There’s no denying the recent trend of taking popular young adult books and turning them into epic movies for the big screen. It seems that there has been no end to our favorite novels appearing in theaters and 2014 appears to be no different. Luckily for YA fiction fans everywhere, the newest films will be starring some of our favorite actors and celebs, including Shailene Woodley, Zoey Deutch and even Kate Winslet.
The Maze Runner by James DashnerRelease Date: September 19, 2014
The Maze Runner is the first in a series of four books, and centers around the life of the main character, Thomas. The story has a The Hunger Games-esque vibe since it involves a group of teens and their impending deaths. Thomas wakes up one day to find himself with no memory, in the middle of a massive maze, and with no idea how he got there. It becomes clear that Thomas must either find a way out, or perish. The film will star Dylan O’Brien, who you might recognize from Teen Wolf (which can be viewed on Netflix, Hulu, DirectStartv.com, and other streaming outlets), and British stars Will Poulter, Kaya Scodelario and Thomas Brodie-Sangster.
The Fault in Our Stars by John GreenRelease Date: June 6, 2014
Shailene Woodley, whose career has exploded since her role on Secret Life, will now play a teenager named Hazel who has terminal cancer. The Fault in Our Stars’ plot is centered around Hazel’s budding relationship with Augustus Waters, who will be played by Ansel Elgort. The novel has already been immensely popular, even making it to the top of The New York Times bestseller list. A surprising cast choice for this film is Sam Trammell, who is known from his role as the shapeshifter Sam Merlotte in True Blood.
The Giver by Lois LowryRelease Date: August 15, 2014
Many of us were probably required to read this book in school, but if you weren’t you should go back and read it anyways. The Giver was first published in 1993 and is only now finally achieving film status, despite being suggested for the movies as long as 15 years ago. Jonas, the main character, at the age of 12 is chosen to be what his community calls the Receiver of Memory, where he gains the knowledge of unhappiness. It’s an illuminating read, no matter your age, and Alexander Skarsgard (also of True Blood) as well as Katie Holmes and Meryl Streep will take lead roles. What may be most surprising, though, is an appearance by Taylor Swift.
Divergent by Veronica RothRelease Date: March 21, 2014
Rumor has it Northwestern grad Veronica Roth wrote this novel on her winter break, and had a book and movie deal by the time she graduated. In the Divergent series, society (or what’s left of the city of Chicago) is divided into five factions —Abnegation (the selfless), Candor (the honest), Dauntless (the brave), Amity (the peaceful), and Erudite (the intelligent) — and on your sixteenth birthday, you have to take a test to place into a faction. Beatrice Prior, who will again be played by Shailene Woodley, is informed upon testing that she does not fit into one group, but rather three. This is not great news, since people like her, known as Divergent, are generally hunted down and killed. A-list starlet Kate Winslet will also be in the film.
Vampire Academy is the next series for those who love fantasy and sci-fi. This book is set at a boarding school, which sounds normal, until you realize every student is a vampire. Zoey Deutch will play Rose Hathaway, the half-human in charge of overseeing the pupils. In an amusing twist of roles Sarah Hyland, well known for playing the popular, pretty Haley Dunphy in Modern Family, will be playing the nerdy, disliked geek of the school.Vampire Academy by Richelle MeadIN THEATERS NOW
Of course, even with these films said and done, there are still some books that deserve their rightful turn on the big screen, and have yet to receive the opportunity. For example, “Graceling”, (which might get a shot at the film life) by Kristin Cashore is a heroine with the ability to kill better than anyone in all of her seven kingdoms — which, if you ask me puts Katniss Everdeen to shame. How “Artemis Fowl” by Eoin Colfer has yet to be made into a film is inexplicable! At least that one though, is supposedly trying to take off…
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What Young Adult Films are you most excited for this year?
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