Over the years, Hollywood has turned its eye to libraries and bookstores to find the next big blockbuster. Countless of live-action adaptations have been made from popular novels, and a great majority of them have been nestled under the young adult umbrella. Today, young adult literature has become more of the most promising markets for books, and film has taken notice.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’re taking a trip back to bring you some of the best films based on young adult novels. It’s time to put your reading glasses on, find a comfy chair, and get yourself acquainted with a good book before you rev up your Netflix queue.
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
Any list such as this without Harry Potter would be a sad sight to see. In 2001, Warner Bros. and JK Rowling redefined film adaptations when the first Harry Potter film debuted. An immensely popular franchise was born from the first film’s successful box-office, but most fans agree that it is the franchise’s third film that stands above the rest. Harry Potter and the Prisoner Azakaban is not a straightforward adaptation; It takes creative and aesthetic liberties, but the film keeps its core centered. The movie shifted the Harry Potter films towards a darker tone, and it was the first project where stars like Daniel Radcliffe began to stretch their acting muscles.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Following Harry Potter, Emma Watson couldn’t be kept away from the world of young adult literature for long. The actress eventually joined the cast of The Perks of Being a Wallflower alongside stars such as Ezra Miller, and what resulted was a truly touching adaptation. The movie, which is based on a titular novel by Stephen Chbosky, was a massive hit with fans. The indie film tackled difficult subject matter like mental illness and unbalanced relationship with softly, and its stark dialogue made many moviegoers teary by the film’s end.
The Hunger Games
Before Jennifer Lawrence was an Oscar winning actress, she was best-known for her work on The Hunger Games franchise. Based on Suzanne Collin’s best-selling novels, the movie franchise spawned four features which followed heroine Katniss Everdeen as she rebelled against her world’s overt corruption. The first movie still remains a standout of the series as it unapologetically dissects its young heroine’s thoughts. And, of course, its heart-stopping action makes it a thrilling watch as well.
The Fault In Our Stars
John Green’s literary career is a long one, but the author finally found international success when his novel The Fault in our Stars was published. The touching, tragic novel tells the story of two teenagers who fall in love at a group therapy session meant for cancer patients. So, unsurprisingly, the film has a rather heart-wrenching end. However, the movie’s careful pacing and thoughtful casting made the film a beautiful one to watch even through tears.
Released in 1983, The Outsiders stands as one of the most critically acclaimed film adaptations to ever hit theaters. The movie, which is based on S.E. Hinton’s classic novel, tells the story of a rough group of Greasers living in Oklahoma during the mid-1960s. The ragtag squad finds themselves bored with their town and strikes up a conflict with a rival gang called the Socs, but the Greasers quickly learn their youth is something to be cherished rather than wasted. Sadly, the revelation comes to late for some of the gang. The thrilling drama is almost a word-for-word mirror of the original novel, and The Outsiders’ cast featured compelling work from stars like Matt Dillon, Patrick Swayze, and Emilio Estevez.