12 Best Chinese Dramas Based on Novels You Need To Read Then Watch & Compare

Best Chinese dramas based on novels to watch now

Screenwriting is an incredibly hard but often thankless job and I’ll eternally be grateful to the writers of some of my favourite dramas of all time. 

And if you’ve ever watched a drama and wondered how the creators were able to piece together such an amazing story that left you thrown, I get you because I’ve totally been in your shoes.

Loads of Chinese dramas are based on actual published books or web novels and screenwriters are brought into the fold to dramatise it. 

Sounds awesome? That’s because it absolutely is — these Cdramas based on novels promise double the fun because once you’ve watched them you can read the source text and figure out what they’re based on. 

1. Derailment

Derailment cdrama

In this drama, Jiang Xiao Yuan grapples with her shifting identity as she moves between two parallel worlds.

With Qi Lian’s help, she tries to then find her true self which has been stripped of wealth and status.

Book: Derailment (脱轨) by Priest

Related: Top 22 Chinese Dramas On YouTube With Complete English Subtitles

2. Siege In Fog

Siege In Fog Chinese drama

Siege in Fog follows a third master who falls for a maiden and pushes for marriage even though he knows she has feelings for another man. 

Through war and challenges, their love grows complicated with the return of her old flame and it’s one of the most faithful Cdrama adaptations of a book you’ll enjoy watching and reading. 

Book: Siege in Fog (迷雾围城) by Fei Wo Si Cun (匪我思存)

3. Born To Run

Born to run

After a car accident, two sisters struggle to rebuild their lives in this lovely Chinese drama based on a novel. 

Xiu Fang opens a shop while Xiu Li struggles with control, but their paths once again diverge after tragedy strikes.

Book:   Ru Guo Ben Pao Shi Wo De Su Ming (如果奔跑是我的宿命) by Ji Jing Rong (纪静蓉)

Also See: 8 Romantic Chinese Dramas About Love At First Sight Full Of Swoons

4. The Left Ear

The left ear

Li Er has had a crush on Xu Yi for the longest time but ends up becoming friends with Li Ba La, Xu Yi’s love interest. 

But then Ba La’s death after graduation changes everything for their families and friends and these two joined by mutual loss slowly find happiness with each other again. 

Book: The Left Ear (左耳) by Rao Xue Man She (饶雪漫)

5. Love Me, Love My Voice

Love me love my voice

Gu Sheng has dreams of collaborating with her favourite voice actor, Mo Qing Cheng. 

And when they meet, they strike up a friendship built on their shared passion for music that slowly blossoms into love.

This is another very interesting Chinese drama based on novels that you’ll totally love if you give it a chance. 

Book: Really, Really Miss You (很想很想你) by Mo Bao Fei Bao (墨宝非宝)

6. Wonderland of Love

Wonderland of love

Li Ni and Cui Lin, disguised identities on opposing sides of a rebellion, fall in love while they try to survive a competition and many encounters on the battlefield. 

Book: Le You Yuan (乐游原) by Fei Wo Si Cun (匪我思存)

You May Also Like: 9 Quirky Historical Chinese Dramas Loaded With Funny Moments

7. We Go Fast On Trust

We Go Fast On trust

Chen Mo Bai pursues his racing dream with the help of Shen Xi, who is struggling with personal challenges.

If you want a romantic coming-of-age Chinese drama adapted from a novel that’ll make you feel like you’re glowing from within, please give We Go Fast On Trust a chance. 

Book: Ji Su Bei Lun (极速悖论) by Jiao Tang Dong Gua (焦糖冬瓜)

8. A Different Mr Xiao

A different Mr xiao

Song Yi Ju’s life is disrupted when her teaching assistant, Xiao Jing, reveals a secret mission from the future. 

But as the two grow closer, their inevitable separation looms over them like a rainy cloud.

Book: A Different Mr Xiao (不一样的肖先生) by Jian Zou Pian Feng (坚走片峰)

9. Exclusive Fairytale

Exclusive Fairytale

Ling Chao and Xiao Tu’s childhood friendship evolves into love as they face growing pains together.

I loved this high school-to-college Chinese drama so much and if you want to check out the original text, you’re going to absolutely appreciate the novel it’s adapted from. 

Book: Once We Come Across Love (兔子压倒窝边草) by Yi Jin (忆锦)

10. Once And Forever

Once and forever cdrama

Xie Qiao’s unrequited love for He Xiao Zhou ends when she realizes her feelings for her childhood sweetheart, Qin Chuan.

Book: Once Young (曾少年) by Jiu Ye Hui (九夜茴)

11. The Lost 11th Floor

The Lost 11th floor

In this drama, Deputy Director Qu Jiang He deals with his riotous feelings about a mining disaster while trying to balance the different conflicting interests. 

This crime suspense Chinese drama based on a novel is honestly one of the best things and you’re going to be hooked from the very first scene. 

Book: Yan Gai (掩盖) by Wu He Ping (武和平)

Related Post: 14 Chinese Dramas With Multiple Seasons Perfect For A Binge Session

12. Twilight

Twilight cdrama

Liu Xia, a counsellor, and Qi Lian Shan, a screenwriter, collaborate on mental health projects and ultimately find love through their shared passion for helping others.

Book: Hard to Find Only Because of Twilight (只因暮色难寻) by Yujing Pengxiang (御井烹香)

Will you give any of these amazing Chinese dramas a chance? They’re all so good and I just know you’ll love them if you love reading and watching.

Make sure to check the related posts below and you’re going to find lots of other recommendations that will keep you glued to your screen. 

Up Next: Top 17 Most Watched Chinese Dramas on Viki That Are Super Interesting


I'm the girl for the job if you want amazing drama recommendations (no, really!), OST recs that will leave you deep in your feelings, and genuine drama talk that you can only get from a viewer with lots of biases. I'm always on the lookout for new dramas to watch, so don't hesitate to leave a comment with something you think I'll enjoy and I'll send a reply ASAP. Thanks for visiting!

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