Fun Modern Takes on Your Favorite High School Literature Classics

You don’t have to have a degree in literature to get excited about the modern versions of the classics. Hollywood and the publishing industry have long mined the annals of your high school reading lists to develop modern adaptations of those beloved stories. You might think these cheap knockoffs are just for fun, but often they pack more of a punch. Modern retellings are geared toward you and can often hit harder to home with the original message which is why students getting an online masters in special education are sometimes instructed to use them in place of the originals. Here are some of the best fresh film and young adult novel takes on the books you read as a student.

Great by Sara Benincasa
Published in 2014, this retelling of The Great Gatsby is a fun, contemporary, gender swapping spin on the original. Narrator Nick Carraway has been reimagined as Naomi Rye, an awkward girl who feels out of place among the moneyed teens who reside near her mother’s East Hampton home. The biggest change? The central relationship driving the narrative is now same-sex, with the Daisy character left largely unchanged from the original novel.

10 Things I Hate About You

Fun Modern Takes on Your Favorite High School Literature Classics 1
This 90s teen-fueled film, now a classic in its own right, was inspired by Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew. Julia Stiles stars as Kat Stratford, the titular shrew, who is pursued by bad boy Patrick (Heath Ledger) so that nerd Cameron (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) can have a shot with her popular sister, Bianca (Larisa Oleynik). Set at a modern day Seattle high school, this light romantic comedy more than stands up to the test of time.

A Thousand Acres by Jane Smiley
This 1991 Pulitzer Prize winning novel draws its inspiration from another Shakespeare play, King Lear. The saga of a family fighting over a chunk of land in the wake of their father’s decline (rather than a kingdom as is the case in the latter), Smiley’s novel shares common themes with the play including desire, greed, and the devastating power of secrets. It’s as emotionally impactful as the play itself.


Fun Modern Takes on Your Favorite High School Literature Classics 2
The 1990s were ripe for high school movies echoing the plots and themes of storied classics. Clueless is a modern retelling of Jane Austen’s Emma, a story about a slightly “clueless”, but well-meaning socialite who strives to improve the lives of those around her. Clueless was well received by both critics and audiences, and inspired its own television show, as well as launched the career of star Alicia Silverstone.

Regardless of whether you were a bookworm during your school days, or just trudged through the classics you had to read, these modern retellings are worth a look. They may even inspire you to revisit the originals on which they are based.

Similar Articles




Recent Book Trailers



Don't Miss

Book Review: The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher

The Moonlight School by Suzanne Woods Fisher My rating: 5 of 5 stars Wow, I’m at a loss for words with this book. I’m not even...

A Light in the Darkness by Rian McMurtry Book Trailer

0 Angela Fujimori enters her sophomore year of high school with a world changed. She apprenticed herself to a necromancer classmate to learn magic and...

Book Review: Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Virgin River by Robyn Carr My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is such a great story. I loved every bit of it, especially the setting....

Penguin Random House to Purchase Simon & Schuster

In a just released press release, it has been announced the Penguin Random House Books will purchase the veritable Simon & Schuster Publishing. Here are...


After the events of the last book, Laurence has been found guilty of treason and is in jail. Temeraire has been placed in the...

Thankful Thanksgiving Wishes

Reader’s Entertainment Magazine and Radio started over a decade ago. We have won awards both for the magazine and the radio podcast. We’ve featured...

Illustrated Romance Covers of 2020

Not everything in 2020 has been completely horrible. Some things were mildly horrible. Some weren't horrible and a little bit was actually kinda fun....

Frankenstein Comic Wins Award

For immediate release: Readers' Favorite recognizes "Adam Frankenstein" by Sheila English in its annual international book award contest, currently available at The Readers' Favorite International Book...

Book Review: A Bride of Convenience

A Bride of Convenience by Jody Hedlund My rating: 4 of 5 stars This is such a heartwarming book. I absolutely love the characters and how...

Darko: The Sacred Heart of Johanee Darko Book Trailer

0 When everything falls apart, getting back to the basics is often the best answer. Kenny G. Down, continuing his work as a “grateful and...