Young Adult Book Adaptations Need To Stop

By Nina Phillips | Updated

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Some of the most popular TV shows and movies coming out right now are based on books. Unfortunately, young adult adaptations of books appear to be failing in recent years, with far more flops than successes. This series of failures may indicate that it’s time for young adult adaptations to stop.

The Books Appeal To All Ages

There are many reasons why, despite the several flops, young adult adaptations are going strong. Though they are made for younger viewers, many young adult series have themes and realms that are also interesting to older viewers, such as Harry Potter and The Hunger Games. They’re also usually faster-paced than adult-themed novels, which makes for a more entertaining movie.

This means if the movie is done right, young adult adaptations are available to a wide audience. You have teenagers and young adults, both of whom are the intended audience, but also those who have recently, and maybe not-so-recently, entered the adult world and want to relive the emotion and magic that being younger held.

Adaptations Keep It Clean

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Additionally, because young adult adaptations tend to avoid steamier themes, they’re usually acceptable for kids slightly below the intended reading age as long as the parents are more open. For example, there are some darker scenes and romance in the Percy Jackson stories, but for the most part, it’s a story about growing and fighting monsters. Middle schoolers might still find these themes interesting, and some parents are willing to let their kids watch these kinds of movies despite being young.

A Known Story

This means that with one young adult movie, you have almost every age range as a potential audience member. Young adult adaptations are often better than new movies or TV shows at attracting an audience. There’s already a set story that needs some tweaks, a potential audience that will watch it simply because they loved the books, and it is still inviting for new watchers.

Recent Adaptations Have Been Disappointing

I understand why young adult adaptations are so popular. However, I think Hollywood needs to move away from the genre or at least embrace some other genres. Right now, with so many young adult adaptations failing in the last several years, like Artemis Fowl, Vampire Academy, and Chaos Walking, it’s the perfect time to try something new.

While some people aren’t fans of adaptations, I think that if done right, any adaptation can be extremely fun and a way for people to enjoy the story even if they don’t read the novels. As much as I would love everyone to read the books I do so I can talk to people about it, I know that reading isn’t everyone’s favorite thing to do.

Hollywood Needs To Explore New Genres

Having movie and TV adaptations, even young adult adaptations, allows me to share some of my favorite stories with people I know will never give the book a chance. Plus, book adaptations are good for everyone, as they have a chance to increase book sales, and they tend to make more money than original movies and TV shows.

I think that instead of focusing on making quick, not-so-great, young adult adaptations, there are many other good stories, especially in adult fantasy, comic books, and horror, that are being overlooked and could make great movies.