, but it's not overly done or overly shown.

Jen 5:57 Okay.

Taña 5:58 And even the relationships, the making out, is not overly done. But it is still rated TV-MA. So I would look at the older cast, especially with some of the subjects that it goes on to.

Jen 6:10 Yeah, so it'll be one you could recommend for the older teens. Did it stick to the story?

Taña 6:15 Pretty close. Yes. What I liked that they did, actually. In making it a series, they were able to expand on some of the secondary characters. That wasn't in the book. And so you got to know some of the secondary characters who were just kind of there. You got to know a little bit more about them. And they played a slightly bigger role in either helping or not helping the cause. And it was really cool to see them get more of a spotlight.

Jen 6:41 Yeah, because I think we talked about this before about how I'd read Station 11, and I was kind of underwhelmed; Which is an adult book. It was an adult book. But when I watched the HBO series, I loved it. It touched my heart way quicker. And it was because of the character choices they made. They kind of made character changes, but they made more impact to the story. So it worked.

Taña 7:07 That was exactly it.

Jen 7:09 I'm not against changing things if it makes for a better story.

Taña 7:13 And they didn't change any of the plot points, they just enhanced some of the characters to help out a little bit. At first… one of the first things that they did threw me just a little bit until I realized that they were just developing the younger sister to Bronwyn, who is one of the the four who are charged or suspected of the murder of a fifth high school student. Getting to see her and then even getting to see more of the ex-girlfriend and all of that it was - or, Simon's best friend who is the one that died, Simon died, and his best friend was also enhanced, Janae. I thought they did a fantastic job with the whole thing and they are making a season two. It is not based on the next book that Karen McManus wrote, because that is supposed to happen - that is One of Us is Next.

Jen 8:03 Oh, and it's a sequel to the first book.

Taña 8:06 It is. And it is actually taking place a year after the initial book. And the series is slated, they said, to start right after. Season Two starts right after Season One ended.

Jen 8:17 Where Season One left off?

Taña 8:18 So I don't think they're gonna stick quite to One of Us is Next. But I'm still excited to see what happens with that.

Jen 8:25 Yeah, that sounds pretty cool. Like you could read a book and get one ending and then potentially watch a series and see the characters in a totally different universe doing that.

Taña 8:35 And maybe even One of Us is Next will be Season Three. Who knows. Fingers crossed that Season Two is just as good as Season One.

Jen 8:43 One of the other series that I thought - that I really enjoyed last year in 2021 was: Netflix adapted R.L. Stein's Fear Street into three different movies, but they were all interconnected. Each movie kind of focused on a different decade or year. So like the first one was like 1994 and it was set kind of in the mall suburban setting; a lot of 80s and 90s slasher movies. It paid homage to that. So and then the next one was set in the 70's so it was before the first one took place. And it was like the summer camp massacre. So again, taking all the tropes from the 80's slasher movies and adapting them. And then the third film was 1666 so it sat in Puritanical Era. Did they follow Stein's actual stories? No, but I felt like it was true to the character. True to these books. True to their essence, I guess you would say.

Taña 10:03 And R.L. Stein has always been a little bit on the creepier side. Were the movies rather scary or were they more campy?

Jen 10:10 They are a solid R. So there is lots of blood. Lots of creepy. Yeah, very - I think if you're into scary movies, you'll very much enjoy them and they'll…

Taña 10:21 Hold up?

Jen 10:22 They'll provide lots of entertainment for you.

Taña 10:27 Fantastic

Jen 10:28 But not everybody's into scary. So I'm sorry, but what I'm looking forward to - I think it's - Is it Netflix again? it is Netflix again. They're taking Christopher Pike's Midnight Club. So Christopher Pike was a contemporary, with R.L. Stein, in the late 80s/mid 90s and wrote teen horror.

Taña 10:50 Yes.

Jen 10:51 And so they are… So Mike Flanagan, who directed The Haunting of Hill House, is doing a series - Yeah, it's a series.

Taña 11:02 That was a mini series. Yeah.

Jen 11:03 Yeah. Well, he's doing this mini series, which is called Midnight Club. So it's set in this hospital for terminally ill teenagers and they've got this little club that kind of gets together and tells scary stories. And they promise that the first one of them to die will come back and haunt the others.

Taña 11:23 Oh my goodness.

Jen 11:24 So I'm guessing we're gonna get some, you know, urban legends in there. Probably. Hopefully, each story will be kind of scary. But then you're going to also have - Oooh. What happens? Is the first to die going to come back and like haunt them? One of the cast members is Heather Langenkamp, who played Nancy in the Nightmare on Elm Street movies.

Taña 11:49 Oh, wow.

Jen 11:50 So, Mike Flanagan I have yet to see anything bad that he has made. Everything he touches is pretty great.

Taña 11:58 Yeah, if he's already done so much good horror stuff. I can't wait to see what he does with the stuff that I grew up reading, Christopher Pike.

Jen 12:06 Yeah, yeah. And for those of you who like horror, he was kind of what you read in the 90's. Yes.

Taña 12:13 Yes. He had very interesting ones. My favorite one was Remember When. I wonder if they'll do that one? Just that one sticks out to me, even to this day. Thirty years later.

Jen 12:20 It kind of makes me wonder if they're gonna take his stories and make them the stories the kids are telling me.

Taña 12:26 Really cool or just gonna adapt some of them. That's cool. Yeah. And you're looking forward to that. Do you know when it's coming out?

Jen 12:33 I think it's supposed to come out in 2022 or early 2023.

Taña 12:38 That's exciting. So I'll be on the lookout for that.

Jen 12:41 Netflix. The next series that I'm looking forward to is Scott Westerfeld's The Uglies. Have you read that one?

Taña 12:46 I did actually read the first one of that. I haven't finished the series on that but the first book the Uglies. I've read that.

Jen 12:53 Yeah. So the Uglies. When did that… That came out in 2005. So I remember reading like the Uglies when like The Hunger Games and Divergent and all of those.

Taña 13:05 Dystopian.

Jen 13:06 Yeah, all those teen dystopian books were really popular and this was one of them. Scott Westerfield was a great writer. And he has other series, but so this was the Uglies. And it's based in this futuristic world, where at the age of 16, you have to decide if you want to go ahead and get plastic surgery to basically make your outside perfect and symmetrical. Or if you want to stay your ugly self and live off the grid with other Uglies.

Taña 13:37 So if I remember correctly, they actually call themselves by all their flaws, like they called her nose because she had a big nose. Right?

JenWell, I don't remember.

Taña Yeah, they took any little flaw you had because they decided that everybody was ugly until they had plastic surgery. And so any flaw you had, they would make that into your nickname.

Jen 13:56 Yeah, and I know, I remember the book, like the kids that weren't pretty yet which sneak into the realm of the rise and then like one girl meets one of her former friends and he's kind of acting totally different.So then when she goes back to the school prior to getting the change, she she and another girl go off the grid and see what it's like to live amongst the somewhat ugly rebels if you want to call them that. But ironically, I did pull up the IMDB page or Internet Movie Database page. And of course the cast of the uglies are all gorgeous.

14:42 What are you going to find?

Jen 14:43 Yeah, so it'll be interesting how the uglies are represented, I don't know it's such a it sounds like such a gross concept. I will say it sounds like a gross concept. You know, to each his own in terms of plastic surgery. It's not my thing, but

Taña 14:59 Well and I was hesitant to read the book in the first place because of that, just because I don't want plastic surgery to ever be a normal thing for 16 year olds, right? It can be a good thing for people with abnormalities that need fixed or whatever,

Jen 15:15 or that they would feel better having, right? Any there anybody like, Hey, if you don't like something about yourself, and you want to make a change, and you can afford it good for you, good for

Taña 15:24 Good for you. You do you. But I don't want it to become commonplace. Yeah, to where at 16? You would have to do it or feel like you were ugly?

Jen 15:33 Yeah. And so it's actually a critique on that concept. So I'm looking forward to the series. I think it has a lot of potential.

Taña 15:44 I look forward to seeing what they do with it. And if they can play that up well.

Jen 15:48 Yeah. And because it was a, like, there's either three or four books in the series. Yes. If it is successful, they could go on and continue. So.

Taña 15:57 Right. I guess I forgot that. And that's a series. I guess I forgot that was a series.

Jen 16:03 In some of our conversations that have not been actually recorded for the podcast. You've talked about the movie Percy Jackson and how, how you kind of liked it, but it's actually going to be made into a series.

Taña 16:18 That will probably be better.

Jen 16:21 Right? Because were you the one telling me that like, the author didn't get much say in the movie. They made the kids older than in the book.

Taña 16:29 I did tell you they made the kids older, which I think works okay, but it was supposed to be younger, a little bit more innocent. Yeah. They're supposed to be like 10 to 13 at the most and in the movies. They're 16 to 17. So it's gonna be interesting to see them do it as a series though, because that way they can get more of the details that are in there. Yeah, when Percy and Annabeth and then go off onto their adventures.

Jen 16:53 Yeah, and I mean, it's based on Greek mythology, too. So you're, you're going to have a lot you can do with that.

Taña 17:00 Well, and they didn't finish, they only did the first two and there's five in the Percy Jackson series alone. So and they only did the first two.

Jen 17:07 I think having Rick Riordan's blessing, we'll we'll make this a much better, much better than than the movie.

Taña 17:16 The movies weren't bad.

Jen 17:19 But totally forgettable though. Like, again, I don't remember anything about the movie? Like that's the thing you asked if I'd watch it. I was like, the first one. But I don't remember anything.

Taña 17:28 My biggest thing was, and it was just that some of the details were left out. Some of the details were skipped over because they didn't necessarily have the technology for it. So hopefully in a series, they can get some of those characters a little bit more developed, too.

Jen 17:44 Well, and so this will lead me to the last one I'm going to mention. And that is the book, and I've talked about this in past episodes, They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera.

Taña 17:57 You are excited about that one.

Jen 17:58 I am. And this I would have figured would have been made into a movie because it I felt like you could probably have told the story with a movie, but they're making it into an HBO series. Man, HBO delivers.

Taña 18:15 They do.

Jen 18:17 I tend to like Netflix. It's you know, sometimes they're good. Sometimes they're not. I tend to most of the time HBO in the past like 5-10 years has just been hitting it out of the ballpark in terms of what they've made.

Taña 18:28 You can really get caught up in their stuff. Yeah, caught up in their stuff.

Jen 18:31 And so They Both Die at the End is by Adam Silvera. It's about two teenagers who get it's set in a futuristic world where you are notified the day you're going to die. So it's basically you got 24 hours to live your fullest life, to do your bucket list, tell people goodbye, you know, tie up loose ends. And you know, are they really going to die? That's I mean, that's what the title of the book is. So you're investing

Taña 19:02 Spoiler alert?

Jen 19:03 Yeah, you're investing into an entire series where potentially they both die at the end so like that's the catch and can it's one of those like 24 hour romances can you fall in love with someone in a day?

Taña 19:17 Wow. And they're gonna do the 24 hours in a series that's really cool.

Jen 19:21 Yeah, it's 24 hours of the series so they are not going to skimp on the stuff that just ripped your heart apart as you were reading about it. And those meet cute elements because I think they meet each other on some like website where the the people that are notified go to to potentially hook up with people that are in the same boat as them they're both going to die that day. So they get together to spend their last day not alone.

Taña 19:50 Now would you want to know the day you're gonna die?

Jen 19:52 No.

Taña 19:54 Cause I don't think I would.

Jen 19:56 I wouldn't. I don't know. I think you should live everyday. Be kind to people that you know, good karma, tell people you love them every day. Like, it seems it's the same thing with, like, I don't understand holidays, I feel like you should do nice things for people every day, not just like on their birthday. So I give kind of like dud gifts because like, Hey, I'm taking you out to eat, when it's not your birthday, you don't have to have a birthday for me to treat you nice.

Taña 20:31 Exactly. And that's the same if it's your last day on earth or not, you should have lived it like it's your last. Live it like you might never see that person again.

Jen 20:40 Yes. So anyway, those are the series that I'm looking forward to. There are a couple of graphic novels being adapted, but I don't really want to talk about those because they weren't cast yet. So that happens a lot, especially with graphic novels. It's going to be one of Brian K. Vaughan's. And he has had several of his adult works made into series. So it'll probably happen. But he has a graphic novel Paper Girls that if they were to make that into a series, I would really, really, really be looking forward to it.

Taña 21:16 We'll keep our eye on that one then. Well, I didn't have too many other series. So

Jen 21:21 Yeah, you had more movies, I had more series. And I think they're even adapting. Is it Blackout? That was the short story anthology.

Taña 21:32 It is a short story anthology. And are they doing that as a series?

Jen 21:35 I don't know. That's why I didn't know where to talk about it. Because Blackout is a short story anthology that was really good. It's set in New York during a blackout with different authors telling different stories of characters that are being that are in the blackout.

Taña 21:51 Yes. And it's kind of like Love, Actually where all those stories intertwine.

Jen 21:54 Right. And so, Michelle and Barack Obama, their production company is who's handling that. So that's, that has a lot of potential, right?

Taña 22:05 That's very exciting. I haven't seen anything by Barack or Michelle Obama yet.

Jen 22:11 I think they've had some documentaries so far. I would say in terms of funding, they're probably pretty good at getting funding. And, and this, this anthology was a We Need Diverse Books title. So there's going to be lots of representation in stories from different perspectives. So that would, that's another one I'm like, looking forward to if it happens.

Taña 22:35 I think that's what I enjoyed the most, though, was that the different stories were from different perspectives to get that diverse group to get the different voices out there and combined into one show.

Jen 22:45 Yeah. And it's funny because I felt like Blackout was kind of one of the weaker of the anthology series. There's a series with Fresh Ink. And oh, it one about like food, stories about food, people and food. And then there's the Blackout series. That was probably because I think it had more of a romantic slant to it. A lot of them were kind of meet cutes or romance themes, right?

Taña 23:12 It was mostly dealing with relationships, but different types of relationships.

Jen 23:16 Again, hopefully that will be a solid YA adaptation that we can take everybody to see and it won't be totally ruined.

Taña 23:25 But check out the book because it was actually a cute little book. I'm not the biggest fan of romance, you know, but it was a cute book.

Jen 23:32 Again, like that's what's great about short stories is you don't have to read them all. Like just read the ones that you think sound good to you.

Taña 23:39 That's perfect.

Jen 23:41 I guess that's gonna be it again for the day. Thanks for joining us for another episode. Send your book and show suggestions or comments to imagine@thelibraryorg. We would love to hear from you. Follow us on Facebook for the latest news and events. This has been a production of the Springfield-Greene County Library District. Thanks for listening.

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