Underrated Film Adaptations of Best-Selling YA Novels

The new movie The sky is everywhere on Apple+ is based on the bestselling novel by Jandy Nelson. The film may not become a blockbuster like Twilight, the fault of our stars, Where the hunger gamesor gain a cult like Love, Simon, Benefits of being a wallflower Where The hate you give, but it is a worthy adaptation of a great book. There are a handful of fantasy book adaptations that have slipped more off the radar, but these are still quality movies that are a good watch if you’re in the mood for some YA fiction.

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The Spectacular Now (2013)

Picture via A24

Based on the 2008 novel by Tim Thrapthis movie features Shailene Woodley like the studious Amy whose life is turned upside down when she meets Sutter (Miles Teller). Sutter has a tough family life and a serious drinking problem, but there’s just something about Amy that makes her want to be better. Sutter seems bad to Amy, or maybe she’s just what he needs to become the exact person she sees in him. Woodley and Teller have unbeatable chemistry, and it’s pretty clear why opposites attract in this movie.


How I Live Now (2013)


Based on the 2004 novel by Meg Rosoff, this story takes us into a dark futuristic timeline. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) arrives in England to spend the summer with his cousins. After a terrorist attack, martial law is imposed separating the family. Daisy rejects the offer to return home safely to America and instead stays with her younger cousin Piper (harley bird) as they search for his brothers Eddie (George McKay) and Isaac (Tom Holland). Even in an apocalyptic future, teen romance and family always find a way. This film is worth seeing the performances of Ronan and a young McKay and Holland before they became big stars.

If I Stay (2014)

if i stay
Image via Warner Bros. Pictures

If you need a good scream, this is a good option. Mia (Chloe Grace Moretz) is in a life-and-death coma following a car accident that killed the rest of his family. Her life is told through flashbacks as she tries to find a way to fight to survive and reunite with her boyfriend Adam (Jamie Blackley) and the rest of his extended family or drop everything. The film which is based on the 2009 novel by Gayle Forman is a complicated, yet beautiful, account of the space in between as Mia navigates her consciousness as to which path she wants to choose next. It’s not an easy undertaking to create the space between the real world and the unconscious world, but the result is a beautiful interpretation of Mia’s life as she knew it before and to decide if it’s worth build a new life or surrender to the bright light. In front of her.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (2015)

Image via Fox Projector Images

The title doesn’t exactly scream comedy, but it’s actually a really sweet and poignant film about friendship. Based on the 2012 novel by jesse andrews, Olivia Cooke plays the role of Rachel, who has leukemia. His childhood friend, Greg (Thomas Mann), and his colleague Earl (RJ Cyler) decide to keep her company and entertain her with their quirks while she undergoes treatment. Mortality isn’t something teenagers often have to think about, but in the face of it, the relationship the three friends form is something beautiful, even if only temporary. This touching film will strike a chord because it’s easy to become invested in such likable characters.

Paper Towns (2015)

Image via 20th Century Fox

Based on the 2008 book by YA King, Green Jeans, paper towns is the story of Quentin (Nat Wolff) who spends the night of her life with her neighbor, Margo (Cara Delevingne). After being smitten with her for years, he finally feels like they could have a future. Instead, she disappears the next morning. He calls on his best friends, Benjamin (austin abrams) and Mark (Justice Black-smith) as well as Marcus’ girlfriend, Angela (Jaz Sinclair) to go on a road trip. Q has an idea of ​​where she might be, and he thinks they can find her before the prom. The film encompasses a nostalgic feeling of a group of best friends having one last adventure together before high school graduation. novel/film by John Green Blame it on our stars is probably his most famous work, but paper towns is often overlooked, and the film is a sweet adaptation of that story.

Everything Everything (2017)

Image via Warner Bros.

Based on Nicholas Yoon 2015 novel, Absolutely everything is a familiar tale of forbidden romance. Mady (Amanda Stenberg) cannot go out because of a serious illness. When a handsome new neighbor, Olly (Nick Robinson) moves in, suddenly his temptation reaches a whole new level. With Maddy trying to escape her overprotective mother Pauline (Anika Noni Rose), and Olly trying to get away from his abusive home life, the two wonder if they can find a life together. The story itself takes on a lot of twists and dramatic terms, but it’s hard not to encourage these troubled teenagers to find an escape to happiness with everything they’ve been through.

Cameron Post’s Bad Education (2018)

Image Via FilmRise

In 1993, Cameron (Chloë Grace Moretz) is exposed and sent to a gay conversion camp by her conservative Christian aunt Ruth (Kerry Butler). At camp, Cameron is skeptical of who she can trust but soon settles on Jane Fonda (Sasha Lane) and Adam (Forest good luck). Together, the three struggle to stay true to themselves without falling to the wrath of the camp’s leader, Dr. Marsh (Jennifer Ehle). With a tough subject and a look back at what life was like 30 years ago for queer teenagers, the film does the book justice by showing how far we’ve come and how far we still have to go.

Honorable Mention – In Search of Alaska (2019)

looking for alaska
Picture via Hulu

It is a limited series, so it does not fit into this category, but only a last Green Jeans story could cause an exception to the rule. A limited series of 8 episodes, looking for alaska is based on Green’s 2005 debut novel Miles (charlie heller) heads to a private school and is introduced to his new roommate Chip, otherwise known as “the Colonel” (Denny Love). Enter Alaska (Kristine Froseth) with which Miles immediately falls in love and immediately turns his life upside down. Without spoiling anything, Miles must learn to live his first experience of love, friendship and heartbreak while being away from home. The entire series is available on Hulu.


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