These 5 books deserve movie adaptations

By Sara Williams, A.C. Reynolds HS, Asheville, N.C.

“Incarceron” by Catherine Fischer

ACReynolds-01IncarceronA thrilling science fiction-fantasy adventure that blends dystopia with the seventeenth century, it’s a wonder that “Incarceron” hasn’t scored a movie deal yet. The story intertwines the tales of Finn and Claudia, both a captive in their own way. Seventeen-year-old Finn is trapped inside the living prison Incarceron, a dangerous and hostile places full of forests, cities, and seas, but no escape. Finn has no memory of his past, though he believes he comes from Outside. After finding a crystal key that allows him to communicate with Claudia, Finn and his blood-brother Keiro, along with the strange philosopher Gildas and a girl named Attia whom they rescued from a notorious gang leader within the prison, set out to find an escape from Incarceron.

Claudia lives in the Outside, a place where time has been frozen in the seventeenth century and technological advancements are forbidden. As her father is the Warden of Incarceron, Claudia’s life is especially restricted to the stiff regulations of the Outside. Still, it doesn’t stifle her rebellious nature and she soon breaks into her father’s office, ultimately stealing a crystal key for herself. Assisted by her tutor, Jared, and her own curiosity of how Incarceron works, Claudia plots an escape for Finn, convinced he is a lost prince from the Outside.

Overall, “Incarceron” is an intense and gripping read. Although multiple rumors of a film adaption have floated around, there’s not much solid evidence on the matter. Hopefully, it will happen soon, and be followed closely behind with the book’s sequel “Sapphique.”

“Code Name Verity” by Elizabeth Wein 

ACReynolds-02CodeNameVeritySet during World War II, “Code Name Verity” tells the story of two British women fighting in the war as a pilot and a spy. When the they crash in France, the spy, Verity, is captured by Gestapo and held captive in a hotel-turned-prison. The deal she’s offered is simple: confess everything she knows about the British war effort or be sentenced to a horrible death.

Verity takes the deal. As she writes her confession, she interweaves the story of how she met and befriended the pilot, Maddie (code named Kittyhawk), with just enough tactical facts to buy herself more time to finish the story. But as the war progresses, the hotel becomes an increasingly unsafe place to stay and the Gestapo decides to move all of the prisoners. It’s this decision that leads to the reunion of Verity and Maddie, both of whom never knew if the other was still alive, though Maddie hunted relentlessly for her friend.

“Code Name Verity” is a heart-pounding story of friendship in the face of ultimate tragedy, with gut-wrenching twists and a narrative style that would play out perfectly on-screen.

“Every Day” by David Levithan 

ACReynolds-03EveryDayImagine waking up in a new place, a new body, a new life every single day.

That’s how it is for the soul of the teenager, A.

A has learned to adapt to the constant change, never making ties or disrupting the life of the host. Until one very fateful day, when A falls in love with a girl named Rhiannon.

A sets down a tricky path, navigating the lives of hosts but still daring to see Rhiannon on a daily basis. The two forge a strong but complicated bond, the limits of which are tested as A begins to take hosts farther and farther away from Rhiannon.

Brilliantly plotted and grippingly paced, “Every Day” encapsulates what it’s like to fight against the odds for love and challenges the question of how much each day affects the over-reaching pattern of our lives.

The diverse cast required to play A would only enhance a movie adaptation’s ability to fully do the novel justice. However, it is a fully possible feat to accomplish and the end result would be ticket-price worthy to view.

“Eleanor & Park” by Rainbow Rowell

ACReynolds-04EleanorParkDenim jackets. The smell of vanilla. Mixtapes of classic bands. 1980s comic books.

Set in the late ’80s and told from alternating viewpoints, “Eleanor & Park” is a roller coaster ride of emotions as the reader is pulled along the epic love story of the titular characters, Eleanor and Park. Beginning with nothing more than indifference to each other, a mutual interest in music and comics brings the two together.

The magic of the alternating viewpoints is that the reader gets the story from both sides. The first time Eleanor and Park hold hands, the audience knows exactly what it feels like for both of them. The fact that heavy emotion of the novel – the awkward moments aren’t sugarcoated, the tragedies aren’t downplayed – are sprinkled with bits of humor, creates a journey that feels true to life.

Taking “Eleanor & Park” from page to screen only makes sense. With “The Fault in Our Stars”-esque complexity of dealing with first love and loss, “Eleanor & Park” is thoughtful and poignant, creating a world that the reader (and hopefully one day the viewer) can’t help but fall into.

“I Am the Messenger” by Markus Zusak

ACReynolds-05IAmtheMessengerEd Kennedy is mostly nobody. An underage cab driver who is terrible at card games, Ed’s life is headed to nowhere.

That is, until he accidentally thwarts a bank robbery. Suddenly, mysterious directions begin arriving in the mail, written on playing cards. Ed has no choice but to follow the orders, which pull him along on a twisting and turning journey that begs questions of morality and worth.

Filled with enigmatic characters like Ed’s coffee-drinking dog named the Doorman and his charming best friend-love interest Audrey, “I Am the Messenger” is a gripping story of hard decisions and human nature. Zusak writes with original voice, allowing Ed to grow from his pessimistic self into a hero with believable progression.

Entrancing and heartfelt, there’s no reason that “I Am the Messenger” shouldn’t have a movie adaption by now.

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