By Nate Millado
Hey, bibliophiles: Need a breezy summer read? Check out the books that inspired these eight TV shows!
If you loved these page-to-screen adaptations—and are jonesing for more of your favorite characters, you'll want to stock up on the source material. Just in time for National Book Lovers Day on Aug. 9!
Under The Dome
Barbie (Mike Vogel) and the Chester's Mill residents in Under the Dome.
Photo Credit: CBS.com.
Based on Stephen King's best-selling novel
For three summers (2013–2015), the CBS sci-fi series uncovered the mystery of why and how an impenetrable dome descended on small town Chester's Mill, Maine. At a whopping 1,088 pages, Stephen King's epic is a serious commitment. But the prolific horror author is such a visual storyteller that it's worth reading for the first 100 pages alone, where King describes in shocking detail the post-dome murder and mayhem that befalls Chester's Mill.
Bob Morley as Bellamy and Eliza Taylor as Clarke in The 100.
Photo Credit: Diyah Pera/The CW.
Bummed about The 100 wrapping up its seven-season run in August? Dive into Kass Morgan's post-apocalyptic young adult novels—which actually provide an entirely new experience, given how much The CW's hit series deviates from its source material. Both the books and the show focus on 100 juvenile delinquents sent to recolonize Earth. If you're a fan of Finn, Raven, Murphy, Charlotte, Jasper, and Monty, you'll be heartbroken to know they're absent from the books. However, if you ship Bellamy and Clarke, you'll love that #Bellarke is endgame. Bellamy, in Chapter 30 of Homecoming: "I want to spend eons with you, Clarke Griffin." Swoon!
Roswell, New Mexico
Nathan Dean as Max and Jeanine Mason as Liz in Roswell, New Mexico.
Photo Credit: JSquared Photography/The CW.
Based on Melinda Metz's Roswell High book series
Sure, The CW's hit series—the second TV adaptation of the Roswell High novels—takes some liberties: It ages the characters into 20-somethings and adds timely political issues. But at its heart, Roswell is about the bond between alien Max and Liz, the human he saves (and falls in love with).
If you like your sci-fi with a side of teen angst, Roswell High is essential reading…and should hold you over until Season 3 of Roswell, New Mexico arrives on The CW sometime in 2021.
Kennedy McMann plays the amateur teen sleuth on The CW's Nancy Drew.
Photo Credit: Kharen Hill/The CW.
Based on the books by ghostwriter Carolyn Keene
Seeing that the source material is from the 1930s, it's no surprise that The CW updated its gritty Nancy Drew reboot for a new generation (think romance and ghosts).
But those looking for a nostalgic read should check out the old-school mysteries. Eagle-eyed viewers will notice a few Easter eggs based on Nancy Drew book titles, such as a nod to The Secret in the Old Attic in the pilot.
Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes book series
Missing the chemistry between Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) from Elementary? Well, there's certainly a treasure trove of Sherlock to unearth: Sir Arthur Conan Doyle penned four novels and 56 short stories featuring history's most famous private eye.
The modern-day retelling—which ran for seven seasons on CBS—shifted the setting from London to New York and gender-swapped Holmes' trusty sidekick. Still, it's fun to go back to the source material and spot shared references—e.g., the use of the singlestick as a weapon, "Jamie" Moriarty as Holmes' nemesis, and direct quotes ripped from the pages ("A loaf of bread and a clean collar" is a line straight out of The Hound of the Baskervilles).
The cast of the CBS series Zoo.
Photo Credit: CBS.com.
Based on the 2012 James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge novel Zoo
The white-knuckle thriller aired on CBS from 2015 to 2017 and centered on rogue zoologist Jackson Oz (James Wolk) as he and his team try to figure out why a wave of violent animal attacks on humans is sweeping the world. The series veers from the book by Season 2. But Patterson and Ledwidge's page-turner uniquely shifts the story's POV to the animals themselves.
Chace Crawford, Blake Lively, Ed Westwick, Leighton Meester, Penn Badgley, and Taylor Momsen in Gossip Girl.
Photo Credit: Andrew Eccles/The CW.
Based on Gossip Girl by Cecily von Ziegesar
Narrated by an omniscient gossipmonger (the voice of Kristen Bell), this steamy teen soap—which ran on The CW from 2007 to 2012—revolved around privileged New York private schoolers Serena van der Woodsen (Blake Lively) and Blair Waldorf (Leighton Meester) and the guys who obsessed over them.
Can't get enough backstabbing and bed-hopping of upper-crust Upper East Siders? Check out the original young adult novels by Cecily von Ziegesar, who based her books on her experiences at the Nightingale-Bamford School. So what's different in the source material? For starters, in the book, Chuck Bass is—gasp!—a secondary character! And Gossip Girl's identity is never revealed. But there are enough OMG moments to make this your next guilty pleasure. XOXO!
The Vampire Diaries
Based on L.J. Smith's The Vampire Diaries book series
But other than the names of characters, the books and the TV adaptation couldn't be more different—and that's not necessarily a stake through the heart. Because if you binged all eight seasons of TVD, you'll be treated to an entirely new tale by reading the books.