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Young Adult Literature

My YA Film Adaptation Wish List

Leslie Fannon

Staff Writer

Leslie Fannon is a blogger, crocheter, graduate student and, most recently, an assistant at a publishing company. She writes about poetry, graphic novels, and Spanish literature at Regular Rumination. Follow her on Twitter: @lulu_bella

Harry Potter. Twilight. Now, The Hunger Games. Apart from being the last three huge YA hits, they were also the last three film series that I had the privilege of seeing at a midnight showing. There’s a bleary excitement to a midnight showing. Kids are dressed up. Girls (and boys, and adults) are squealing. The audience cheers, the audience laughs and boos on cue. Part of the fun is the anticipation, the weeks and weeks of watching the trailer, of imagining how they’ll portray this scene or that, how the actors will fill the shoes of your favorite characters. Often I’m let down, but with The Hunger Games, actually, my expectations were surpassed. I loved the movie and I can’t wait for the next one.

In the meantime, I’ve been thinking about which books I would love to see come to life, to be given the “midnight showing” treatment. Other sites have already guessed what the most probable next YA hit is, but the choices on my list probably aren’t going to happen. This is my YA Film Adaptation Wish List.

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness – I can hear y’all now. “Is this the only YA book she’s read? Jeez, she talks about it every week.” I know! Because it is just that good! This is a book that will be very hard to get right as a movie, but I think a movie could also add to Todd’s world. There’s a lot that will be difficult to portray. One of the primary plot points is that everyone can hear men’s thoughts. They call it the Noise. It’s very cleverly portrayed in the book, but I imagine it will be distracting in a movie. Even though that is the point, you can turn it off when you’re reading a novel. I think the most interesting thing to see in the movie would be the world itself. It’s a strange combination of old and new, of technology and traditional.

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver – Oliver is probably more famous now for her Delirium series, but I am obsessed with Before I Fall. Yes, this would essentially be Groundhog Day for a younger crowd and it does have a decidedly moral bent, but I think this book portrays high school and middle school so perfectly. I was having flashbacks. Like all these adaptations, fantasy and real, the actress chosen to play Samantha would have to be perfect. Maybe Jennifer Lawrence can do it?

Runaways by Brian K. Vaughan – When the children of superheroes find out that their parents are actually super-villains, they run away from home and become their parents’ biggest threat. Awesome, right? There’s at least a chance this one will happen. This comic book was in the process of getting the greenlight back in 2010, but Marvel halted production to focus on The Avengers. I’m as excited for The Avengers as the next girl, but I really hope this project still makes it to casting and filming. I’ll be first in line at the midnight showing for this one, if it does actually make it to the theater!

The Maze Runner by James Dashner – Okay, I didn’t actually like The Maze Runner. I thought it had some really great elements, but repetitive writing and frustrating storytelling choices put this at the bottom of the list of YA books I’d recommend, but earn it a place on my YA books that I’d love to see given the Hollywood treatment. I think a film would be an improvement on The Maze Runner, especially since it would have such striking visuals.

I think each of these would have an audience, but they wouldn’t be nearly as large, or enthusiastic, as Harry Potter, Twilight and Hunger Games fans. A girl can dream, though, right?