Seven Young Adult novels that need movie adaptations

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11:00 am EDT, June 25, 2014

The success of The Fault in Our Stars proves that the young adult genre is alive and thriving. Sadly, it’s not exactly the best representation of the genre. If anything, it doesn’t even scrape the surface of all the good things YA fiction has to offer.

We cannot discredit John Green’s contribution to Young Adult literature, but there are definitely other novels that also deserve their own movie adaptations.

The YA genre ranges from romance to supernatural to comedy to coming-of-age, and it can be really good once given the right treatment. In this article, let’s focus on coming-of-age and romance young adult novels. It may be hard to pull off on screen, since most of the character development happens inward than outwards. They’re not epic love stories or sweeping tales of adventures, but clever storytelling can turn these movies into magic on screen.

1. ‘Stargirl’

ya-stargirl Author: Jerry Spinelli
Published: 2002

Jerry Spinelli is best known for his children’s fiction, but Stargirl as a young adult novel is compelling, quirky and fun. This makes for a colorful and delightful story as Leo Borlock tries not to fall for Stargirl but ends up missing her once she’s gone. An oddball as the main character will be a delight on screen so it’s a wonder why producers aren’t turning this into a movie.

2. ‘Anna and the French Kiss’

ya-anna-french-kiss Author: Stephanie Perkins
Published: 2010

Anna Oliphant has life going great for her till her father decides to ship her off to a boarding school in Paris. She can’t speak a word of French and she definitely misses everyone back home. Everything takes the turn for the worse till she meets the charming and beautiful Étienne St. Clair. It’s the stuff for movies that a younger Hilary Duff or Amanda Bynes could have starred in.

3. ‘Eleanor and Park’

ya-eleanor-park Author: Rainbow Rowell
Published: 2013
Take every stereotypical characteristic of a young adult hero and shove it somewhere else. It has no place in Rainbow Rowell’s second YA novel. Eleanor and Park has unconventional lead characters who are nuanced but have their own glow. It’s a poignant story of two outcasts who find that it’s with each other they belong. School bus rides have never been sweeter.

(Dreamworks purchased the movie rights to Eleanor & Park in April)

Related: 10 realistic YA novels that would make great movies

4. ‘Jumping Off Swings’

ya-jumping-off-swings Author: Jo Knowles
Published: 2009

Moving, emotional, realistic—these are just words that can describe the story of four teenagers whose lives are changed with one pregnancy. Friendship, love and sex are the perfect ingredients for a summer romance movie. It’ll be interesting to see this on-screen since there are multiple narrators in the book. A movie can give the story a holistic look and helps connect the dots a lot easier.

5. ‘Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret’

ya-are-you-there-god-me-margaret Author: Judy Blume
Published: 1970

Margaret is raised by parents who do not like to discuss religion as not to confuse her. But once she reaches puberty, she ends up talking to God about possibly everything since she has no one else to talk to. From religion to adolescence to wearing bra and making and losing friends, Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret has proven to be a classic and at least deserves a screen adaptation.

6. ‘The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight’

ya-statistical-probability-love-first-sight Author: Jennifer E. Smith
Published: 2011

Just think of it as Before Sunrise for teens and instead of Europe, here are two strangers falling in love in the airport and in the airplane on the way to London. This novel questions the very fundamentals of love and even tries to understand the scientific reasoning before love at first sight. It sounds like a sweeping tale and just the perfect movie for a date night.

7. ‘To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before’

ya-to-all-the-boys-ive-loved-before Author: Jenny Han
Published: 2014

Imagine writing letters to your ex-boyfriends and hiding them in your closet, never having the intention of sending them out. Imagine finding out that the letters are missing and you learn that these letters have reached their corresponding owners. The main character Lara Jean receives a healthy dose of reality and growing up in this coming-of-age novel.

Can you think of other young adult novel that will be perfect on screen? Share them below!

Author’s Bio: Dorothy Hunter is a blogger for She’s a dreamer who loves to spend her Saturday nights cooped up at home with a good Young Adult novel or an entire series of her favorite TV show. She dreams of publishing her own novels someday.

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