YA Books to Movies: My Take

It seems like every YA book out there is being turned into a movie, or at least has a promise of being turned into a movie. Paranormalcy, Thirteen Reasons Why, Why We Broke Up are just a few in the endless sea of rights sold to make a film. It's sad that many actually don't make it to the big screen – like Wicked Lovely and A Great and Terrible Beauty – but hopefully there's a lot more going to be green-lighted. I'm a sucker for movies: it's always a tough decision when people ask me what I love better, books or movies, and of course I'll say books, but I have this deep LOVE for movies. I actually had movie mini-reviews on the blog, but stopped because the amount of movies I'd watched had gone on complete overload. English, Hindi, French; old, new, upcoming: it doesn't really matter, because I am a movie freak and I know it.
The reason I decided to type up this post was because over the summer I actually ended up watching a couple of YA to movie adaptions, all pretty recently released within a year or so. I liked a couple, I really didn't like a couple, and then there were the ones which I was caught in the middle.

YA adaptions I've watched recently...

Obviously, I've seen way more adaptions, but that may take too long to talk about them.

The Host (based on the book by Stephenie Meyer): This was pretty much the battle of the hot boys for me. I actually ended up enjoying this one, but found that it probably went a tad-bit too long. I enjoyed the characters and the story though, and really hope there will be a sequel. It surprised me that I liked this one because even though the Twilight movies weren't too bad, I had quite low expectations for this one. I'm glad I was wrong!
Verdict: A-

Beautiful Creatures (based on the book by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl): I was surprised that I actually enjoyed this one. I'd heard so many bad reviews so that's why I was a little bit skeptical when it came down to watching it. I liked that they're relatively unknown main actors and the got the setting right. The only thing is that I thought the plot jumped ahead of time way too quickly and the movie cut out quite a lot.
Verdict: B+

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (based on the book by Cassandra Clare): I was really excited to see this one because being a HUGE fan of the series, I was super stoked when Richa @ City of Books managed to win two (Singapore) premiere tickets, and decided to take me with her! Not being a fan of Lily Collins, I tried my hardest to push my past judgments aside, but nope– I didn't like her again *surprise surprise*. I like how they got the rest of the characters pretty much right (Simon was AWESOME), but I thought they focused way too much on the romance and the last fight scene and many in between, but characters like Alec don't even pop up that often. That, and they changed quite a few things. Quite cheesy animations and effects as well. Loved the costuming for the different creatures though, and it has a KILLER soundtrack!
Verdict: C+

Warm Bodies (based on the book by Isaac Marion): This one pleasantly surprised me. I'm not so much a fan of zombies on the pages or on the screen, but I ended up loving this one. I still need to read the book, but I'm definitely looking forward to it. It has a great plot line, great characterisation, and some great humour.
Verdict: A

What I don't like about books coming to the big screen (or even the small screen) are the changes. As you could tell by my short "review" of the City of Bones movie, I didn't really like it because they changed and cut out way too much! Being a avid reader it really does annoy me. For example, take Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. THEY CHANGED THE WHOLE BOOK. The pearls of Persephone is only a minor part, and they added so many other scenes, and Annabeth wasn't a blonde! (I actually didn't mind that much, but meh)
What I do enjoy is the fact that if I don't get something in the book, or have no idea how to visualise it, the movie does it for me! Sometimes, even watching a movie makes me like the book even better. Example? New Moon. I hated that book at first! I only then started liking it because I actually got what it meant after watching the movie, and HELLO Jacob Black aka Taylor Lautner in the movie.

Since I've talked about movies that I've already watched and that are already out... how about those that are upcoming? So many trailers have been released and the hype is already building up. The question is: which ones will actually live up to expectations?

Upcoming YA books to movie adaptions...

Yup, a lot isn't there? These are just the ones with posters and trailers. There's so many more that are coming out but need a director, cast, etc. attached to it.

General thoughts on these: I would have to say that I'm pretty impressed by what trailers I've seen. Vampire Academy looks interesting and hopefully won't be one of those cliché vampire movies, and I love that The Book Thief keeps the true origins of the characters, meaning accent and all. However I thought Divergent's trailer was a little anticlimactic, but I was completely BLOWN AWAY by Catching Fire's– definitely one movie I will go see immediately when it comes out.

There are still so many movies out there based on young adult books which I actually haven't gotten the chance to watch (yet). The Perks of Being a Wallflower? My 15 year old sister has seen it, and I haven't... the injustice of it all. Percy Jackson and the Sea of Monsters? I've seen bad reviews about it, and my sister said it was okay, but still. There's just too many movies coming out, it's almost like an explosion of YA everywhere. The 100 even has a TV series soon, which I'm looking forward to watching.

Bottom line is I will always go watch a movie based on a book that I've read, regardless whether I will end up liking the movie or not. Sure, I'm disappointed when they get it completely wrong in the movie, but for someone to actually take the time to read a book and decide they want to make a movie out of it, and plan and slave for days and months working on it? Just like an author, this is the hard work of a director, producer, cast and crew. I'm going to acknowledge and praise that, because they actually took time to bring a book to life, which is easier said than done.

Do you have any YA book adaptions that you're looking forward hitting the big (or small) screen? Let me know in the comments!

1 comment:

  1. We're DEFINITELY looking forward to the rest of the Hunger Games series. The first movie was SO well-done, and while they did make some changes, mostly it was true to the book.

    We actually did not love The Host movie, despite LOVING the book, but the trailers looked so good that we had pretty high expectations, so that might have been to blame for our disappointment.

    Hopefully the same thing doesn't happen with the Book Thief. That trailer looks so fantastic, and the book is one of our faves!

    Other than that, honestly, we're probably most looking forward to The Fault In Our Stars. The rest of these... well, we're not that into paranormal romance, so a lot just aren't hitting the mark for us.

    And DIVERGENT's worldbuilding makes no sense, so we kind of fizzled out of the series -- BUT the movie looks pretty epic, so we still plan to check it out!


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