12 Books that Should Be Films… with Great Roles for Women

red sister

Since the Oscars are this Sunday I thought I’d do 12 Books that Should Be Films (or series) Right now! And since Circe- one of my recent favorites got optioned for a series I thought I’d get specific to ones with great roles for women!

Red Sister, Grey Sister & (hopefully) Holy Sister

Want to go to school to be assassin nuns? This series is mainly women across the ages (so great roles for many actresses) though our main character in Red Sister is young Nona Gray. Actual badass. There’s cool world building and magic but the emphasis is on the girls and women, the strong female friendships and love. Plus in Grey Sister exploding heads!

Circling the Sun

Circling the Sun

The story of Beryl Markham a horse trainer and eventually a pilot in the early part of last century. She lived wild and free and eventually had a relationship with Denys Finch Hatton (whom I know from Out of Africa.) This actually takes place mostly in Africa and could be incredibly cinematic and because its a period piece I could totally see Keira Knightley playing Markham.

Gotham City Sirens

Gotham City Sirens

Obviously we may very well get this eventually (if they don’t run Harley into the ground first) but I’m still of the opinion we should be getting it first. Its been a bit since I’ve read this but my fan-cast for Ivy has always been Eva Green.

the loneliest girl in the universe

The Loneliest Girl in the Universe

Okay, Romy Silvers is the only female role (she’s not lonely for nothing) but what a role it would be. Left alone on a spaceship following the death of her parents she thinks she has a chance when she learns there’s another ship that was sent after her but all might not be as it seems. I’ve honestly always liked Zendaya for this role.

the witches of new york

The Witches of New York

Three women try to make their way in the ever-changing world of 1880 New York. They happen to be business women who own a lovely little tea shop and some witchcraft of course. When one disappears we get a nice little race against time mystery. I thought of this actually while watching The Alienist. It would make a great limited series.

honor among thieves

Honor Among Thieves

A petty thief is selected for a special program where she’s paired with a Leviathan ship to explore deep space. I read this book last year and loved it. I loved the friendship that develops between Zara and her partner a girl whose pretty different from her but they learn to work together. I loved the whole story really and Leviathan travel always makes me think of the show Farscape which I loved!

side effects may vary

Side Effects May Vary

This was my first Julie Murphy novel and it’s only grown on me. It’s about a 16-year old girl who gets diagnosed with terminal leukemia and decides that her bucket list will be about righting what she sees is wrong a whole lot of revenge and telling people what she thinks of them.

And then she goes into remission.

This could be a great role because the majority of these movies are just so sad and maudlin. It was nice to see a character who wasn’t happy and waiting to die like a typical YA heroine.


The Lunar Chronicles

There are the four strong, but in different ways, female leads of each book and the female villainess along with a really cool robot. So overall it’s a great line-up that should add to some nice diverse casting as well. Plus it appeals to the Once Upon a Time, Disney Princess lovers set but gives it a nice sci-fi spin. It screams nice Netflix series production.

beauty queens

Beauty Queens

This may have already been a series or a film so let’s say it deserves another shot. This ones about a plane full of Beauty Pageant contestants that crash lands on a deserted island and must survive. With a good cast and writers that can keep it funny without going over the line it could be a great comedy.

the girl in the tower

The Bear and the Nightingale, The Girl in the Tower & The Winter of the Witch

Vasya is our main character as we follow her adventures over three books. She can see the spirits and other magic things that are slowly fading in Russia hundreds of years ago. She also tangles with a Frost Demon. Battles accusations of witchcraft and eventually even larger issues.

There are many other interesting roles for women in this one including Vasya’s stepmother, sister and young niece. Plus Russia in the time period and in Winter would also be crazy cinematic.



To me the girl on the cover screams Alicia Vikander should be playing this role. Julie is a famous singer, dualist whose romances with men but mostly women help make her infamous. Seriously, one girlfriend is sent to a convent by her family but that does not stop Julie. Plus it’s Paris and Versaille in the 1600 and 1700’s.



A recent read for me. This has an interesting magic system based on colors (so would look good on screen…) Plus sisters! There’s Siri- a wild young Princess sent to marry a monster and hopefully prevent war in place of her sister Vivenna who goes to save her for many different reasons.

What was most interesting for me is that neither sisters story goes how I thought it would and Vivenna especially is a powerful and really relatable one.

So that’s my list should Netflix or any other studio be interested 🙂





21 thoughts on “12 Books that Should Be Films… with Great Roles for Women

  1. These are incredibly good selling, well written synopsis. Makes me want to read them. Or listen on audiobook actually since I really have barely anytime to read anymore 😕. They read like they would be easily adapted. Well not easily, but practical (?)

  2. Marissa Meyer shared a poll on Instagram asking if it should be a series or a movie. I don’t want to hope but inner me is “sign? sign? gooosh” for now *pokers face* it does scream turn me into a tv series I am down for that! You make me want to reread Beauty Queen it was such a good book; satirical, dark comedy would be a great movie too. Love you list!

    1. What? I didn’t see that! I couldn’t help think of this one after hearing about the Shadow and Bone series so maybe Netflix is just going to start buying all the books to adapt? Fingers crossed!

    1. Not sure. Someone mentioned the author tweeting a poll should it be a movie or series but I don’t think there’s been anything announced. Netflix would be a good choice for it though!

  3. Yessss, the Winternight Trilogy would make an excellent movie trilogy or series 🙂 And ‘Warbreaker’ for sure as well! People keep talking about Mistborn & Stormlight.. (which would be GREAT, don’t get me wrong^^), but ‘Warbreaker’ is a stand alone (so far) and probably a bit easier to do. I’d love any Sanderson adaptation 😀

    1. I haven’t read Mistborn or Stormlight yet but I plan to 🙂 I just really love the sisters arc and the talking sword but Sanderson does seem like all his work would do really well being adapted. I think he manages a lot of depth and character but keeps the pacing on point!

  4. ooh I love this list so much!! That’s so cool circe got optioned for a series- wow- I can’t wait for that!! And I’d *love* red sister to be a movie- I think it’d be fantastic as well!!! I still need to read loneliest girl in the universe- but it sounds awesome. And yes please to cinder and bear and the nightingale!!! 😀

  5. I can picture Netflix eventually making a series out of the Lunar Chronicles! Side Effects May Vary sounds like it would be perfect for the screen, the story definitely seems scandalous. 😏

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