Though we’re only halfway through the year, there’s already a slew of hot new book releases (and some yet to be released) that are slated for the movies and TV. From romance and thrillers to historical and young adult fiction, these are the new and upcoming titles already slated for book to movie adaptations. Check out the list below, including publishers’ descriptions.
Into the Water by Paula Hawkins
An addictive new novel of psychological suspense from the author of #1 New York Times bestseller and global phenomenon The Girl on the Train.
A single mother turns up dead at the bottom of the river that runs through town. Earlier in the summer, a vulnerable teenage girl met the same fate. They are not the first women lost to these dark waters, but their deaths disturb the river and its history, dredging up secrets long submerged.
Left behind is a lonely fifteen-year-old girl. Parentless and friendless, she now finds herself in the care of her mother’s sister, a fearful stranger who has been dragged back to the place she deliberately ran from—a place to which she vowed she’d never return.
With the same propulsive writing and acute understanding of human instincts that captivated millions of readers around the world in her explosive debut thriller, The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins delivers an urgent, twisting, deeply satisfying read that hinges on the deceptiveness of emotion and memory, as well as the devastating ways that the past can reach a long arm into the present.
Beware a calm surface — you never know what lies beneath.
The adaptation: Hawkins’s newest thriller is being adapted for film, and she will be executive producer on the project, helmed by Dreamworks Pictures. Variety reports that Marc Platt (La La Land) and Jared LeBoff are also producing.
The Dry by Jane Harper
A small town hides big secrets in The Dry, an atmospheric, page-turning debut mystery by award-winning author Jane Harper.
After getting a note demanding his presence, Federal Agent Aaron Falk arrives in his hometown for the first time in decades to attend the funeral of his best friend, Luke. Twenty years ago when Falk was accused of murder, Luke was his alibi. Falk and his father fled under a cloud of suspicion, saved from prosecution only because of Luke’s steadfast claim that the boys had been together at the time of the crime. But now more than one person knows they didn’t tell the truth back then, and Luke is dead.
Amid the worst drought in a century, Falk and the local detective question what really happened to Luke. As Falk reluctantly investigates to see if there’s more to Luke’s death than there seems to be, long-buried mysteries resurface, as do the lies that have haunted them. And Falk will find that small towns have always hidden big secrets.
The adaptation: Reese Witherspoon is keeping busy post-Big Little Lies: She’s teaming up with Bruna Papandrea again to produce a movie based on Harper’s debut novel. “When you fall in love, the feeling is undeniable, and Jane’s remarkable book possesses my two favorite things: Brilliant writing and an Australian setting,” Papandrea told Deadline.
The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion
On the cusp of turning 50, Adam Sharp likes his life. He’s happy with his partner Claire, he excels in music trivia at quiz night at the local pub, he looks after his mother, and he does the occasional consulting job in IT. But he can never quite shake off his nostalgia for what might have been: his blazing affair more than 20 years ago with an intelligent and strong-willed actress named Angelina Brown who taught him for the first time what it means to find — and then lose — love. How different might his life have been if he hadn’t let her walk away?
And then, out of nowhere, from the other side of the world, Angelina gets in touch. What does she want? Does Adam dare to live dangerously?
The adaptation: Toni Collette is set to star in the feature-film version of this novel from the author of The Rosie Project. According to Deadline, this is one of the first projects Collette has brought to her new production company, Vocab Films.
The Girl Before by JP Delaney
In the tradition of The Girl on the Train, The Silent Wife, and Gone Girl comes an enthralling psychological thriller that spins one woman’s seemingly good fortune, and another woman’s mysterious fate, through a kaleidoscope of duplicity, death, and deception.
Please make a list of every possession you consider essential to your life.
The request seems odd, even intrusive — and for the two women who answer, the consequences are devastating.
Reeling from a traumatic break-in, Emma wants a new place to live. But none of the apartments she sees are affordable or feel safe. Until One Folgate Street. The house is an architectural masterpiece: a minimalist design of pale stone, plate glass, and soaring ceilings. But there are rules. The enigmatic architect who designed the house retains full control: no books, no throw pillows, no photos or clutter or personal effects of any kind. The space is intended to transform its occupant — and it does.
After a personal tragedy, Jane needs a fresh start. When she finds One Folgate Street she is instantly drawn to the space — and to its aloof but seductive creator. Moving in, Jane soon learns about the untimely death of the home’s previous tenant, a woman similar to Jane in age and appearance. As Jane tries to untangle truth from lies, she unwittingly follows the same patterns, makes the same choices, crosses paths with the same people, and experiences the same terror, as the girl before.
The adaptation: Ron Howard is slated to direct the movie version of Delaney’s thriller, which was picked up by Universal. The thriller will be produced by Howard and Brian Grazer, along with Michael De Luca and Erica Huggins.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented
February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.
From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state — called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo — a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.
Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?
The adaptation: Saunders’s first novel has been flying off the shelves since February, and husband/wife actor and producer team Nick Offerman and Megan Mullally took notice. Deadline reports they’ll produce the film with Saunders.
A Separation by Katie Kitamura
This is her story. About the end of her marriage. About what happened when Christopher went missing and she went to find him. These are her secrets, this is what happened…
A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: it’s time for them to separate. For the moment it’s a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart, she’s not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love.
A searing, suspenseful story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation lays bare what divides us from the inner lives of others. With exquisitely cool precision, Katie Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on edge, with a fiercely mesmerizing story to tell.
Agent M by Henry Hemming
Spying is the art of knowing who to trust-and who to betray.
Maxwell Knight was perhaps the greatest spymaster in history, rumored to be the real-life inspiration for the James Bond character “M.” He did more than anyone in his era to combat the rising threat of fascism in Britain during World War II, in spite of his own history inside this movement. He was also truly eccentric — a thrice-married jazz aficionado who kept a menagerie of exotic pets — and almost totally unqualified for espionage.
Yet he had a gift for turning practically anyone into a fearless secret agent. Knight’s work revolutionized British intelligence, pioneering the use of female agents, among other accomplishments. In telling Knight’s remarkable story, Agent M also reveals for the first time in print the names and stories of some of the men and women recruited by Knight, on behalf of MI5, who were asked to infiltrate the country’s most dangerous political organizations.
Drawing on a vast array of original sources, Agent M reveals not only the story of one of the world’s greatest intelligence operators, but the sacrifices and courage required to confront fascism during a nation’s darkest time.
The adaptation: This real-life story will be produced by UK-based company Mammoth Screen (producers of Poldark and Victoria). Bridge of Spies‘s lead writer Matt Charman will write the screenplay for this multi-part drama series.
Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith
This romantic story of hope, chance, and change from the author of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight is one Jenny Han says is filled with all of her “favorite things,” Morgan Matson calls “something wonderful” and Stephanie Perkins says “is rich with the intensity of real love.”
Alice doesn’t believe in luck — at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday — just when it seems they might be on the brink of something — she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes.
At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall.
As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined… and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect.
The adaptation: Gilmore Girls star Lauren Graham’s production company, Good Game Productions, picked up the rights to this young adult novel.
Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
No one’s ever told Eleanor that life should be better than fine.
Meet Eleanor Oliphant: She struggles with appropriate social skills and tends to say exactly what she’s thinking. Nothing is missing in her carefully timetabled life of avoiding social interactions, where weekends are punctuated by frozen pizza, vodka, and phone chats with Mummy.
But everything changes when Eleanor meets Raymond, the bumbling and deeply unhygienic IT guy from her office. When she and Raymond together save Sammy, an elderly gentleman who has fallen on the sidewalk, the three become the kinds of friends who rescue one another from the lives of isolation they have each been living. And it is Raymond’s big heart that will ultimately help Eleanor find the way to repair her own profoundly damaged one.
Smart, warm, uplifting, Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is the story of an out-of-the-ordinary heroine whose deadpan weirdness and unconscious wit make for an irresistible journey as she realizes…
The only way to survive is to open your heart.
The adaptation: Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Hello Sunshine, will produce a film version of Honeyman’s debut novel. Deadline reports Witherspoon may also star in the film.
Afterlife by Marcus Sakey
Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds… and an unforgettable love story.
The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion — a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.
He wakes without a scratch.
The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people—until he sees they’re carrying machetes.
Welcome to the afterlife.
Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic.
Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love…w ith Will Brody.
But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect — and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.
From the author of the million-copy bestselling Brilliance trilogy comes a mind-bending thriller that explores our most haunting and fundamental question: What if death is just the beginning?
Release date: July 18
The adaptation: Imagine Entertainment won the film rights for Sakey’s science fiction novel, and Sakey will write the screenplay as well. According to Deadline, the film will tread “visually in terrain covered by such films as Ghost, Inception, and The Matrix.”
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with an administration at her high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.
Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.
Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!
Release date: September 19
The adaptation: Comedy queen Amy Poehler’s production company Paper Kites bought the rights to this teen novel coming out in September.
Sleeping Beauties by Stephen King and Owen King
In this spectacular father/son collaboration, Stephen King and Owen King tell the highest of high-stakes stories: what might happen if women disappeared from the world of men?
In a future so real and near it might be now, something happens when women go to sleep; they become shrouded in a cocoon-like gauze. If they are awakened, if the gauze wrapping their bodies is disturbed or violated, the women become feral and spectacularly violent; and while they sleep they go to another place… The men of our world are abandoned, left to their increasingly primal devices. One woman, however, the mysterious Evie, is immune to the blessing or curse of the sleeping disease. Is Evie a medical anomaly to be studied? Or is she a demon who must be slain? Set in a small Appalachian town whose primary employer is a women’s prison, Sleeping Beauties is a wildly provocative, gloriously absorbing father/son collaboration between Stephen King and Owen King.
Release date: September 26
The adaptation: The family writing team will produce a TV adaptation of their upcoming novel with Anonymous Content. Spotlight producer and Oscar-winner Michael Sugar will executive produce.
Nevermoor by Jessica Townsend
A breathtaking, enchanting new series by debut author Jessica Townsend, about a cursed girl who escapes death and finds herself in a magical world — but is then tested beyond her wildest imagination.
Morrigan Crow is cursed. Having been born on Eventide, the unluckiest day for any child to be born, she’s blamed for all local misfortunes, from hailstorms to heart attacks — and, worst of all, the curse means that Morrigan is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday.
But as Morrigan awaits her fate, a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears. Chased by black-smoke hounds and shadowy hunters on horseback, he whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor.
It’s then that Morrigan discovers Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the city’s most prestigious organization: the Wundrous Society. In order to join, she must compete in four difficult and dangerous trials against hundreds of other children, each boasting an extraordinary talent that sets them apart — an extraordinary talent that Morrigan insists she does not have. To stay in the safety of Nevermoor for good, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests — or she’ll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.
Perfect for fans of the Harry Potter series and Neil Gaiman, this fast-paced plot and imaginative world has a fresh new take on magic that will appeal to a new generation of readers.
Release date: October 31
The adaptation: After several studios chased down this young adult fantasy novel, Fox nabbed the rights late last year.
Artemis by Andy Weir
The bestselling author of The Martian returns with an irresistible new near-future thriller — a heist story set on the moon.
Jazz Bashara is a criminal.
Well, sort of. Life on Artemis, the first and only city on the moon, is tough if you’re not a rich tourist or an eccentric billionaire. So smuggling in the occasional harmless bit of contraband barely counts, right? Not when you’ve got debts to pay and your job as a porter barely covers the rent.
Everything changes when Jazz sees the chance to commit the perfect crime, with a reward too lucrative to turn down. But pulling off the impossible is just the start of her problems, as she learns that she’s stepped square into a conspiracy for control of Artemis itself — and that now, her only chance at survival lies in a gambit even riskier than the first.
Release date: November 14
The adaptation: After the success of the film adaptation of The Martian, it’s no surprise that the rights to Weir’s newest science fiction novel have already been acquired by Fox and New Regency. The Martian producer Simon Kinberg will produce Artemis as well.
Which of these adaptations are you most excited to see? Share in the comments!