This is not quite the same as just imagining an actor -- though it often ends up that way once the book character is established enough -- because I very specifically want a book character with a similar personality / behavior to the screen character. Which means I need to find a plausible starting match. It's a whole thing I waste hours on googling every couple of months, and every single time I come up empty-handed I yell anew, "WHY DO YOU BOTHER WITH THIS," but then I find a book where it works and it's such a better reading experience.
(I SHOULD do matching cover images/reference photo, but I'm so tired and I wanna participate -- I almost gave up and didn't post at all when I thought about adding extra work)
1. Fourmile (Gary & Foster = Barbie & Joe from CBS's Under the Dome)
Although their respective ages are lower, the dynamic between them felt very similar: boy latches with hero worship onto a cool older guy, somewhere between older brother and father figure, who treats him respect and talks to him like an equal (within appropriate boundaries). And yes, I know Under the Dome is based on a book, but I took one look at it and went NYAH, so.
More detailed Goodreads review here, and some less polished flailing w/ a gifset example here on LJ.
2. Halfway To The Sky (Dani & her mother = Charlie & Rachel from NBC's Revolution)
Younger versions by 6 or 7 years, obviously -- I just think the frustration and tension between mother and daughter matches so well. (Also. There is a lot of hiking and camping on that show. By necessity, there, but who's counting.)
3. The Truth About You and Me (Maddie & Bennett = Eric & Lux from Life Unexpected)
Honestly, 90% of the reason I picked it was because of how much the cover model reminded me of Lux (see icon). It spat a whole bunch of cuteness out at me in return that I didn't have to feel
4. Kindness For Weakness (James = Ryan Atwood from The OC)
Per my review: "The premise of this book is basically "What if Ryan didn't have Sandy Cohen to bail him out?"" (and maybe if he'd been caught a year younger, so was a little scrawnier), and that feeling holds up.
5. Pirates! (Nancy Kington = Elizabeth Swann)
I will Yell about the greatness of this book to any Pirates of the Caribbean fans until I am blue in the face. READ IIIIT.
P.S. he's not a very active presence in the story, but plz note that Nancy is in love with her childhood friend William, despite circumstances keeping them apart, so take that as you will
6. Take A Bow (Emme = Marley Rose from Glee)
It's about four kids at a performing arts high school, how does your mind NOT go to Glee? Also Sophie = Rachel and Carter = Sam
7. We Are the Goldens (Nell & Layla = [teenage versions of] Nell & Kensi from NCIS: LA)
Okay, it's not a perfect comparison. But it was close enough, complete with one name, to make me happy. The women on the show act like sisters anyway. I will note that Nell is more like Nell than Layla is like Kensi. The comparison is more in how much Nell adores and looks up to her sister. Book!Nell also comes complete with a super-close male best friend, not unlike Nell's dynamic w/ Eric in the early seasons of the show.
8. Shine Shine Shine (Maxon = Walter O'Brien from Scorpion)
Honestly, you could probably spin this just as well for Sheldon from The Big Bang Theory, but I wanted maximum attractiveness factor. This character's devotion to his wife and quiet acceptance of her criticisms definitely gave me the same heart-punchy feelings I got watching Walter. Also, obviously the math/science genius factor.
*Runner-up for this character: William from Someone Else's Love Story, despite him being physically described as basically Chris Hemsworth-as-Thor.
9. The Paradise Guest House (Gabe & Jamie = Mitch & Jamie from Zoo)
It's probably more of a choose-your-own-age-mismatched-ship scenario, but I ran with Zoo because the name thing was v. helpful. I did genuinely think both Jamies were very similar in their sense of adventurousness and still being sort of adrift re: their life plans, with v. casual relationships, in their mid/late 20s, and I am of course always a sucker for 'introverted/settled-in-his-ways' guy being drawn out of his shell and falling for a younger woman.
10. What the Dead Leave Behind (Prudence = Edith from Crimson Peak)
Wealthy upper-class late-19th-century New York girl, recently murdered father (and fiance, in this one)... Basically, imagine if Edith became an amateur detective instead of a novelist, and didn't marry a random weird Englishman.
And now the floor: what books would you add to this category? I would LOVE more recs like this -- would really cut down on my hours of searching. I'll happily take plain old actor head-casts as well.