11 Book-to-screen adaptations for YA readers

ya book-to-screen

This year has been a tremendous time for books that are turned into movies, and YA fans are not disappointed. From throwback reads from childhood to some of our modern classics, 2019 is killing it when it comes to YA book-to-screen adaptations. Before you watch these adaptions, pick up – or let’s be honest, reread – these great books being brought to a screen near you this year. 

ya book-to-screen

The Sun Is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon

This book was turned into a movie starring Yara Shahidi and Charles Melton of Riverdale. Natasha is a girl who loves facts and science. She doesn’t believe in fate or falling in love with a boy even after meeting someone special on a busy New York City street – especially when her family is being deported to Jamaica in less than 12 hours. Daniel is a dreamer who longs to be a poet even though his parents have other expectations for him. When these two meet, sparks fly.


Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott with Mikki Daughtry and Tobias Iaconis

This heartfelt novel was turned into a movie starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson. Stella likes to be in control – even if her out-of-control lungs send her in and out of the hospital all her life. She must keep everyone or anything that might ruin the chances of a lung transplant at least six feet away from her. Will just wants to leave the hospital as he doesn’t care about his treatments or a fancy new drug trial. When he turns 18, he plans on trading the hospitals for the world and living his life. Will needs to stay away from Stella or she might lose her spot on the transplant list, but the six feet of separation is starting to feel like a punishment. 


Looking for Alaska by John Green

Hulu is bringing John Green’s Looking for Alaska to life this year. The Hulu series stars Sofia Vassilieva, Kristine Froseth and Uriah Shelton. Miles Halter is tired of his safe life at home. With an obsession for famous last words, he goes to boarding school where he meets Alaska Young. The pair search for the meaning to the words of poet François Rabelais’s “The Great Perhaps.”


After by Anna Todd

The most-read Wattpad series-turned-book series officially made its movie debut this year, making author Anna Todd a household name. Good girl Tessa has a reliable boyfriend at home, direction, ambition and a mother determined on keeping her that way. But when she moves into her freshman dorm, she runs into cute bad boy Hardin. He’s cocky and rude and Tessa should hate him. But when she finds herself alone with him in his room, things become passionate. Even though he calls her beautiful and is certain that he isn’t the right one for her, Tessa is determined to discover the real Hardin.


All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This book’s movie is another 2019 release we love, starring Maleficient’s Elle Fanning and Detective Pikachu’s Justice Smith. Theodore Finch is obsessed with death but every day he manages to find something to keep him here, alive. Violet Markey wants nothing more than to graduate, leave her small Indiana town and the grief of her sister’s recent death. When the pair meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves who: Finch can be himself with Violet while Violet can start living her days instead of counting them down. 


Let It Snow: Three Holiday Romances by John Green, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle

These three interconnected stories have been picked up by Netflix for a film starring Dora the Explorer’s Isabela Moner, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’s Shameik Moore, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’s Kiernan Shipka and Lady Bird’s Odeya Rush. When a snowstorm transforms a small town into a romantic haven on Christmas Eve, love warms up the town. A kiss from a charming stranger, a Waffle House date and true love via an early shift at Starbucks all lead a charming and hilarious story. 


The Umbrella Academy by Gerard Way

These graphic novels created and written by My Chemical Romance lead singer Gerard Way were turned into a Netflix show that is now available to binge-watch.  After 43 children were spontaneously born to women who did not show former signs of pregnancy, seven are adopted by millionaire inventor Reginald Hargreeves to save the world. They form a dysfunctional family of superheroes with bizarre powers and after almost 20 years together, they decide to disband. But when Hargreeves dies unexpectedly, they must reform to save the world again.


Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

These scary tales will give you major flashbacks as the terrifying stories we read as children have been brought to life onscreen. Schwartz’s collected and retold stories feature horror, revenge and supernatural events. The original artwork by Gammell truly makes these short stories come to life.


Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase by Carolyn Keene

This mystery is considered a classic to so many. In the 2019 film, Nancy Drew is a modern millennial with all the charm of the original. Nancy Drew agrees to help her friend Helen Corning when the old family mansion shows signs of being haunted: music, thumps and creaking noises can be heard at night and eerie shadows creep on the walls. But when Nancy is visited by a strange man who warns her and her father they are in danger due to a case her father is working on, Nancy and her father begin to investigate a missing landowner. 


Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Debuting this Christmas, the eighth adaption of the classic features favorites including Emma Watson, Timothée Chalamet and Saoirse Ronan. Sisters Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are more different than they are alike. But as their father is away at war and their mother works to support their family, they learn to rely on one another. Throughout it all, they wonder when their father will come home so their family can be together again.


His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

Book one of the His Dark Materials series, The Golden Compass, is returning to the screen as a TV show for HBO and will feature Lin‑Manuel Miranda, James McAvoy and Ruth Wilson. Lyra is determined to make it to the cold and far north where witch clans and armored bears rule. She needs to save her friend Roger while her uncle Asriel is building a bridge to a parallel world. Lyra is Roger’s and Asriel’s champion, but if she helps one, she’ll betray the other.

*Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links. These picks are editorially selected, but if you purchase, She Reads may get something in return. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. 

Marena Galluccio

Marena Galluccio is a freelance copywriter and journalist and lover of all things YA. She reviews fantasy, historical fiction, and historical fantasy YA books on her website’s blog, #MediaGalReads. When she is not writing creatively, Marena can be found planning her next trip to a Disney park, watching the latest movie in theatres, or visiting a history museum. She is currently based in Georgia.

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