–by Bronto Incognito
As any book-lover knows (particularly if you’re a fan of MG and YA) there’s a peculiar feeling that comes over you when you discover that the book you love is being turned into a movie. It’s like 1 part excitement to 2 parts fear–because this movie could be absolutely epic, or could fail so hard that the 8 yr old sitting behind you in the theater only makes it halfway through the film before loudly whispering, “No! I’m sorry, Mom! But this is not like the book AT ALL!!!”
*cough cough* looking at you here, Percy Jackson *cough cough*
BUT, every now and then there are films that really outdo themselves and become a part of our cherished memories of the original book. So, though I know some people may disagree with my choices, here is my list…
I did a review of this book last year when I reread it for the teen book club I run during the summer. It’s a fantastic story of young love and young obsession, told from alternating perspectives of the boy and girl. She thinks he’s been hanging onto her first kiss, just too scared to give it to her. He thinks she’s his nutty, middle school stalker. The movie does a great job of translating all the hilarity and all the heart of this book and I really can’t come up with a single complaint on either one.
4. Vampire Academy
Now, if you’re a fan of the books I know there are apparently 101 reasons not to like this movie. Dimitri looks too old or the fact that there’s a big difference between intentional self harm and magical, accidental self harm. And yes, I’ve only read the first book and I saw the movie first. And yes, the actress playing Lissa is not….amazing and sometimes relatively awkward in the role. BUT, I freaking love this movie. I can’t entirely explain it. Rose is amazeballs and hilarious both in the book and on the screen and I love watching a vampire-hunter character that can kick butt but also gets scared of things. It’s refreshing.
Seriously, guys…I watch this movie at least once a month. It’s kind of sad…
Have you read this book or seen this movie? If not there is something wrong with you and you need to fix it NOW!
Seriously, this story is fantastic and inspiring and will touch your heart over and over. If you’ve never read one of Brian Selznick’s books, it’s like…1/3 words and 2/3 images. Seriously, if you have a middle grade reader who’s still into pictures in their books, check this one out. It’s basically a storyboard for the movie, which you might think would make the movie boring, but it’s anything but.
Hugo is an orphan hiding in a train station whose course in life leads him to an angry old man with a secret that connects them both in a way you’d never imagine. GO CHECK IT OUT.
2. Harry Potter 5 & 6
Yes, I do love and obsess over the entire HP series, but in this particular case I decided to just stick with 2 of the 8 films. Because as we all know #5 is like…the WORST book to get through because Harry is an angsty, angry little twit through almost the entire thing. Which, sure, is appropriate to the character at that stage of his life, but the movie at least trims things down so that you don’t end up wanting to slap the main character of the book every other second. Instead you get to watch the formation of Dumbledore’s Army which is pretty dang fantastic if you ask me.
And I selected 6 because OMG that movie is hilarious! It’s like they knew that we all knew that this big sad thing was going to happen at the end of the film so they filled it with Lav-lav overreactions, felix-drunk Harry, Snape getting puked on. And that moment at the end??? When the terrible thing happens and all the kids raise their wands? No one tells them to, they just do it. This is a man who’s given his life to protect and educate them, who always thought they were worth more than most adults gave them credit for. And together those kids take a stand and raise their wands against hatred and bigotry and ohmygoodness it might just be the pregnancy, but excuse me while I go wipe away some tears….
1. Hunger Games franchise
Now maybe you wouldn’t think that I’d rank this one up there above HP, but let’s be honest, these people did the thing right. From beginning to end. Not just the films themselves, but all the extra propaganda posters and rebellion commercials and people in Taiwan started using the 3-fingered motion as an act of rebellion. Name another film franchise that’s done that.
Are there things I envisioned differently from book to film? Sure. But really, you can’t beat Effie and Peeta is adorable and THAT IS MAHOGANY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So there’s my list. I did want to mention Stardust and Warm Bodies as great film adaptations, but neither is a YA (and I haven’t read the book of Warm Bodies yet so I can’t speak to content). Both are worth a look and good movies for a YA fan crowd!
So what are your favorite adaptations? Do you agree with my list? Let us know in the comments below!! And don’t forget to check out our Top 5 lists from last month!