Top Ten Books and TV Matches


Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

I’ve had so much fun compiling this week’s TTT! Obviously, I’m a total book lover, but I’m also addicted to quite a few TV shows and movies, so I was excited to combine these two loves for a TTT post. So, without further adieu, here is my list of books and TV shows/movies that share similar themes, settings, and/or characters.


nashville + open road summer

This pairing is pretty obvious! Like the show Nashville, Open Road Summer by Emery Lord is set in Nashville, TN and focuses on country music artists and their relationships with the other people in their lives (familial, romantic, and friendships). My favorite thing that these two have in common, however, is original music. Lord wrote her own songs for Lilah Montgomery and Matt Finch (<333), the two artists in Open Road Summer, while Nashville has multiple soundtracks full of original—and awesome—music!


hart of dixie + nowhere but home

I actually noticed these similarities pretty quickly when I first read Nowhere But Home by Liza Palmer. Though Hart of Dixie is set in Alabama and Nowhere But Home is set in Texas, they both exemplify small Southern town charm as well as how gossipy and in-your-business your small-Southern-town neighbors can be!


revenge + bittersweet

Both Revenge and Bittersweet by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore (which releases on May 13, 2014) expose a seedy, corrupt, scandalous side of wealthy families who have been “in power” for many years. Even the settings are quite similar. While Revenge is set in the Hamptons at the characters’ summer homes, Bittersweet is set at Winloch, a private summer village in Vermont that is inhabited solely by the Winslow family. There are even parallels between the main families: the Winslows and the Graysons have a lot in common!


friday night lights + hundred oaks series

Though Friday Night Lights is set in Dillon, Texas, the Hundred Oaks books by Miranda Kenneally are set in Franklin, TN, which is also a very sports-oriented place. While Friday Night Lights revolves around the Dillon Panthers football team, the show is primarily about the lives of the players (and Coach Taylor *swoon*), and this is how Kenneally’s books are as well. I often tell my students in the library not to be scared of these books if they aren’t sports fans because it’s more about relationships.


switched at birth + where the stars still shine

While these two stories aren’t exactly alike, they share quite a few similarities. In the TV show, Bay and Daphne were switched at birth and were raised by the wrong parents until they were 16, while Callie, in Where the Stars Still Shine by Trish Doller, was kidnapped by her mother and kept from her father and his very large (and loving) Greek family until she was 17. In Switched at Birth, the girls find their birth families and try to make up for lost time, though their “what could have been” is very different from their reality—Daphne grew up in a dangerous neighborhood with little money, while Bay lived in a mansion on the other side of town. Callie experiences the same feeling; she has flitted from place-to-place with her mother, never putting down roots, so when she returns to her dad and his family, she feels like she doesn’t belong. I highly recommend both this book and this show ifyou haven’t read/watched it!


parenthood + the one plus one

Parenthood is essentially about raising a family and the challenges that life throws at you along the way, which is also the theme of The One Plus One by Jojo Moyes (which comes out on July 1, 2014). Poor Jess, the mom in the book, has her share of challenges when raising her two children. Her son, Nicky is bullied at school, and Jess is at a loss about what to do to make it stop. Tanzie, her young daughter, is a math genius but has some developmental problems that are quite similar to a young character in Parenthood. In fact, I couldn’t help but notice the likeness the entire time I was reading. Y’all, I adore both of these. I cry over both, and I want to tackle hug the characters on both the show and in the book. Go watch Parenthood if you’re in the mood for a good cry, and DEFINITELY go pre-order The One Plus One. It’s one of my favorites of the year!


7th heaven + my life next door

Okay, I admit, I debated about including this pair because they have a lot of differences despite the similarities. The family element is the primary reason that I matched these two. 7th Heaven is a 90s show from the WB that I’m sure most of you remember: the Camden family with 7 children? I used to love that show because of the family dynamic and the closeness of the siblings. I got the same feeling when I read My Life Next Door and met the Garrett family. Gah, little George and Patsy are the sweetest babies ever! Though 7th Heaven definitely went downhill as the show progressed, the first three seasons were really good and a great example of a happy family. Though I hesitate to compare any family to the Garrett’s because they’ll always be the #1 fictional family in my mind.


mean girls + life by committee

This is another pairing that I debated on, but in the end, I decided to include it because I think that these two have a similar message about bullying and slut shaming. I’m sure all of you have seen Mean Girls, but if you haven’t: the school’s “it” group, the Plastics, is critical of everybody. They really hurt students with their bullying, so new girl Cady tries to infiltrate the group and take them down from the inside. Life By Committee by Corey Ann Haydu also has an example of girls bullying other girls. The main character, Tabitha, feels completely alone because of this bullying, which prompts her to join a “support group” (aka the “secret society” LBC). Additionally, the ending of both the movie and the book are quite similar. Do you remember the part of Mean Girls where each girl stands up in front of the other girls and tells the truth and apologizes? Well, there is a school assembly in Life By Committee that is very, very similar to that scene. The main difference between these two is that the movie presents this issue in a funny way, while the Life By Committee is much more serious.


remember the titans + the help

These two represent the same time period in U.S. history—the Civil Rights Movement and the beginning of integration in schools. Remember the Titans and The Help are phenomenal representations of the way things were in the 60s, though I was ragey while watching the movie and reading the book because this part of our history is so awful. I highly recommend reading The Help, one of my favorite historical fiction books. Its movie adaptation is also very well done!


veronica mars + unraveling

Oh hi, it’s Judith, and Ellice has allowed me to add another book/TV comparison to her fabulous list. Pretty much everyone knows that Veronica Mars is my all-time favorite show, because the snark! the mystery! the romance! the fabulous main character! It’s everything I want in a show, to be honest. The reason I’m linking this show to Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris is that, while reading, I couldn’t stop comparing the two. In fact, these two have so much in common that I’m not sure every hardcover Veronica Mars fan can take it. Reasons Unraveling is a lot like Veronica Mars: a pretty kick-ass main character, incredible mystery that hits close to home (J’s dad is a part of the FBI, V’s dad is ex-sheriff/private investigator), murder, snark, a great father-daughter relationship, and most of all: a complicated history (aka View Spoiler »). Both have a lot going on, but surprisingly, it works. If you want a Veronica Mars-esque story, you should definitely try this sci-fi YA version.

Let’s talk! Do you like any of these books and shows/movies?

Ellice has been blogging at Paper Riot since 2013. She is a librarian, book lover and Southern belle who loves sweet tea, animals, football and books with kissy scenes in them. You will mostly find her fangirling over contemporary books.

16 Responses to “Top Ten Books and TV Matches”

  1. Andi says:

    No wonder you had so much fun!!!!!!!! This is awesome!

  2. Becky says:

    Mate, I love your V Mars rec, that gets an instant add to my TBR list. The rest of the list is spot on also. I had the same Nashville rec this week too, it was probably my easiest rec. Love your rec for Nowhere but Home and Hart of Dixie I agree with you on that one. I’ll have to investigate some of the other books on your list. Not read a few of them so I shall certainly take a sneaky peek and see if they intrigue me.

  3. Ooh, I love your list! BITTERSWEET is already in my to read pile as is UNRAVELED. And I so adore PARENTHOOD – I’ll have to check out THE ONE PLUS ONE when it hits shelves for sure!

    • Ellice says:

      Oh Bittersweet is so different and SO good. I highly recommend One Plus One too. It’s my favorite of JoJo Moyes’ books so far. Enjoy!

  4. Annie says:

    This is so cool! I don’t watch Switched At Birth but I might try it now since I recently read Where The Stars Still Shine and really liked it! Switched At Birth sounds really interesting too!

    • Ellice says:

      I was late to the Switched at Birth party too, but I got hooked on it after just one episode. Beware: it’s addictive!

  5. I love your list!! I’ve been meaning to read Life By Committee… I love books with mean girls in them. Not sure why, it’s just one of my things. I also really want to read the Hundred Oaks series… I love Friday Night Lights, so I should love those books :)

    My TTT

  6. Leah says:

    Yes. YES to every. single. one of these. Oh my goodness.

  7. Hmm, this Unraveling sounds pretty good to me. I love me some VMARS! Hart of Dixie is a total guilty pleasure tv show for me!

  8. Cornelia says:

    I love Nashville! I’ll definitely have to check out Open Road Summer – it will be interesting to see how the written music plays in. Thanks for these :)

  9. There are a lot of shows/movies on here that I love so will definitely be checking out most of these books. Great list :)

  10. The only things I’ve seen are Hart of Dixie (I’m watching season 1 now) and Mean Girls + the first 4 episodes from Veronica Mars. I’m going to look into the books you’ve matched with those :D

  11. I just read LBC and I totally thought the same thing during the assembly. I was like hmmm this seems familiar. It definitely had a bit of a Mean Girls vibe. I loved it! That book was so freaking good.

  12. Alexa S. says:

    Can we please discuss how perfect your My Life Next Door + 7th Heaven pairing is? Because it is. I was super obsessed with that show when I was younger (and still occasionally rewatch it).

  13. What a fun list! One of the better ones I’ve come across!

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