The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Logan Lerman did an amazing job at portraying Charlie. I still get tears in my eyes when his friends leave for college and he breaks down and calls Candace and he tells her it’s all his fault and he can’t stop crying and then there’s that heartbreaking music playing in the background, and it’s just all too much.
It’s probably my all-time favourite movie adaptation, which is why I wanted to start the list off with this one.
The Harry Potter Series
This one is tougher to judge than Perks. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely adore the movies. Harry Potter or not, the Prisoner of Azkaban is one of my favourite movies of all time, and I’m not ashamed to say that. To anyone who says different:
Just kidding of course. (Kinda).
Since I was too young at the time, I saw the first two movies before I read Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. So, when I finally started reading it (best decision ever, am I right?) I had Daniel, Emma and Rupert in mind from the get-go. Same goes for Dumbledore, Hogwarts, Gringotts, and every other part of the universe. I think that’s why I’m less critical of characters and places that don’t match book descriptions. I just never imagined them any other way.
It’s different for plot lines though. I didn’t care for the Harry-Ginny relationship in the movies for example, and I hated the way they handled Voldemort’s death. Huge disappointment.
But, overall, I think the movies live up to the books. To me, they succeeded at bringing the magic from the page to the screen and that’s all I ever wanted.
The Maze Runner Series
I think this is an example of how one actor can make or break a movie. For me, The Maze Runner movies are a success because of Dylan ‘O Brien. Alright, I’ll admit that I wasn’t the biggest fan of the books and that I absolutely adore Dylan as Stiles. He’s the most awkward, sweetest, and funniest boy. His facial expressions are absolutely hilarious, trust me. For those of you who’ve never seen Teen Wolf, here’s a preview:
Anyway…. enough about Teen Wolf. Let’s get back to The Maze Runner. The casting was great, but I think they did a great job in handling the story line. There was a lot of tension, mystery, and excitement during the movie, which I didn’t always find in the book.
The Fault in Our Stars
This one is a bit of a surprise. Why? Because I actually hated (yes, hated) the book before I saw the movie. I just couldn’t deal with the philosophical musings and the “deep” conversations Hazel and Gus had throughout the entire book. To me, they just screamed unrealistic.
But I gave the movie a chance and I enjoyed it a lot more than I thought. Enough to give the book another chance. Is The Fault in Our Stars my favourite John Green novel? No, it’s not. But I can say that it grew on me the second time I read it. Though, to be fair, at this point I think I would like just about anything written by John Green. He’s like one of my favourite human beings. Just watch a couple of his Vlogbrother videos or listen to Dear Hank and John (a comedy podcast about death where John and his brother Hank give their listeners dubious advice!). Trust me, it’s worth it.
The Hunger Games
I’m not a fan of the Mockingjay movies (or the books for that matter), but I do like The Hunger Games. Again, it benefited from great casting (particularly Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss) but it also gets credit for sticking to its fiercely political theme and message, thereby setting itself apart from other blockbusters.
And then there’s Effie of course, who’s easily my favourite character.
So, there you go. Those are my top five YA movie adaptations. What are yours?
Watch out for Part Two: Upcoming YA adaptations. It’ll be live on Sunday.