These YA Books Need to Be Made Into Movies — Like, Yesterday
Watching movies based on books is one of my favorite things to do. Did they cast the right actors, include that one perfect line, and design the set and costumes like I pictured in my head? Some of the best adaptations are based on YA novels, like To All the Boys I've Loved Before and After, and there's always room for more!
Many YA books have already announced their upcoming film adaptations — like Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi and The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han — but you can never have too many. Keep reading for a list of the best YA books that somebody should be making into a movie (or at least a miniseries) ASAP!
Meeting the perfect person online (à la You've Got Mail) means Pepper and Jack don't know how much they really connect. So when the two snarky yet adorable high schoolers get into a Twitter feud — Pepper representing her family's fast-food chain, Big League Burger, and Jack representing his family-owned deli — things turn ugly, fast. Tweet Cute by Emma Lord is the compulsive read that will have you cheering on these two fun characters . . . and wishing for a grilled cheese sandwich! I would totally watch this rom-com as a movie, as long as Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks make a cameo (please make this happen, somebody!).
The Boy in the Red Dress
Murder, intrigue, passion — The Boy in the Red Dress is the 1920s murder mystery we need in movie form, like, now! While her aunt is out of town, Millie is running the speakeasy Cloak & Dagger in the French Quarter in New Orleans on New Year's Eve, 1929. The star of the night is a boy in a red dress named Marion, who has tons of underground fans. When a young socialite starts asking questions (with a photo of Marion in hand), Millie thinks nothing of it . . . until the girl's body is found dead in the courtyard. Was it an accident? Did Marion or one of the workers at Cloak & Dagger push her? We can't get enough of this gripping story!
One of the Good Ones
Sisters Maika Moulite and Maritza Moulite wrote this powerful book, One of the Good Ones, that explores racism, police brutality, and sisterhood. The book centers on teen social activist and history buff Kezi Smith, who is mysteriously killed after attending a social-justice rally. Her sisters, Happi and Genny, and their family are devastated to see Kezi become another victim in the fight against police brutality — and infuriated that people are treating Kezi like an angel, or "one of the good ones," as if anyone else doesn't deserve to be missed. They set out to honor Kezi, learning something about her along the way that will make them question everything.
What If It's Us
What happens when you meet a cute boy at the post office in New York City but don't catch his name or phone number? You do some internet sleuthing, of course! Authors Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera team up for this novel, What If It's Us, where two very different boys have to figure out if the universe is pushing them together or keeping them apart for good. You'll be cheering for Arthur and Ben's love story the whole time — one that's so romantic, nerdy, and funny, you can't help but wish it would be made into a movie.
The House in the Cerulean Sea
The multiple-award-winning book The House in the Cerulean Sea by TJ Klune takes place on a magical island, where six dangerous children live. Linus Baker, a 40-year-old case worker at the Department in Charge of Magical Youth, is summoned to the Marsyas Island Orphanage, home of a gnome, a sprite, a wyvern, an unidentifiable green blob, a were-Pomeranian, and the Antichrist. He must set aside his fears to work with the children and determine if they are going to bring about the end of days, while uncovering the island's other secrets and making an impossible decision: let the world burn or destroy a home? Can someone get Tim Burton to direct this film, please?
Perfect on Paper
Darcy Phillips has a pretty sweet, secret gig: her fellow students pay her for relationship advice. But when her enemy, Alexander Brougham, catches her pulling letters out of locker 89 for her anonymous advice, he threatens to out her to the whole school. To keep him quiet, Darcy becomes his personal dating coach to help him win back his ex-girlfriend. She is pretty determined — she has a secret that she doesn't want her best friend Brooke finding out, or she may never talk to her again. Perfect on Paper by Sophie Gonzales would make an ideal Netflix movie.
Yes No Maybe So
When Jamie Goldberg and Maya Rehman are thrown together to do door-to-door political canvassing, tensions are high. Jamie likes helping his local state senate candidate but is extremely shy, and Maya is super annoyed with her best friend being too busy to hang out, as well as other factors that make this her worst Ramadan ever! Yes No Maybe So by Becky Albertalli and Aisha Saeed explores racism, navigating cultural and religious differences, and falling in love.
Again, but Better
Written by Booktuber Christine Riccio, Again, but Better follows Shane, a girl majoring in pre-med with amazing grades who has no friends, no romance, and no life. To switch things up, she signs up for a semester abroad in London with the goal of adding some adventure in her life. But living outside her bubble is hard, and self-doubt creeps in and threatens to sabotage her new life — and any chance of falling in love.
I Wish You All the Best
The heartbreaking and beautiful story I Wish You All the Best follows Ben De Backer. After coming out to their parents as nonbinary, they're thrown out of the house and forced to live with their estranged older sister, Hannah, and her husband, Thomas. Ben struggles with an anxiety disorder made worse by their parents' rejection and keeps their identity secret except to their therapist, sister, and brother-in-law. But when Ben meets funny Nathan Allan, things might finally be taking a turn for good. This heartfelt book by Mason Deaver needs to be a movie ASAP!
Although Jayne and June Baek are sisters, they are nothing alike. June is three years older, with a know-it-all personality, a problematic finance job, and a boring apartment. As the younger sister, Jayne is more emotionally stunted; she is self-obsessed, lives in squalor, has bad taste in men, and hates going to class. Although the duo moved from Seoul to San Antonio to New York together, now they can't stand each other — until June gets cancer and Jayne is the only one who can help her. Yolk by Mary H.K. Choi is the type of emotional, heartfelt book that will make you cry your eyes out, then beg for more.
Attention, Pretty Little Liars fans: The Twin should be your next read! This twisty psychological thriller is about Ivy, who is learning that her sister, Iris, may not be who she says she is. In Natasha Preston's novel, 10-year-old twins Ivy and Iris were split up after their parents divorced, only reuniting after a tragic accident takes their mom's life. When Iris moves in with Ivy and their dad, the happy reunion doesn't exactly go as planned. When all of Ivy's friends and boyfriend start to fall under Iris's spell, Ivy starts to wonder just how manipulative and dark her twin is underneath.
The Cruel Prince
As the first book in a trilogy, The Cruel Prince by Holly Black would make an amazing fantasy film series. This story is about a mortal girl, Jude, who was only 7 when her parents were murdered and she and her sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants to belong so badly, but many of the fey despise humans — especially the young and wicked Prince Cardan. In defying him, Jude enters into a world of royal fairie drama and intrigue, violence and bloodshed, where she will do anything to save her sisters.
We already know Lauren Oliver's books make for great movies (remember Before I Fall?), so we know Broken Things would be good, too. This book is about Mia and Brynn, who everyone thinks killed their best friend, Summer Marks, five years before. After all, their obsession with the magical book The Way Into Lovelorn is just creepy. But the two girls still claim they didn't do it, and when a new discovery has everyone interested in the mystery again, they have to fight for their innocence and confront what really happened in the woods that tragic night.
We Set the Dark on Fire
Get lost in Tehlor Kay Mejia's dystopian society in We Set the Dark on Fire, a book set at the Medio School for Girls. Distinguished young women train for one of two roles available to them in this polarized society: a graduate will either run a future husband's household or raise his children. Both of these are prestigious options that take girls away from the political uprisings of the lower class. Daniela Vargas is the school's top student, but nobody knows she lied to get her way to the top. After graduation, she is asked to spy for a resistance group dedicated to bringing equality to the city, but it's a risky choice that means giving up the life she fought so hard to get.
Love From A to Z
Love From A to Z by S.K. Ali is a sweet, contemporary romance that follows two Muslim teens who meet during spring break. Zayneb is angry and confronts her teacher, who keeps reminding the class how "bad" Muslims are, and she gets suspended. When she visits her aunt's house in Doha, Qatar, she decides to try to be nicer. While there, she meets Adam, who was recently diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and stopped going to classes, focused instead on keeping alive the memory of his mom and hiding his diagnosis from his dad. When they meet, everything feels perfect — but they are both hiding from their true selves.