The current trend of making young-adult books into movies is exploding! "The Hunger Games," "Divergent" and "The Fault in Our Stars" are just a few success stories, with more on the way. Movie releases are turning these books into publishing sensations and drawing even more attention to these excellent teen titles.
It makes sense that a good book would make a good film. It's all about the story. If a plot is compelling and honest and conveys a message, it will make an engaging film.
Young-adult books are designed to grab and hold the attention of teenagers. Teen literature gets to the point and develops the characters quickly and must have an intriguing storyline. Of course, the books chosen to be made into movies share all of these qualities. Whether you see the movie or not, here is a list of great young adult books.
In "The Hunger Games," Suzanne Collins creates a vivid sense of place to keep the reader entertained while questioning authority. She tells of a dystopian future, set in North America, in which two teenagers are randomly chosen from each of the 12 districts in order to compete in a televised tournament to the death. The Capitol uses these games to demoralize and control the population. Heroine Katniss Everdeen volunteers to take her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games.
The critically acclaimed "The Book Thief" by Markus Zusak is an account of Liesel Meminger's life growing up in Nazi Germany as witnessed by an anthropomorphic version of Death. Death watches Liesel as she struggles to process the Nazi persecution and profound discrimination against the Jewish population.
Newbery Medal winner "The Giver" by Lois Lowry at first appears to be a utopian novel; however, soon it is revealed that the opposite is true. By converting to "Sameness," all negative aspects of life, including pain, suffering, illness and hunger, are eliminated. Ultimately, life is dull and has little meaning. Twelve-year-old Jonas is chosen to be the "Receiver of Memory," giving him the memories of the time before "Sameness."
The bestselling "The Fault in Our Stars" by John Green is a heart-wrenching love story between 16-year-old cancer patient Hazel Grace Lancaster and 17-year-old cancer survivor Augustus Waters. Hazel has just about given up until her relationship with Augustus enlivens and enriches her life.
"Divergent," by first-time author Veronica Roth, tells the story of Beatrice "Tris" Prior, who is raised as a member of the Abnegation (selfless) faction. On the day 16-year-olds are tested and committed to one of the five factions for the rest of their lives, astonishingly, Tris joins the Dauntless (brave) faction. Four (Tobias) helps Tris overcome several incredible obstacles.
In Cassandra Clare's supernatural-fantasy-romance novel "City of Bones," Clary Fray becomes able to see demons and demon-hunters and realizes that vampires, werewolves, fairies and warlocks live among humans. End-of-the-world evil villain Valentine takes Clary's mom hostage in order to force Clary to give him the Mortal Cup, one of the Mortal Instruments.
"Ender's Game" is Orson Scott Card's most popular book among teenagers. He received the American Library Assn.'s Margaret Edwards Award for significant and lasting contribution to young adult literature. Child video game expert Ender Wiggin puts his skills to use in order to defeat an invading, insect-like alien race.
The movie version of "The Maze Runner" by James Dashner is coming to theaters this September. Dashner keeps readers guessing in this intense, suspenseful science-fiction thriller. Thomas finds himself without memory in the Glade. He searches for answers in a giant hazardous maze.
These books and more can be found at the Newport Beach Public Library. Happy reading!
CHECK IT OUT is written by the staff of the Newport Beach Public Library. All titles may be reserved from home or office computers by accessing the catalog at http://www.newportbeachlibrary.org. For more information on the Central Library or any of the branches, please contact the Newport Beach Public Library at (949) 717-3800, option 2.