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Young Adult Literature is no stranger to screen adaption. With shows like Thirteen Reasons Why, The Vampire Diaries, and The 100 flooding our smaller screens, and Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, The Fault in Our Stars, and so, so, so many more blowing up our big screens, the genre has a knack for making hits for all ages.
Here are five series or stand alone novels which are so outstanding we need them brought to life before our eyes.
'The Lunar Chronicles' by Marissa Meyer
With four main books in the collection, and a couple of side reads like Fairest to add depth to the series, Meyer's The Lunar Chronicles would have plenty of material to be adapted, preferably to TV. Because of the length of these novels, and the plethora of characters available, several episodes would be able to adapt sections of the books, making one book a season.
For those who don't know, The Lunar Chronicles depicts a reimagining of four classic fairy tales which all interlink. The first novel, Cinder, retells the story of Cinderella, a cyborg mechanic who needs to fix the gorgeous Prince Kai's android. The two become close throughout the duration of the novel, and Cinder eases the tension of Kai's rise to becoming Emperor, but not without her own problems arising. The second, Scarlet, shows a teenage Little Red Riding Hood who will stop at nothing to find her grandmother who's gone missing. On her quest, she enlists the help of the mysterious Wolf, a street fighter who has a blurry past. The third, Cress, depicts a Rapunzel trapped in space who needs rescuing from Cinder and Scarlet, making all their stories intertwine. The fourth, Winter, shows a new spin on Snow White, a beautiful princess on the moon country of Luna who is the envy of her step mother, Queen Levana. Throughout the entire four novels, Levana poses a threat to each protagonist, and will raise hell to stop them from discovering a secret she refuses to tell both herself and her kingdom.
The series offers dramatic, romantic, and sci-fi components, and the characters on offer also have differing personalities and qualities that would be hugely popular episode to episode. The end of the some of the chapters would create ridiculously annoying cliff hangers at the end of each episode, and its other plot points, such as the disease of The Plague, letumosis, the scientific mystery throughout, the new moon country, and the minor characters such as the Thaumaturges or the Earthen rulers, would present depth to the series that would add extra substance to the main characters.
Overall, the series needs to be made. The material we already have is expansive enough, but the fact that the narrative only focuses on the following of the "good guys" would leave room for development that would have even the most loyal fans on the edge of their seats.
The 'Red Queen' Series by Victoria Aveyard
With the fourth and final novel, War Storm, recently out and killing the public with its mind-blowing plot, I feel like we need to bring Aveyard's story to life. The basis of the story is a world divided by blood; those with normal red, and those with silver, who wield powerful abilities such as controlling fire, water, or the ability to crush metal with the easiest of thoughts. Mare Barrow, a Red who lives in a very poor area, comes face-to-face with death when she unknowingly reveals she might be powerful too, right in front of the most powerful of Silver families, the royals.
Instead of killing her and revealing her Red blood, they hide her in plain sight, forcing her to pretend to be a long, lost Silver. The complicated plot of rebellion, prejudice, conniving characters, and a war on the tip of Reds' fingers would offer an interesting plot for viewers to be enthralled with. Not to mention Mare's conflicting feelings towards both of the princes, brothers Cal and Maven. The beauty of this franchise is that it offers the ability to be either a movie or a series, as the original plot would be sufficient in providing twist after twist in the franchise, but it also has room to be developed, such as Mare's brothers in the war, or later in the series, anything, everything Maven.
'We Were Liars' by E. Lockhart
I need this as a movie, and I mean IMMEDIATELY.
This is the type of novel that sticks with you, because of the ridiculous and memorable ending. It's the type of plot twist that will stick with you both in words and on screen. The characters of the Sinclairs, and Lockhart's switch between the present day and the summer two years ago would keep the viewers on their toes as Cady, our protagonist, goes on a journey of discovery and deceit.
We Were Liars follows the eldest of the Sinclair grandchildren, Cady, who normally spends her summers on her grandfather's private island, but after an accident on Summer 15 which she can't remember, she has to spend Summer 16 in Europe with her father, missing her family and a newly appointed Liar whose uncle is engaged to her aunt. When she finally returns for Summer 17, everything about the island is different, including her grandfather and his beloved house, and she tries to discover what exactly happened during Summer 15 with her mischievous cousins and Gat.
The novel introduces us to young love, loss, wealth, and the power, struggles and tragedy that come with it. It would make an excellent stand alone adaption due to its mysterious plotline which leads us to something more sinister than any of us could ever imagine.
The Wolves of Mercy Falls Trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater
Even though The Raven Cycle is currently being adapted into a TV show, I find that this series would also benefit from coming to our screens. The trilogy, Shiver, Linger, and Forever, as well as the fourth follow up novel, Sinner, contains content that would entice the audience and leaves us wanting more from each character.
The original story follows Grace Brisbane, who has always felt an attraction to the pack of wolves that roam in the woods behind her garden in Mercy Falls, Minnesota. When she was little she was attacked by a pack member, but a wolf with yellow eyes saves her and since then she has considered him her wolf. One winter, when a boy from her school, Jack, is killed by the wolves, she unexpectedly meets a boy called Sam, and she can't help but notice his piercing, familiar yellow eyes...and wants to discover more.
As the story continues into the second and third novels, other characters are introduced and expanded, such as the bratty Isabel Culpeper and the cocky, complicated Cole St. Clair, who wishes to be anything but in his own mind. It concentrates on complicated issues such as depression and anxiety within one's own body which would be able to highlight important issues while still being heartfelt and emotional. If Stiefvater's writing could be brought to life correctly, it would be a masterpiece.
The plot throughout highlights love, belonging, and the science of a magical creature we've seen over and over throughout the years. Unlike other werewolf tales we've been shown (or read about), like Teen Wolf or The Twilight Saga, which are action packed with fight scenes and gore, The Wolves of Mercy Falls focuses on the emotions of flawed but lovable characters and the moral consequences of a human/animal hybrid in the real life world, with plenty of dramatic sequences to keep us all wanting more.
Though there were talks of this being produced before, Stiefvater cut the production due to artistic differences, but explained on her website's FAQ that it doesn't mean it will never happen.
I just personally want a real life Cole St. Clair.
'Percy Jackson and the Olympians' and 'The Heroes of Olympus' by Rick Riordan
Now I know what you're thinking: This has already been done.
Yes. Yes, it has. But I think we can all agree it was terrible. Even Riordan himself has told his Twitter viewers to not judge a book by its adaption.
The Percy Jackson books offer a range of different plot points, obviously focusing on the gods of Greek Mythology and their demi-god children, but also the politics of having godly parents and how they are in danger because of their blood. The monsters and stories Riordan creates pay homage to the original myths but puts a modern spin on it, and the novels have the integrity to develop characters' flaws (both normal and fatal) and introduce complex characters which both children and adults can enjoy.
Now, I know fitting a jam-packed, busy storyline into an hour and a half comes with its own simplifications, but the original films were dry and lacked what we love about the books: its characters. Hades, as normal with Hollywood, is shown as the ultimate bad guy, and it lacks development, making me believe that it might be better as a television show.
Riordan's original works also has the option to incorporate the sequel series, The Heroes of Olympus, which showcase the Roman counterparts to the original Greek tales, introducing interesting characters such as Jason and Leo, who bring a new light onto the franchise.
If producers started Percy off as a twelve-year-old, and adapted it wholeheartedly and pretty close to the storyline of the book, then this series has a lot of potential to draw in a lot of viewers. The stories have the talent to leave people wanting more, whereas the original film was a dead end that left viewers content.
So, what do you think?
Would you like to see these books adapted for the big or small screens, or do you have other novels you'd like to see more?