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Young Adult Novels on the Big Screen

June 17, 2014

With a summer movie line-up that looks like the shelves of the young adult section in my favorite bookstore, I guess I’m not the only one who thinks YA novels make excellent cinema. By June 11, 2014, the film adaptation of DIVERGENT had earned nearly 268 million worldwide. In one week, THE FAULT IN OUR STARS raked in 79 million. THE GIVER, a film adaptation of Lois Lowry’s Newberry Medal-winning young adult novel, comes out in August 15, 2014 and a film adaptation of THE MAZE RUNNER by James Dashner is coming September 19, 2014.

Hollywood has taken an interest in the young adult market, and they’re looking to what teens are reading to find amazing stories that translate into movie magic. This is by no means a new trend, but it continues to be an advantage for book fans and movie fans alike. Fantastic novels reach a far wider audience once they’ve been adapted, and teens who might not normally read over summer break might be tempted to give the novels a try.

YA novels that are adapted into movies are chosen in large part because of you, the fans. You talk about the books you’re reading. You recommend them to your friends, your neighbors, your teachers, your family, and even random people in bookstores. You create fan fiction and art for your favorite characters and worlds. Hollywood searches for those stories that have a built-in fan base, because story worlds and characters who inspire such dedication and inspiration are damn good stories and people will pay to see their favorite stories come to life.

I don’t know about you, but I love finding the newest gems in the YA section: those stories that capture the imagination and heart of their readers, the stories that will become a permanent, and well-used, addition to any library. Those are the stories that will make for fantastic cinema. So take note, Hollywood, these are my three picks for recently released YA novels I’d love to see on the big screen.

YA Top Picks for the Big Screen


DANGEROUS by Shannon Hale —Shannon Hale, author of PRINCESS ACADEMY and the Ever After High series, knows how to write vibrant and strong-willed teen girls. Maisy Danger Brown, the lead in DANGEROUS, is no exception. She is an ideal choice for the new female super-hero: one who is incredibly smart, goofy, and confident. Not to mention, there is an epic battle with an alien race who wants to take over earth and some very unique mutant powers for Maisy and her friends.


ASK ME by Kimberly Pauley — What if the Oracles of ancient Greece had passed their gift on to their daughters? What if this descendent lived in Florida and still had to graduate high school? What if she was compelled to answer every question she heard, no matter how insignificant? ASK ME is deliciously dark and moody. The sweltering heat of Florida, the mystery of missing girl, and the promise of love would make for a beautiful and haunting film.


DEATH SPIRAL by Janie Chodosh — While the first two are very much suited to the big screen, Death Spiral would make an extremely addicting television series. This first book in the new mystery series introduces Faith Flores, a young girl who is trying to solve her mother’s murder. She’s the only person who will not accept that her mother died of a drug overdose, and she’s not going to stop until she can prove it. DEATH SPIRAL is gritty, realistic, and suspenseful. Faith is a wonderfully complex character, and who breaks away from the typical teenage girl mold; she loves science and math!

What do you think, dear readers? What new YA novels would you love to see on the big screen?

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