Talk of turning my YA novel, I Like You Like This, into a movie all started when Kirkus Review compared it to a John Hughes film. It was thrilling to be mentioned in the same company. Then fans at book events, as well as family and friends, began to chime in that they could see I Like You Like This made into a movie. And by the way, they would add, when will this happen?

It got me thinking who could play this group of troubled teens in upper middle-class suburbia in 1984—kids dealing with dysfunctional families, dark secrets, and an unlikely desperate love.

Hmmm. Here goes.


My Dream Cast

Odeya Rush

Hannah Zandana = Odeya Rush

I first noticed the cute, edgy actress when I took one of my sons to see the 2015 Goosebumps movie. Her character’s name was also Hannah. Currently she appears in Lady Bird. Okay, so far so good. She’s got the right hair and the light eyes. Whether she can blush like an Irish girl remains to be seen.


Douglas Booth

Deacon Giroux (1) = Douglas Booth

I have two Deacons because I couldn’t decide. Booth was pretty dreamy in the 2013 adaption of Romeo & Juliet with Hailee Steinfeld. He has great brows, wonderful full lips, and is tall like Deacon’s character at 6′1″. Booth is also the right mix of Matt Dillon and Rob Lowe from The Outsiders as Deacon’s appearance is described. He also looks amazing as a blond, which may or may not come in handy.


Gregg Sulkin

Deacon Giroux (2) = Gregg Sulkin

My children and I used to love Selena Gomez’s Disney show, Witches of Waverly Place. That’s where I first stumbled upon Sulkin who played Selena’s love interest. Unfortunately his character turned out to be a werewolf. It didn’t work out so well. More recently he can be seen in the TV series, The Runaways. He’s got soulful brown eyes, furry brows, and full lips. Sulkin is a bit on the short side though at 5′9″ and I’m not sure it matters.


Natalya Rudakova

Gillian = Natalya Rudakova

When I see Rudakova’s face, I see Gillian, the gossip-loving, smirking queen bee with red hair and the icy-blue eyes. She appeared in the movie Transporter 3 and got to kiss with Jason Statham. Other than that, I don’t know much about her. 


Phoebe Cates

Taylor = Phoebe Cates

In my mind Taylor’s character is akin to the 80s teen actress Phoebe Cates. She is the reluctant sidekick in Gillian’s coven and is a natural beauty with private-school-girl looks, a balletic body, and the world’s largest collection of padded preppy headbands. I also like Nina Dobrev of Vampire Diaries, but she looks more intelligent than doe-eyed to play Taylor.


Amanda Peterson

Leeza = Amanda Peterson

Leeza is the overachieving popular girl in high school who beckons to the call of the queen bee, Gillian. She holds a big family secret that is destined to ruin her. I don’t have any modern day actresses to play her, however I see her as the late actress, Amanda Peterson, from 1987’s Can’t Buy Me Love with Patrick Dempsey when he was still geeky.


Adam DeVine

Toby = Adam DeVine

I had Adam DeVine in mind when I wrote Toby’s character. I love him in Modern Family and the Pitch Perfect movie franchise. He embodies Toby in his goofiness, body type, and hopeful face.


Now It’s Your Turn

Do you see I Like You Like This as a movie? Who do you think should play some of your favorite characters? Leave your nominations in the comments below. Who knows, maybe together we can make it happen. XO


I Like You Like This is the first book in a YA duology about teens coming of age in 1984. It is a bronze recipient of the 2017 Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards and a USA Best Book Awards Finalist. If you’d like an interview, a guest blog post, or for me to attend your next book club, email me at Let’s do it!