Written by Lília

Young Adult (YA) books have been among the most adapted to screen over the past few years. While crime and romance novels have always been popular fodder for film adaptations, recent YA books have scored  such success that more are popping up as films and series on all the screens in our lives.

Who hasn’t heard of Heartstopper and its amazing success in both comic form and as a Netflix series? Think also series such as The Vampire Diaries and The Shadowhunters and films like Love, Simon.

While viewing has its charms, reading the original is, in my opinion, always a bigger treat. After all, the book is (almost) always better than the film.

I was the YA book buyer for two decades at our The Hague store, and it is still one of my most beloved genres. I keep an eye on what’s being released, what’s being adapted to screen and what I would have liked to have read and watched as a teenager.

Here is my list of films and series, in no specific order, of titles that have already been released or are going to be released shortly, along with a short list of what is likely in development. But with the writer’s and actor’s strikes continuing in the US, nobody knows exactly when these titles will be made… so it’s a wait-and-see situation.

Books to Movies

Love, Simon by Becki Albertalli

Originally published as Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda, this fun, complicated and incredibly tender story of acceptance and understanding was not only a great success in print but translated incredibly well on the silver screen.

To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han

This well-known title is actually part of a trilogy. The books are beautifully written, the films are well made, and the problems Lara Jean goes through are very relatable. Worth both reading and watching.

Nimona by ND Stevenson

Originally a webcomic turned into a graphic novel transformed into an animated movie, this wonderful story about “a shape-shifter with a knack for villainy” is a tender story of love, friendship and understanding. Ultimately, this tome encourages us all to learn how to deal with our fears instead of simply reacting to them. I loved it!

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret by Judy Blume

This is one of those titles I would have loved to have read when I was an adolescent going through the same things as Margaret and trying to understand what was going on in both my body and mind. A great book for the not-so-lucky girls who came of age without older sisters to help make sense of it all.

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saénz

Although Aristotle and Dante are both loners, they could not be more different. They strike up an unexpected friendship that will define both of their futures. This incredibly moving and powerful book follows the two teen boys as they learn to open themselves up to love, despite the world being against them.

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

Already in post-production and set to be released in November, this Hunger Games novel and its film form tell the story of how the games became the spectacle we all have seen in the series. And how Snow became a bittered power-hungry old man. The film will be released as The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes.

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

Another film in post-production, Turtles All the Way Down is expected to be released in September.
Aza Holmes tries to be the best she can be but has difficulties navigating daily existence within the ever-tightening spiral of her own thoughts. John Green shares Aza’s story with shattering, unflinching clarity. It is a difficult read about depression and how little control we sometimes have when we’re in a downward spiral.

Books to Series

Heartstopper by Alice Oseman

The highly awaited second season of Heartstopper has finally been released. Based on Oseman’s graphic novels, the series expands on stories that are not in the original books but that the author had in mind when writing the comics. Originally released as a webcomic, the series was so popular that it was published in book form and then turned into a Netflix series.
The love story between Charlie and Nick is tenderly told, and it addresses so much more! Sexuality, transphobia, eating disorders and depression are among the many issues Oseman manages to draw attention to in a very delicate way. Even though the series is not completely true to the graphic novel, they are both very well done. Worth both reading and watching.

The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han

As with Heartstopper, the much anticipated second season of The Summer I Turned Pretty has just been released. This trilogy went into production after the success of the TV films based on another trilogy by Jenny Han.
In this series we keep up with Belly and the question “will she finally decide on the right boy?”

Lockwood & Co. by Jonathan Stroud

In London, all sorts of spirits and specters are appearing, but only young people have the psychic abilities to see and eradicate these supernatural foes. Lucy Carlyle teams up with Anthony Lockwood and George of Lockwood & Co., a small agency that is independent of adult supervision. This series features great books, so the TV series has all the potential to be great, too.

Wolf Pack by Edo Van Belkom

Nothing gets between a wolf and its pack…

Discovered as wolf cubs, the pack knows its adoptive parents are the only humans it can trust with their shape-shifting secret. But one day, a TV crew films their transformation and one of them is captured by a scientist. The pack will do anything to get its sister back, even turning to the dark side….

And according to the grapevine, these titles are in post-production or development:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan: After the flop of the first two movies made from this series in 2010 and 2013, Disney has now decided to make a more loyal adaptation in a TV series that – in theory – will be released some time in 2024; Uglies by Scott Westerfeld will be a Netflix series; Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi; Forever by Judy Blume; The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan; Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick; Scythe by Neal Shusterman; and The Selection by Kiera Cass.