Friday, March 8, 2013

Young adult book adaptations

YA books aren't just for teens; they are a huge section of popular culture. The Perks of Being a Wallflower movie (based on the book by Stephen Chbosky) received many positive reviews when it was released last year. The shows Pretty Little Liars, The Lying Game, Gossip Girl, and The Vampire Diaries all started out as YA books before those characters stepped out onto our television screens. The Twilight movies broke box office records, and The Hunger Games proved that a strong female heroine can bring in a huge audience. Even more movies and TV shows are in the works and set to be released in 2013 and 2014. Check out this list I compiled:

Beautiful Creatures
  • now in theaters
  • Starring Alice Englert (Lena), Alden Ehrenreicht (Ethan), Emmy Rossum (Ridley), Emma Thompson (Mrs. Lincoln), and Jeremy Irons (Macon Ravenwood).
  • Based on the book Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. 
  • Book synopsis: In a small South Carolina town, where it seems little has changed since the Civil War, sixteen-year-old Ethan is powerfully drawn to Lena, a new classmate with whom he shares a psychic connection and whose family hides a dark secret that may be revealed on her sixteenth birthday.
  • More books in the series: Beautiful Darkness, Beautiful Chaos, Beautiful Redemption.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones 
  • Release date: August 23, 2013
  • Starring Lily Collins (Clary), Jaime Campbell Bower (Jace), Kevin Zegers (Alec), Jonathan Rhys Meyers (Valentine), Aidan Turner (Luke).
  • Based on the book City of Bones by Cassandra Clare. 
  • Book synopsis: Suddenly able to see demons and the Darkhunters who are dedicated to returning them to their own dimension, fifteen-year-old Clary Fray is drawn into this bizarre world when her mother disappears and Clary herself is almost killed by a monster.
  • More in the series: City of Ashes, City of Glass, City of Fallen Angels, and City of Lost Souls.
  • Stay tuned to the blog and the library newsletter for a City of Bones Movie Release Party in August 2013!

Ender’s Game
  • Release date: November 1, 2013
  • Cast: Asa Butterfield (Ender), Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford.
  • Based on the books Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow by Orson Scott Card.
  • Synopsis of Ender's Game book: Child hero Ender Wiggin must fight a desperate battle against a deadly alien race if mankind is to survive.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire
  • Release date: November 22, 2013
  • Cast: Jennifer Lawrence (Katniss), Josh Hutcherson (Peeta), Liam Hemsworth (Gale), Elizabeth Banks (Effie Trinket), Woody Harrelson (Haymitch), Sam Clafin (Finnick Odair), Jena Malone (Johanna Mason), and Phillip Seymour Hoffman (Plutarch Heavensbee) 
  • Based on Catching Fire, the second book in Suzanne Collins' best-selling Hunger Games series.
  • Book synopsis: By winning the annual Hunger Games, District 12 tributes Katniss Everdeen and Peeta Mellark have secured a life of safety and plenty for themselves and their families, but because they won by defying the rules, they unwittingly become the faces of an impending rebellion.
  • Stay tuned to the blog and the library newsletter for a Catching Fire Movie Release Party in November 2013!

Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters
  • Release date: February 14, 2014
  • Based on Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead. 
  • Book synopsis: Two years after a horrible incident made them run away, vampire princess Lissa and her guardian-in-training Rose are found and returned to St. Vladimir's Academy, where one focuses on mastering magic, the other on physical training, while both try to avoid the perils of gossip, cliques, gruesome pranks, and sinister plots.
  • Cast:  Zoey Deuth (Rose), Danila Kozlovsky (Dimetri), Lucy Fry (Lissa)
  • More books in the series: Frostbite, Shadow Kiss, Blood Promise, Spirit Bound, Last Sacrifice.

  • Release date: March 1, 2014
  • Cast: Shailene Woodley (Tris), Kate Winslet; rumors everywhere about who will play Four (Alex Pettyfr? Lucas Till? Jeremy Irvine?)
  • Based on the book by Veronica Roth. 
  • Book synopsis: In a future Chicago, sixteen-year-old Beatrice Prior must choose among five predetermined factions to define her identity for the rest of her life, a decision made more difficult when she discovers that she is an anomoly who does not fit into any one group, and that the society she lives in is not perfect after all.
  • In February an open casting call was held in Chicago for movie extras. According to the Chicago Tribune the movie will be shot entirely in Chicago. 
  • More books in the series: Insurgent. The third book in the series, jokingly referred to by both Roth and fans as “Detergent,” will be released October 22, 2013.
  • Release date: depends on whether or not the pilot is picked up by Fox.
  • According to author Lauren Oliver, filming on the pilot for this TV show is set to begin in March.
  • Cast: Emma Roberts (Lena), Jeanine Mason (Hana), Daren Kagasoff (Alex), Greg Sulkin (Julian), Billy Campbell (Thomas Fineman)
  • Based on the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem.
  • Synopsis of the first book in the series: Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

And adaptations of these books are also in the works:
I am very excited for Catching Fire, and am already brainstorming crafts and games for a movie release party at the library. I especially can't wait for Divergent, because I love that book series as well, and think that Shailene Woodley is a great pick to play Tris. How cool is it that the movie will be filmed entirely in Chicago? I'm also interested to see how the Vampire Academy movie turns out. I really enjoyed all the books in that series because Rose is such a strong character. Plus, the awesome supporting characters (Adrian!) are well-written too. I just hope it doesn't suffer from people who are sick of Twilight. This movie has a huge potential for great fight scenes and some swoon-worthy moments.

Are you a fan of YA literature? Which movie/TV adaptation are you most looking forward to seeing? Do you read the books before you see the movies, or the other way around? What do you think of the casting choices for these projects?

And lastly, are there any YA books not on this list that you think would make a good movie and/or TV show? My picks are Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins and the Across the Universe series by Beth Revis.