YA Books That Simply Must Be Movies

7:00 AM



This post is inspired by the fact that THEY'RE MAKING UNWIND BY NEAL SHUSTERMAN INTO A MOVIE, GUYS. IT'S A LEGIT THING NOW. For those of you who don't know, Unwind is one of my most favorite books/series of all time and I love it forever and ever and this news has got me jumping up and down all day.

Anyway, this is an exciting topic for me because I love the idea of some of my favorite books making it onto the big screen, despite the fact that it's never as good as the book. But hey, I like to be optimistic.

I probably spend way too much time thinking about which YA books would make the best movies, and a lot of the time I'll stop in the middle of a book and think Dude, this would make an awesome film. So I've thrown together some of my favorites, just for you. (Also with pictures I took myself, because why not.)

1. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson

This is a book about supervillains and how humans abuse power and trying to kill invincible supervillains and sarcasm and bad metaphors and it includes David, one of my favorite YA protagonists ever. A Steelheart movie would be epic (heh) in many ways -- it would be absolutely hilarious, have a lot of thrilling action, and so on. Besides, the setting is a city that's been totally turned to steel, which would be awesome visually.

2. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

YES YES YES A THOUSAND TIMES YES ON THIS ONE. First of all, the settings are incredibly diverse and vivid, and come on, sci-fi China onscreen would be the absolute best. This series has a whole cast of well-developed, hilarious, vivid characters to go with the setting, and the onscreen chemistry would be fabulous. These books have the perfect balance of action and fluff and sarcasm and it would be a perfect movie and I want it right now, please. 

3. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 

This series is incredibly bizarre, which is exactly why it would make such an awesome movie (or series of movies if they did all three books). I mean, giant living whale-airships. Genetically enhanced creatures of weirdness. Mechanical war machines. Alternate timeline WW1. Sass. Shipping. STEAMPUNK OUTFITS. It's terrifically weird and colorful and steampunky and I'd pay a lot to see a movie of this. 

4. Legend by Marie Lu 

We really don't talk about this series enough. Which is bad on my part because I should be shoving it in people's faces all the time. Not only are these books the prettiest hardcovers I own (textured covers, aw yas), but they're also some of my favorite books ever. It's dystopia set in San Francisco, which is a gloriously exotic setting for a dystopia in a way, and the shipping is BREATHTAKING. *cuddles my babies* It's fast-paced and smart and the main characters, June and Day, are awesome on their own and also have the best chemistry ever, which would be awesome to see on the screen. I would actually fund these movies if at all possible. Have you read this series? Go read this series.

5. A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court by Mark Twain

Because why not throw in a classic? This is one of the most unique and funny books I've ever read, which is saying a lot. Also it's not technically YA but whatever, it's my blog and I'm allowed to cheat if I want to. It follows the story of Hank Morgan, a Connecticut Yankee who finds himself randomly in, you guessed it, King Arthur's court in the middle ages. After using his more modern knowledge and tricks to convince the land that he's some sort of wizard, he sets out to modernize the medieval ages, which is just as amusing and clever as it sounds. He's possibly my favorite protagonist ever and the whole book makes me laugh out loud. Just the sheer bizarreness of this would make it a great movie, and it has lots of action and feels to make it entertaining on the screen.

6. Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer 

What's not to love about these books? They feature Irish child evil geniuses and fairies with technology and a good helping of wit and ridiculousness besides, and the humor/banter is A+. Eoin Colfer is one of my favorite authors ever just because of his humor, witty writing, and excellent characters, and this movie would be so dang fun and exciting to watch that I kind of need it right now. It has feels but doesn't take itself too seriously, which is a win in my book.

Honorable Mentions

The ones I didn't take pictures of or discuss in detail, but which would still be awesome movies: 

The Knife of Never Letting Go (Chaos Walking Trilogy) by Patrick Ness -- this one would be hard to pull off, but worth it if done right. 

Railsea by China Mieville -- I talk about this book often because it's so weird and awesome, and it would pretty much be the best and strangest movie of all time. I mean, giant moles and steampunk trains, guys. 

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson -- Admittedly I'm not a contemporary person, but this movie would make me sob. Also, I would like to see Finn onscreen. Yes please.

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby -- I just read this book the other day it's incredibly haunting, intense, and dreamlike. This movie would probably also make me cry. And it would have a beautiful soundtrack because it's just that kind of story. 

What books would you like to see on the big screen? Do you agree with any of my suggestions? How do you feel about book-to-movie adaptions? Comment away.

39 comments

  1. OH MY THEY'RE MAKING UNWIND INTO A MOVIE? YES YES YES YES. The same friend who rec'd me Unwind told me not to read the sequels, so I haven't, but perhaps I will in preparation for the movies.

    I ... actually am unfamiliar with most of the books. I would LOVE a Lunar Chronicles movie, though, because that would force me to read the books finally, but my excitement is conditional upon them doing sci-fi futuristic China well. (I am soooo picky when it comes to the west portraying China. I don't even care when local soap operas mix up dynasties and stuff.) And ooh, I might read Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court. The title sounds hilarious, and Mark Twain, and also your rec. It carries a lot of weight. :P

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    1. OH GAWSH ALYSSA YOU MUST READ THE REST. The sequels are incredible, in my opinion. But Neal Shusterman is my favorite so I'm slightly biased, I'll admit.

      *shoves you toward all the books*
      The Lunar Chronicles are awesome, especially the settings. And I kind of need to see them onscreen. But you're right; it would have to be accurate! It's pretty on target in the book and it would be a shame for them to change it. But hey, that's Hollywood. *sighs*

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  2. A movie about Artemis Fowl would be so much fun! :D

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    1. Right? Artemis Fowl is one of my favorites.

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  3. I've only read the Legend series, so I'm saying a huge yes to that! Also, I've heard a lot of great things about Steelheart and The Lunar Chronicles, so those would be really cool to see on the big screen, too. I'd also like to add in Angelfall by Susan Ee just for kicks.

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    1. Huzzah for Legend! They're woefully under-appreciated and I need to be mentioning them more/shoving them down people's throats because I love those books so much. xD And oh, I think Angelfall is on my TBR list!

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  4. I WAS JUMPING AROUND FREAKING OUT WHEN I FOUND OUT ABOUT THE UNWIND MOVIE. *flails* I NEED IT NOOOW.

    Oh my gosh, yes. Steelheart would be an amazing movie (so long as they don't mess it up, of course). I need that in my life. // And yes to the Lunar Chronicles. I just started them and it's amazing and seeing sci-fi fairytales in movieform would be too great for words. // THE LEGEND BOOKS ARE SO UNDER-APPRECIATED. They are amazing, and one of my favorites. And I really, really need them to be movies.

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    1. I CANNOT EVEN ABOUT THE UNWIND MOVIE OKAY IT IS GOING TO SLAY ME. *flails wildly*

      I'm pretty sure we're book twins, if I haven't already said that. xD Yes to all the things!

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  5. I AM SO EXCITED FOR THE UNWIND MOVIE LIKE I FULLY EXPECT IT WILL MAKE ME PEE MY PANTS AND IF IT DOESN'T I WILL ACTUALLY BE DISAPPOINTED. I almost wish that it wasn't a YA novel so that they would be willing to make it R-rated because that would just make the filmography of the unwinding to be superb. But no, it must be PG-13 because that is what makes money, so it will just have to sacrifice that side. *sigh*

    Anyway, I would love to see the Lunar Chronicles movies because that would just be awesome (and is anyone denying it? No). I'd also like to see an Artemis Fowl movie, and while we're discussing the movies of my dreams, H.I.V.E., The Grisha Trilogy, Ranger's Apprentice, and Uglies movies. Yes. That is my list. They would probably all suck but a girl can dream, can't she?

    Honestly, I have mixed feelings about book-to-movie adaptions, which is why I like it when authors get involved in movie production. That's why Twilight, The Giver, and Holes are all such good adaptions; the authors were involved, and in doing so they were willing to keep the spirit of the book there. It didn't have to be exact, it just had to be awesome. And that's what happened!

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    1. I AM PRETTY SURE IT'LL MAKE ME CRY BECAUSE I HAVE ALL THE FEELINGS. And heh, I actually think the way that scene was handled would go over very well in a PG-13 movie, since it's not *supposed* to be terribly graphic, but that's just me. Either way it'll be terrifying and I'm hoping they do it right.

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    2. I don't think it's the matter of being graphic, but I think it's the matter of full demonstration. Even in a professional, non-graphic environment I'm not confident a full unwinding would make PG-13. Because you're right, it isn't supposed to be graphic—and I just wouldn't want them to tone that down, if that makes sense... It needs to be overwhelmingly casual, even.

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  6. Yes, The Lunar Chronicles! It would be so interesting to see the sci-fi world come to life, and I really wanna see how they would make the Lunars look like.

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    1. CREEPY, that's what. I feel like it would be a really vivid movie and all the feeeeels and such.

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  7. Funny thing about the Artemis Fowl movie ... They've been trying to make one since 2001. Disney said in 2013 that they'd make one, but I think someone needs to give them some kind of motivation. Anyone know where to hire a troll?

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    1. Yeah, I've seen stuff about that -- I'm hoping that means when it *does* happen, as it should, it'll be awesome? xD

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  8. BLESS THIS POST.

    The Lunar Chronicles and Steelheart would be utterly, utterly amazing and awesome. Just--aurgh! This needs to happen already. 0.0

    And I need to read Unwind still. *hides*

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    1. YES YOU DO. They're gloriously upsetting and I love them so.

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  9. OH YES THE LUNAR CHRONICLES OH MY GOSH PLEASE. The whole time I was reading them, I was thinking what great movies they'd make. Plus, it would expand the fan base. There aren't enough people who appreciate The Lunar Chronicles.
    Most of these books I haven't read, but now I'm really tempted to start some of them. I've always desperately wanted a film of Ice Station Zebra- which is a thriller and not YA, but hey. It's so good that that doesn't matter. They made one a long time ago, but I want one with the incredible modern special effects, and I've made the mistake of casting some of the characters. BAD IDEA. Never do that. You'll get way too attached to your cast. :P
    Thank you for this amazing post! Lots of ideas for new books to read. :)

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    1. Yessss. It's one of those where the imagery just blew me away, and seeing it on the screen would be so incredible. It's really one of those that needs to be appreciated more!

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  10. I had never heard of Unwind before, so I just googled it and ohhhh my gosh. I haven't been able to stop thinking about JUST the CONCEPT AND THE BLURB all day. Ohhhh my gosh. I'm so terrified and unnerved but also so fascinated. We'll see if I think I can stomach reading it, but it sounds like it could be so interesting. Ahhhhh.

    Also, thanks to this list, I added a few of these to my TBR pile, as you saw on Goodreads! So thanks for the recs!

    (Sorry for the double comment, I wanted to edit something and forgot to delete my other comment permanently. Feel free to delete the extra!)

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    1. OH YES GO READ IT. They're disturbing, but extremely important, I think. And not terribly graphic, don't worry. :D

      *shoves all the books at you*

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  11. I would loove to see the Anomaly trilogy by Krista McGee made into movies. I love those books so so much and I just think it would be epic to see them as movies. Just about every single chapter of those books kept me on the edge of my seat... or up at 1:00 in the morning... but forget I said that. ;D

    Sadly I have not read any of the books you mentioned... I will keep them in mind, but unfortunately my library has a somewhat sorry little YA section. :/ Went looking for Bone Gap a few months and it was nowhere to be found. Oh well, I'll get my hands on them somehow-- I've pretty much been desperate for new things to read lately. :P

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    1. Ooh, I don't think I've heard of those books! *checks on Goodreads immediately* I need to read them. xD

      Oh, you should read them all! They're really good.

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    2. Yes, you should! They're amazing. :)

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  12. I WANT A MOVIE ABOUT ARTY SO BAD IT HURTS!!!!

    Also, Chaos Walking would be amazing if done properly. But it would be quite hard to pull off.....

    I would love a proper Percy Jackson movie series. And please, do NOT tell me that the ones they have made already are good enough. While I respect your opinion if you do, I must say that I think Rick Riordan probably cried of frustration at the first one because ANNABETH is BLONDE! It's not that hard to remember! And just the way it was carried out....Ugh.

    (Sorry. I think i kind of used this post as an excuse to rant)

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    1. YESSSS. It would be hilarious and exciting and everyone would love it, so I really don't know why they haven't done that already. I agree; the Chaos Walking books would be really difficult to do, just because so much of the style of the book is, you know, in his head.
      And hahaha, I was epically disappointed by the Percy Jackson movies, never fear. :)

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  13. The Lunar Chronicles! PLEASE! Seriously, the world needs this. We all need this.

    That is all.

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  14. YES. SO MUCH YES. The Lunar Chronicles, Leviathan, Artemis, and especially a Connecticut Yankee NEED to be movies!!!!
    Also, I tagged you for something! Don't feel obligated, but if you want to do it, here's the link: http://thessalexa.blogspot.com/2015/07/tag-week-new-discoveries.html


    Alexa
    thessalexa.blogspot.com
    verbositybookreviews.wordpress.com

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    1. And another tag! Like I said before, don't feel obligated :)
      http://thessalexa.blogspot.com/2015/08/tag-week-blogging-community-tag.html

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    2. Thanks -- I'll get to the tags very soon! I'm so glad you're familiar with Connecticut Yankee too -- it feels so obscure and under-appreciated sometimes, haha.

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    3. Haha, yeah, I actually don't know a lot of people who've read it. But the book is great! Sometimes high school required reading is actually worth something, lol

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  15. OH MY LAND. This is a terrific list. :D There are, like, so many books that MUST BE MADE MOVIES. DKAFJKDA. I would love to see The Lost Books series by Ted Dekker made into a movie. Have you read them, by chance? They would be terrifying, but severely awesome. XD

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    1. Thank you! I keep reading books and thinking "wow, this would be awesome" so pretty soon I've got a whole list and it was hard to pick just these few. xD I don't think I've read them, but I'm familiar with the author's name, so they're probably on my TBR list.

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  16. *screams* YES YES YES!!! I've been throwing my money at my Artemis Fowl, Leviathan and Cinder books for a while now and WHY IS NOTHING HAPPENING!!!

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    1. SOMETHING NEEDS TO HAPPEN. Especially with Artemis Fowl. I hear they've been pushing that for a while and it's going nowhere. *sighs*

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  17. AN unwind movie? really? That's so awesome! If they did a good job, these (of all the ones I've read) would be really awesome. Artemis Fowl would just be amazing, same with the lunar chronicles. That Yankee book sounds great, I should read more classics. I like Scott Westerfield's Uglies, so I guess I should read this one?
    weavingwaveswords.wordpress.com

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    1. Right? I'm incredibly nervous about it, and also incredibly excited, because it's my most favorite. Read allll the things.

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  18. I haven't read Steelheart YET, but I feel like it would do really well as a movie. There's definitely a super hero craze in the movie industry right now.

    And the Lunar Chronicles! Yessss.

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