With the releases of Ender’s Game, The Book Thief, and Catching Fire in theaters this past month, all based on books by YA authors Orson Scott Card, Markus Zusak, and Suzanne Collins respectively, it is clear that the trend of adapting YA novels for the silver screen continues to grow. Beginning most prominently with J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, the trend has continued to generate a number of notable blockbuster franchises such as the Twilight series and, most recently, the Hunger Games trilogy. These numerous adaptations have been met with varying levels of success in terms of critical and audience reception. Often staunch and faithful fans of the books are left feeling disappointed, feeling that the film version fell short of the books themselves by leaving out key details or failing to capture the atmosphere or to portray the characters accurately. Others have never read the books on which these films were based, and others still might not even be aware that they were originally based on books at all.
2014 is poised to see many more YA Novels adapted for film, and there’s still time to read them before they hit theaters. Is it always true that the book is better than the movie? Is a movie based on a book "better" if it follows the source material to a T, or is it preferable for filmmakers to take narrative and artistic liberties? There really is no right or wrong answer, but you can start to entertain these questions and join the discussion in the new year.
To start you off, here’s a list of things to come:
Divergent (Novel by Veronica Roth; screenplay by Evan Daugherty and Vanessa Taylor)
The Maze Runner (Novel by James Dashner; screenplay by James Dashner and Grant Pierce Myers )
If I stay by (Novel by Gayle Forman; Screenplay by Shauna Cross)