Social media’s ‘Dark Academia’ subculture, which puts heavy emphasis on reading, writing and learning, has turned a ton of books into famous reads. Authors like Colleen Hoover and Jenny Han initially found their target audiences on TikTok and Instagram as their books became a rage among young people on these platforms.
We pick 5 books that have taken Instagram by storm and are now being adapted for the big screen.
Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston
Casey McQuiston’s Red, White & Royal Blue centres around Alex Claremont-Diaz, the son of US president Ellen Claremont and senator Oscar Diaz, and his romantic relationship with Prince Henry of the British royalty. The book has been adapted for a Prime Video movie. Directed by Matthew López, the film stars Nicholas Galitzine from Purple Hearts and Taylor Zakhar Perez from The Kissing Booth as Prince Henry and Alex Diaz respectively. It also features Uma Thurman in a pivotal role.
It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover
Colleen Hoover’s book It Ends With Us gives us a clear picture of the terrible effects of domestic violence. The story chronicles the life of Lily, who moves to Boston and falls in love with neurosurgeon Ryle only to reconnect with her ex-boyfriend Atlas. Though published in 2016, the book found fame through social media in 2019-2022. Actor-director Justin Baldoni’s Wayfarer Entertainment is now adapting the book for the big screen.
The Spanish Love Deception by Elena Armas
Written by Elena Armas, this New York and USA Today bestseller had initially been published independently. But after finding fame on TikTok, The Spanish Love Deception was picked up by the publication house Simon & Schuster. The book is about Catalina Martín who desperately needs a fake boyfriend to accompany her to her sister’s wedding in Spain. Steps in Aaron Blackford, who in Catalina’s mind is an insufferable know-it-all. The enemies-to-lovers trope is seriously explored in this book, which is now being adapted into a film directed by Peter Hutchings.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman
With the first season out on Netflix, Heartstopper has managed to capture hearts from all over the world with its representation of LGBTQ+ characters and a romance that will make you want one for yourself. Based on Alice Oseman’s graphic novel of the same name, the teen drama has another season coming up based on the second novel of the series. While most of the story centres around the characters of Nick (Kit Connor) and Joe (Charlie Spring), the series also explores the love lives of their friends.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) by Jenny Han
This list would be incomplete if we don’t mention Jenny Han’s popular teen book, which has also already been adapted into a web series by Amazon Prime. The first season showed Belly (Lola Tung) at her wit’s end trying to figure out her love life while already being in love with the mysterious Conrad Fisher (Christopher Briney). The tables turn when Conrad’s brother Jeremiah (Gavin Casalegno) confesses his feelings for Belly. The second season will come out soon with a love triangle and Taylor Swift songs to set the mood with.