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Top 10 YA Novels that Should be Adapted To Film

VO: EB WRITTEN BY: Savannah Sher
Script written by Savannah Sher We’ve love to see these YA novels adapted to film! Novels such as Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell, Gathering Blue, Loris Lowry, Cinder, Marissa Meyer, Abhorsen series, Graceling series, Eleanor & Park, Earthsea series would be great on the silver screen. Can you imagine who would be cast?

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Top 10 YA Novels That Should Be Adapted to Film

Turning young adult novels into blockbuster movies is a trend we’re still not sick of. Welcome to MsMojo and today we're counting down our picks for the Top 10 YA Novels That Should Be Adapted to Film.

For this list, we’re looking at books and series that fans would love to see made into movies. We’re excluding any project that is already in an advanced stage of production, like Stargirl by Jerry Spinelli though!

#10: “Gathering Blue” (2000)
Lois Lowry

Let’s face it; a lot of us read “The Giver” when we were growing up and a lot of us were extremely disappointed with its big screen adaptation in 2014. But that’s exactly why it’s ripe for a do-over. And, if “The Giver” is finally adapted well, it opens up the possibility of film versions of Lowry’s entire “Giver Quartet.” “Gathering Blue” has a similar tone to “The Giver,” taking place in a dystopian society hell-bent on perfection. If done right, this new franchise could expand the minds of young audiences everywhere, helping to underline the importance of accepting others and oneself.

#9: “Cinder” (2012)

Marissa Meyer

This 2012 sci-fi novel by Marissa Meyer is a futuristic retelling of the classic Cinderella story - with quite a few twists. The first book in The Lunar Chronicles follows Linh Cinder, a cyborg and a top mechanic in New Beijing. Doesn’t sound like the fairy tale you’re used to, does it? But there are princes and evil stepmothers and a big ball, of course. Most importantly, there’s a heroine that you’re definitely going to root for. This story fits in perfectly with two big trends - dystopian movies and modern reimaginings of classic fairy tales - making it a great candidate for a memorable film. And there are four follow-ups so far, which could also make it to the screen.

#8: “Abhorsen” [aka “Old Kingdom”] Series (1995-2016)
Garth Nix

The Abhorsen Series (known as the Old Kingdom Series outside North America) began in 1995 with the first novel, “Sabriel.” This is high fantasy at its best, featuring a mystical world, dark villains and magic that adhere to firm, set rules. It should appeal to the same audience who fell for the Harry Potter series. The Abhorsen books have come close to being given the big screen treatment several times over the years, but unfortunately nothing has ever become concrete. Author Garth Nix says he has written the adapted screenplay for “Sabriel”, so fans can hold out hope that its magic will one day fill a movie theatre near them.

#7: “Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.” (1970)

Judy Blume Judy Blume’s coming of age classic has somehow never reached the big screen since it was published back in 1970. The book touches on issues that pre-teen girls face in every era, like getting your period and trying to make your breasts bigger, as well as bigger issues like the question of religious identity. Very controversial when it first appeared, it still raises some hackles today, but would be accepted by contemporary audiences. It may be tricky to adapt this novel because so much of it takes place inside the main character’s head. But the successful 2012 adaptation of The Perks of Being a Wallflower proved that more cerebral teen movies can work too.

#6: “Delirium” Trilogy (2011-13)

Lauren Oliver

Set at the end of the 21st century, the Delirium series takes place in a dystopian future where love is considered a disease - and there is a way to cure it. If this story sounds familiar, it’s because Lauren Oliver’s series was actually developed into a series for Fox, but sadly it wasn’t picked up. The pilot was, however, made available for viewing on Hulu for a short period of time. Now, however, you’d have to dig deep online in order to find it. It seems like this dystopian saga may have been a better fit for a Hunger Games style movie trilogy than a TV show.

#5: “Graceling” Series (2008-12)

Kristin Cashore

The Graceling books feel like a perfect mix between the worlds of “Divergent” and “Game of Thrones.” Citizens in this fantasy world are set apart if they are born with special skills or “graces”. And the story has all the high fantasy elements that make “Game of Thrones” so popular with audiences. There was news back in 2013 that the Graceling series was being developed by Reliance Entertainment, but as of early 2017, there hasn’t been any news of progress since then. It’s possible that since the world was inundated with so many YA fantasies around that time, the team decided to put this project on hold.

#4: “Eleanor & Park” (2013)

Rainbow Rowell

This quirky love story between two misfits set in the 1980s would make a perfect YA romance film. Can you imagine how great the soundtrack would be? Sadly, the latest news as of 2016 is that the film rights have been returned to Rainbow Rowell after she spent a year and a half developing the screenplay with Dreamworks Entertainment. This doesn’t mean that a movie will never happen, but it does mean we’ll likely have to wait a long time to see one. Fans of the author’s work also have their fingers crossed for an adaptation of Rowell’s Fangirl, another popular novel but with college age characters.

#3: “Wicked Lovely” Series (2007-11)

Melissa Marr

This five part series by Melissa Marr – short stories and manga notwithstanding - has had fans clamoring for a movie since the first book became a bestseller. In this magical story, the protagonist is a girl who can see evil faeries and is trying to avoid being sucked into the faerie realm. The author has even shared some of her dream casting choices, mentioning Hailee Steinfeld as her pick for main character Aislinn and Steven R. McQueen of “The Vampire Diaries” for Keenan. There have been a couple of planned adaptations for Wicked Lovely but so far none have come to fruition.

#2: “Earthsea” Series (1964-2001)

Ursula K. Le Guin

Started by Ursula K. Le Guin in the 1960s, this classic fantasy series about a world with no large continents has become part of the young adult canon. When the first book was published however, YA novels weren’t the powerhouse industry they are today. In fact, the category of young adult barely even existed then. This series started with a short story called “The Word of Unbinding,” which then developed into six full length novels set in the world of Earthsea. The story has already been turned into a Japanese animated movie called “Tales from Earthsea,” as well as a 2004 TV miniseries but fans would love to see this fantasy favorite get the live action Hollywood treatment.

Before we reveal our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.
“Uglies” (2005)
Scott Westerfeld

“The Sun Is Also a Star” (2016)
Nicola Yoon

#1: “Looking for Alaska” (2005)
John Green

John Green is basically the Nicholas Sparks of the YA world. He has an enormous fandom and online following and some of his books have been turned into hit movies. You may have heard of a little movie called “The Fault in our Stars?” Yeah that’s him. John Green’s first novel is a boarding school story with as much charm and whimsy as his other books. It also generated complaints for its depiction of realistic teen-age activities. Sadly, the film adaptation has been in a state of uncertainty for years. Green has expressed his frustrations with the process and says he has tried to buy back the film rights several times to no avail.

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