My Thoughts/Mini Reviews On 20 YA (&MG) Book To Movie Adaptations // Magic Fantasies, Sweet Contemporaries and So Much Dystopia

PERCY JACKSON IS BEING TURNED INTO A SERIES ON DISNEY PLUS AND IM SO EXCITED!!!!

aLSO, a month(ish?) ago, it was announced that The Selection is getting a movie adaptation for Netflix!

I AM SO EXCITED I SWEAR I AM A CHILD AGAIN.

I mean. First the new Hunger Games novel, then The Selection movie, then the new Twilight book, now the Percy Jackson disney+ adaptation, and let’s not forget Shadow and Bone on Netflix!!! We are back in 2012 and we are thriving. (also we thought the world was going to end in 2012 and it’s ending this year too sooooooo)

Anyways, since I feel like I am in middle school again and am living for it, I thought I’d go back and look at YA (and MG) books that were adapted for film!

These are all the young adult (and middle grade for Harry Potter and Percy Jackson haha) books that got movie adaptations that I can remember where I both read the book and saw the movie!

I honestly started writing this post thinking of like 3 adaptations but then I remembered a million more so now I will be reviewing for you 20 franchises and 36 movie adaptations.And that felt like a lot holy that’s more than I thought I’ve been writing this post for hours so I HOPE YOU APPRECIATE IT lol pls validate me.

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Harry Potter (2001 – 2011)

Amazon.com: Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone - Movie Poster ...

The Harry Potter movies are honestly amazing. They’re definitely some of the best book adaptation movies out there. Sure, there are some problems (**cough harrydidyaputyernameinthegobletoffire cough**), and some of the movies are better than others, but overall, they were pretty faithful to the books, which is no small feat considering how long the later ones were!

And of course unlike the Percy Jackson trash, they actually casted age appropriate actors, so it was amazing getting to see Harry, Ron, and Hermine grow up over the course of ten years, the actors growing up with their characters.

I’ve rewatched these movies way more times than I can count, and I love them so much.

★★★★★

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The Princess Diaries (2001, 2004)

The Princess Diaries (film) - Wikipedia

I love The Princess Diaries!! Don’t we all? I think a lot of people like the movies more but I actually read the books first so I prefer the books–Clarisse is like a crazy evil lady not goddess Julie Andrews lol. But despite the differences the movie was still super enjoyable and Mia is a relatable dork (not the princess part) and I just love it.

★★★★★

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Percy Jackson and the Olympians (2010, 2013)

Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief (2010) - IMDb

THESE MOVIES WERE SO DAM AWFUL

They casted like 20 year olds to play 12 year olds? They completely butchered the plot? It’s just an overall mess?

I am so happy that after the series these movies won’t be what non bookish people associate with PJO because there is so much potential there and I absolutely can’t wait for the series!!!

☆☆☆☆☆ (0 stars)

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Beastly (2011)

Beastly (film) - Wikipedia

I feel like nobody has read this book or watched this movie except me? Or maybe it was a thing forever ago when I watched it but wasn’t part of the book community and now everyone forgot about it? Regardless, although I enjoyed the book, the movie was pretty much trash like who thought it was a good idea to change Kyle from a literal beast to just some random ugly bald guy with tattoos lol.

★★☆☆☆

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The Hunger Games (2012 – 2015)

The Hunger Games (film) - Wikipedia

I feel like The Hunger Games was the first big YA adaptation that kind of kicked off an era so we have no choice but to stan because iconic. It was a golden era for YA fans honestly writing this post has showed me that all the huge blockbusters used to be YA book to movie adaptations and now we just get superhero movies what a time 2012-2016ish was.

It came out when I was in middle school and those were honestly great years. I loved going to see all the movies in theaters! I definitely think that Mockingjay should NOT have been split in two (since everyone was capitalizing off the HP idea at the time lol) and those two movies really weren’t that great, with a bunch of filler.

But overall I thought these movies were pretty good, especially the first two, and I thought the actors did a great job of portraying their characters! The actual games and the arenas were pretty close to how I imagined them too, and even the crazy ridiculous outfits people wore in the Capitol! Overall, I really enjoyed this adaptation and I’m so glad it got made so everyone got into it!

★★★★☆

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If I Stay (2014)

If I Stay (film) - Wikipedia

This was actually really enjoyable. I liked the way they incorporated flashbacks, and I loved seeing Mia and Adam’s romance play out. The ending with him writing a song was cheesy that wasn’t in the book (until the sequel 😉 ) but overall it was pretty good, really cute.

★★★★☆

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Divergent (2014 – 2016)

Divergent (film) - Wikipedia

Ahhh… Divergent. The one after the Hunger Games that everyone loved to hate. The first one was pretty good, although I really wish they hadn’t cast some like 30 year old dude as Four but hey at least it wasn’t as obviously horrendous casting as PJO! And I’ll always have special memories of the first Divergent movie because I went with a big group of my friends and we all wore all black because we were edgy Dauntless lol it was a big fandomy moment for us and I’ll always look back on that day fondly ❤

The second movie… was pretty bad, especially with the stupid box thing because they decided for some reason Tris was 100% divergent more divergent than everyone else and it’s like… no, she wasn’t. She’s dauntless, abnegation, and erudite, not amity or candor I mean this girl literally lies while under the truth serum you think she’s candor?

And the third movie was absolutely atrocious. I love how they literally split it in two and then the second part never got made because it was so bad.

★★★☆☆

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The Maze Runner (2014, 2015, 2018)

The Maze Runner (film) - Wikipedia

I feel like The Maze Runner was the end of the YA dystopian book/movie adaptation and it really fizzled out. After Hunger Games and Divergent it felt so overdone and not unique and just a little tiresome? I barely remember it, honestly, I just remember thinking it was pretty meh leaning toward bad.

I watched the first two and didn’t even watch the third one (or read that book) so your guess is as good as mine.

★★☆☆☆

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The Fault In Our Stars (2014)

The Fault in Our Stars (film) - Wikipedia

I remember this came out when Divergent was coming out too: YA was really having its big screen moment and it was glorious! This was probably my first YA contemporary I read and I read it because of the movie so that’s cool, and also this was the first movie I saw alone with a friend, no parents, so that’s exciting too haha. I remember everyone was talking about it and sobbing about it, and it definitely was pretty moving and sad and touching, and I really did enjoy it at the time! I didn’t love it, but I thought it was for the most part a really good and faithful adaptation of the books.

(also moment to remember how everyone was talking about how Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort were siblings in Divergent and dating in this one lmao)

★★★★☆

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Paper Towns (2015)

Paper Towns (film) - Wikipedia

John Green was really having a moment, wasn’t he? I think this came out the year after TFIOS and everyone was really just obsessed with him (and everyone in the theater screamed when Ansel Elgort’s cameo showed up haha). This was my favorite John Green book so I was super excited to see this movie, and overall it was pretty good. I thought Cara Delevigne was a great Margot. One thing that annoyed me was how the deadline was changed to not wanting to miss prom and yet they still had time to like kiss at night because it really took away the sense of urgency from the book, but overall it was pretty good.

★★★★☆

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The Fifth Wave (2016)

5th-Wave poster.jpg

I almost forgot about this one riding the end of the wave of YA dystopias hahaha omg how could I have forgotten??? The book was… okay. The movie was so bad it was good. Which is to say, it was awful but I saw it with a group of my friends and after the movie we got a meal together and spent the entire time trashing the movie and it was so much fun.

The alien twist was like so obvious? They weren’t even trying to be subtle about it. And the ending literally didn’t make any sense it was just plot convenience? And the main character was literally so dumb. Also the main guy’s eyes were too far apart and that was literally an inside joke my friends and I milked for a year about eyes too far apart.

(also I literally don’t remember anyone’s name from that movie so very memorable)

★☆☆☆☆

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Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children (2016)

Miss Peregrine Film Poster.jpg

This is literally another one that was so bad it was good. I honestly??? Do not understand why people like this movie?? And the book is equally bad I don’t get that either?? WHY do people think the weird thing of him and his grandpa liking the same girl isn’t weird it’s gross. And the ending literally made no sense I kind of stopped trying to understand what was happening after an hour (I saw the movie before I read the book, although I did eventually read the book, so I really didn’t get anything) and was just like oooooh cgi I have no idea what’s going on.

This is another movie I saw with friends and then trashed afterwards. Come to think about it I saw some pretty bad movies with friends.

★☆☆☆☆

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Nerve (2016)

Nerve (2016 film) - Wikipedia

This is yet another movie I was planning on seeing with my friends and it’s probably a good thing our plans fell through because this was AWFUL (and I saw it from the library so I didn’t have to pay because I would have been mad if I wasted money on this trash). So bad it wasn’t even good bad it was just bad bad bad. I barely remember it I just remember it was awful. I don’t even remember why it sucks because it’s so bad it was so unmemorable I forgot it existed and blocked it from my memory. Life’s too short to spend thinking about Nerve.

Also I remember the book was bad too (although not as bad).

I guess 2016 was the year for bad YA adaptations.

★☆☆☆☆

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Everything, Everything (2017)

Amazon.com: Everything, Everything Movie POSTER 27 x 40 Amandla ...

Wow this movie feels relevant now that we’re all locked inside like Maddie, right? This movie was okay. I didn’t like the book that much so who knows why I still saw this movie. The romance was cute. The weird scenes where they were talking in her imagination were weird. I don’t really like the book and same goes with movie. Meh leaning towards bad.

★★★☆☆

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Before I Fall (2017)

Before I Fall (film) - Wikipedia

This was actually a really enjoyable concept, sort of the teen version of Groundhog Day where a horrible teen learns to be nice on the same day over and over again. I enjoyed both the book and the movie, although I didn’t love either, I felt this was pretty close to the book and I did like it to watch once.

★★★★☆

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The Darkest Minds (2018)

The Darkest Minds (2018) - IMDb

This came out like two years ago and it was so weird?? Like, I was like what’s going on are we back in 2012 dystopia no it’s 2018 what’s going on. It was okay, but honestly I was so over dystopia (and clearly the rest of the world was too lol this bombed at the box office it was gone in like two weeks) and it was mostly super unmemorable and I didn’t really care.

★★☆☆☆

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Love, Simon (2018)

Love, Simon (2018) - IMDb

This book was super cute and sweet! I really enjoyed it, and I loved seeing Simon’s friendships, and of course, him and Blue! I gotta say, I like this title more than Simon Vs. The Homo sapiens Agenda lol because that’s a mouthful to say and type. The ending that was changed from the book was a little annoying because literally Blue going to meet Simon publicly on the Ferris wheel seems so out of character? But overall I really enjoyed.

★★★★★

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before (2018)

To All the Boys I've Loved Before (2018) - IMDb

My fave ❤ I love this movie so much I’ve seen it 5 times and forced all my friends who don’t even really like rom coms to watch it too. It’s super aesthetic and sweet and cute, and Lara Jean is just too relatable, and yay for Asian rep! It’s no wonder the whole world fell in love with this movie, and although the book is still better, this movie was still amazing and pretty close to the book, both in the plot and also in the all around fluffy happy mood!

PS I Still Love You was just okay. It’s my least favorite of the three books, and they cut a lot in the movie (the assassins!!!) and mostly I was just annoyed with Peter and John Ambrose deserved better. It was still good, but I’ve only seen it once and don’t have any desire to see it again anytime soon.

I’m super excited though high hopes for Always and Forever Lara Jean because that’s my favorite book of the trilogy!

★★★★★

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The Hate U Give (2018)

The Hate U Give (film) - Wikipedia

This was a really faithful adaptation to a really good book with a really important message. It was definitely memorable and I enjoyed it and would recommend!

★★★★★

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Stargirl (2020)

Star girl Movie Poster.jpeg

I read Stargirl like 10 years ago and just watched it when it came out on Disney+ a couple months ago. It was really enjoyable, and I honestly had like zero memory of the book so I can’t say how much it sticks to the book, but I feel like it captured the essence of it? Grace Vanderwaal was great as Stargirl and I loved her singing.

★★★★☆

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Let’s Chat

What are your favorite and least favorite YA book to movie adaptations? Have you seen all the movies on this list? What are some adaptations that aren’t on this list that I should check out? Are you SUPER EXCITED AHHHH about the Percy Jackson Disney+ adaptation?? (and also The Selection too!) I’d love to chat in the comments below ❤

pinkname

50 thoughts on “My Thoughts/Mini Reviews On 20 YA (&MG) Book To Movie Adaptations // Magic Fantasies, Sweet Contemporaries and So Much Dystopia

  1. Ahhh, congrats to all you PJO fans!!! You guys have been fighting for a faithful PJO adaptation since forever, and I’m so happy that you’re finally getting it 🥺🥺 (Lmao my memory of the series has been wiped, so I definitely have to reread some time soon)
    Also, what were they thinking with The Darkest Minds movie? They should’ve known that the era of YA dystopian adaptations was over *sighs*

    Liked by 1 person

  2. This post is so amazing!! The amount of work this must have taken- you deserve a medal for this oh my gosh. I loved reading it💛

    SO MANY GOOD MOVIES. I wholeheartedly agree with you on Harry Potter and Percy Jackson (the adaptation ahhhhh I can’t wait!!). I still haven’t seen the Hunger Games movies and I don’t know why?? I also don’t know why I haven’t watched Love Simon or THUG yet because I love both of those books. I think it’s just a matter of me never actually getting around to finding a way to access the movies or anything, but now that all I have is free time, I feel like I don’t really have an excuse so I should get onto that.

    Omg I don’t know why but for some reason I did not make the connection that the Stargirl movie I kept seeing ads for was THE Stargirl book that I loved so much in like sixth grade. Now I really want to watch it!

    Again this post is super amazing:)) Hope you’re doing well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yayyy so glad you liked ❤ The Hunger Games was a phenomena haha I remember it was THE thing to see and talk about back when they were coming out I'm mildly impressed you haven't seen them lol. THUG is amazing but also really heavy but Love Simon is amazing and super fluffy and sweet and I feel like it's the perfect lighthearted movie to see rn during quarantine! And yesss I'd all but forgotten about Stargirl when I heard about the movie and my brain was like… star girl…stargirl…THE STARGIRL BOOK OMG it's a great movie ❤ hope you're doing well too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. loved this post!! comparing books to movie adaptions is literally one of my favorite things to do lmao – trashing movies that suck is wayyy too much fun haha!

    I completely agree with you about Harry Potter! I mean, watching the movies comes with a flood of memories, and the cast, and just everything! so wholesome and perfect! watching harry, hermione, and ron and the rest of the characters grow across all those years honestly just gets me in the feels! And while I’m not a fan of JKR at all, but I can definitely appreciate a good movie adaption!

    and the pjo adaption OHMYGOD I haven’t stopped screaming ever since the news came out. I’m literally still screaming mentally. it’s just crazy- I’ve waited for the actually *good* adaption that pjo deserves for like… forever?? I’m so hyped, Kay, I’m honestly going insane!

    of all the other movies you mentioned, the hate u give and to all the boys i loved before are definitely my favorite!! (and we don’t speak about the fifth wave. what even was that movie.)

    anyways, this post just transported to a different era (the dystopian era??? like those were the days!!!) and this post was amazing and super fun to read! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha that’s too true tbh seeing bad movies with other people and then trashing them later… gives me more fun than I should probably admit… Yesss I’m so over JKR rn and all the new stuff she’s putting out (and tweeting about) but her original books are just masterpieces and the movies are amazing too ❤

      *deep breath* AHHHHHHHHHH PERCY JACKSON

      haha yeah the dystopian era literally everything that was coming out books and movies and all anyone was talking about was dystopia that was A Time that I thoroughly enjoyed. yay glad you liked ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow so many thoughts! I am both excited and afraid for the new Percy Jackson. It’s possible they can butcher it again!!! Let’s hope not! Also I also thought the first Diverget was good, okay, but then the last two was just… meh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If they butcher it again I’ll just fall into a pit of despair… catch me hurling myself into tartarus like Percy and Annabeth except I’m not that cool so I’ll just die. But I have hope since it seems Uncle Rick is super involved in it!!! ❤ Yeah Divergent was pretty good but then… what happened

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree with most of these! And I’m glad to see someone else liked Cara as Margo. I feel not many people liked that casting. And I’m very much intrigued by Clarisse not being so nice in the book? 👀 I tried to read The Princess Diaries last year, but I think I missed that boat because they felt a little too young for me and I couldn’t get into them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Clarisse is like this crazy manipulative shameless smoker intense lady with tattooed eyeliner and a hairless dog in the books lmaooo. Yeah I read Princess Diaries when I was 12 and I loved them so much haha and now I love them for nostalgia but I’m not sure if I would be able to get into them for the first time now

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Harry Potter and THG are just, up there tbh. They’re the top of the top and I think the main reason they’re super successful is because they! follow! the books!!!! Even when there are some changes, they were pretty minor and didn’t impact the plot overall. Like, I don’t understand why movie makers didn’t realize this and insisted on changing the plot all the time 😒

    Beastly was so long ago, I barely remember it except some witch that I think one of the Olsen sisters in a rain 😂 I love If I Stay, Princess Diaries, and To All the Boys too, but Divergent was just bad 😂 And unpopular opinion, while the plot for PJO movies are bad, I think the casting are pretty good! Aside from the obvious age problem, I just wish alter the appearance to fit the book characters more.

    Also unpopular opinion, I prefer the City of Bones movie compared to the TV show! I love the cast so much, I can’t unsee Jamie and Lily as Jace and Clary 😍 And do you remember I Am Number Four??? It was so long ago and tbh it was pretty cool but also forgettable 😂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. those two are SO GOOD. Ikr it seems all movies that change the plot tend to do worse… Tbh I’d pretty much forgotten about Beastly too haha until I did a google search of YA book/movie adaptations before writing this post and was like… oh yeah that happened. I barely remember the Percy Jackson movies (blocked them from my mind pretend they don’t exist lmao) but I feel like I thought Percy was okayyyy… like he would have made a good the last olympian 16 year old Percy, but Annabeth was just… not it (and also how hard would it have been to dye her hair blonde or give her a wig??) Eek I never read or watched City of Bones or I Am Number Four so can’t comment there but I’m glad you enjoyed ❤

      Like

  7. Great post!! I had no idea that Stargirl was made into a movie – I must check that out! I’m really excited for The Selection adaptation too, they were my guilty pleasure read and I can’t wait for it to become my guilty pleasure TV show 😂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Ahh I loved reading this post – brought back all the YA nostalgia because a lot of these books were my introduction to the genre! The Hunger Games and Divergent were probably the first YA books I read (I remember reading Divergent at 11, letting my friends borrow the book and not getting it back) and I did love them. They were just the perfect dystopian books and being so young I didn’t notice any flaws. I never saw the films for Divergent though so maybe something to consider?
    As for TFIOS wow what a throwback. Was one of my fave movies (I remember crying my eyes out at the cinema) and absolutely loving reading the book. Me and my friends were lowkey obsessed with it haha.
    & I need to read Percy Jackson I think. I’ve read The Lightning Thief and I think I enjoyed it? But never got to the rest!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same ❤ Hunger Games was my first YA: I read it when I was 11 and I was shocked by how dark it was lol and also reading a book with that much romance was crazy I was an Adult (although in hindsight the romance in that series is relatively tame lol). I read Divergent when I was 12 and I remember even then I loved the first book, liked the second one, and hated the third one, but also that was the Cool Thing to do everyone I knew had that opinion lol so maybe that's why I thought so.
      AHHHH YOU MUST READ PJO it is amazing that is all
      ❤ ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  9. OMG DYING IT TRULY IS 2012!! The apocalypse is here send help.

    This is such a cool post!! I LOVE adaptations. A load of my fave series I discovered because of the adaptations so they’re super nostalgic for me. We have a weird relationship as you can tell haha.

    We’ll always love HP. I just love how you can always go back to them. Seriously need to reread the series though, it’s been literal years and I can’t feed off the movies forever haha.

    Oooh I hardly ever talk about The Princess Diaries, I read some of the books as a kid but I don’t remember which ones wow. Anyways, I ADORE the first movie so so so much. I love Anne Hathaway and Julie Andrews is a true goddess. And it’s weird, because everyone seems to like the second more. But I,,, don’t like Chris Pine. Not his character nor really him. I know SCANDAL. Anyways, now I wanna go rewatch.

    CACKLING OMG 0 STARS

    hi hello the hunger games are my fave and I love every single adaptation with my whole heart k bye

    jk

    oof beastly, I remember this one, yeah really bad…

    Omg 30 year old. I remember ADORING the books when I first read and thought the movie was so good. Then I rewatched like like a year or so ago and it wasn’t that great. Like ti was good but not amzing??

    That obituary scene in tfios MADE ME CRY MY EYES OUT. I just,,, those kinda scenes always get me. Whenever death of a loved one is mentioned. No I can’t

    So many movies ahh. Have a love-hate relationship with The Darkest Minds. The movie def isn’t good but it was one of the first movies I went to alone (super underrated wow) and I remember just sitting there and loving the experience of the movie coming to life.

    To All The Boys is such a brilliant adaptation omg. One of the most accurate out there, next to Catching Fire. OOF. SO. FREAKING. GOOD. Love Simon and THUG are also amazing though.

    Also I never read the book but I remember LOVING Before I Fall.

    okay this comment needs to end now sorry

    Liked by 1 person

    1. haha I LOVED reading this comment ❤

      HP is like the perfect adaptation ❤ I mean there are some issues but overall it's so good! I didn't really like the second Priness Diaries movie either… I'm weird since I'm like the only person in the universe who read all the books (all 10 of them lmao) before watching the movies and since I read 10 books building up Mia and Michael's relationship I was not about Chris Pine lmao I was like ew go away. Hunger Games was so good and then Divergent just tried to copy them and the franchise was so bad and it just… died. I feel like more people (including me) might have liked the Darkest Minds if it came out like… 5 years earlier lmao but by the time it was out we were all 200% over dystopian. TATBILB is sooo cute and sweet and good ❤ and love Simon and thug are amazing for sure!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I knew like half these books and movies, but the ones I did know, I completely agreed with! I also loved the puns 🙂

    Yessss stargirl is great, and Peter Johnson is terrible (they don’t deserve the name PJO), and… I literally don’t know the rest, but oh well

    Liked by 1 person

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