Monday, January 27, 2014

YA - Book to Movie

A coworker and I were talking about this today and it got me thinking...which is better?

The evidence I've seen all points to the books being better. I hate walking into a movie based on a book I love, one I laughed and cried with. Granted, maybe my expectations were too high, but mostly I end up disappointed! There are plenty of examples lately. Seems every popular Young Adult book series is being adapted to the big screen. Like the YA boom, it all started with one silly story and a sparkling vampire.


I can't talk about this movie/book. I go off on rants and tangents that are not productive. Let's just say however much I dislike both, the movies stuck VERY close to the books. And I'm sure we can all agree the quality of the movies improved over the four films.

Another point, why do they have to have such cheesy music, especially during kissing scenes?

Don't get me wrong. Huge YA fan here. It's what I write! Just think the material deserves better attention from directors and producers.

Case in point...City of Bones, the Mortal Instruments. The movie. This has been one of my favorite YA series, ever. It takes paranormal and tweaks it just enough to keep it fresh. Great characters, awesome world building, and a smart-assed boy. Then they made a movie. I was so excited about this one. I loved the film. I hated the film. Clary and Jace were great. The guy who played Valentine is one of my favorite actors so I'm biased in that area. Essentially, they did a decent job. Interesting special effects. Until the kissing scene. Enter sappy song and just over cheesiness. Even now, thinking back, I'm not entirely sure what exactly went wrong with the movie, It just failed to translate.

Now we can look forward to Divergent and Vampire Academy.

Of the two, only one actually looks good. Divergent.

Vampire Academy, and especially it's offspring, Bloodlines, are my second favorite series. But OMG ( I say that on purpose ) they are turning it into Mean Girls meets a dozen other stupid high school movies. The girls in the books are never that stupid and giggly. The more I hear about it, the more I'm certain I won't see it. I can't look past certain things and infusing too much humor and angst-y jokes are unforgivable!

I guess the point of my mini rant is two-fold. First, movie makers are targeting the biggest money spenders out there right now...teenage and collage age girls. They buy the books and they'll see the movies in droves. Only now they're learning the material isn't always there. So how hard is it to give us what we want? (Note: I am not either teen or college aged). Still, the tools are there. Peter Jackson can take something as complex as the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings and make amazing movies, closely following the books. How can we not bring to the screen a decent paranormal romance?

Second, as an author, I'd be so worried about letting down my readers. I know what it feels like to walk in to an anticipated movie and walk out disappointed. Like me and City of Bones.

Beautiful Creatures! Now that one was okay. It kept its dark feel and didn't delve into the silly side of being directed at younger audiences. Yet it didn't do as well in the box office. Strange.

Of course, the biggest success story, in my opinion, is The Hunger Games. Not so much the first movie, but it's getting better with the second installment, Catching Fire. From what I remember, they've followed the books very closely and have lost NOTHING. I even forgot Gale wasn't around much in the second book. Maybe I just liked him having more screen time ;)

So what does the future hold? Will we get a second Mortal Instruments movie? I hear it's possible but with all new director and maybe cast. What about Beautiful Creatures? Vampire Academy? Not so sure. Divergent? I sure as heck hope so. It's different enough to stand out, much like the Hunger Games there is more at stake to the story than romance.

And what's next? Any series you'd like to see brought to life? I'd love to see Across the Universe by Beth Revis or Under the Never Sky (my new favorite book!!!) Wait. Actually I think Under the Never Sky is being developed into a movie. So maybe I won't give up just yet.

This may come off as a mini vent or a series of short movie reviews, but it's something to think about. Is this the new trend? Did Twilight start this one too? Is it going to continue? I'm reserving my judgment. I'll skip Vampire Academy, remember the books fondly, but I will see Divergent. Let's hope it's worth it!