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YA Books to Read Before They’re Movies

We’ve always had a thing for book-to-movie adaptations, particularly in YA. Not all of the adaptations are stellar, but there’s something inexplicably interesting about them. Then again, I don’t consider myself a very critical moviegoer. I recognize the flaws in many adaptations, but I don’t care.

Everyone’s making a huge deal about young adult novels being turned into movies, but really it’s NO DIFFERENT than any other type of adaptation in the sense that things have to be judged on a case by case basis. They’re different stories and visions. But that doesn’t mean they offer no value to the generations. There are people out there who wax poetic about Molly Ringwald movies, then call enjoying current YA adaptations immature. And worn out action movies flop all the time, but nobody’s railing against them. Holy hypocrisy, Batman!

In that spirit, we’re going to talk about YA books we love that will become (in some cases, hopefully become) movies. They range from dystopian to contemporary to fantasy, from “coming out next week” to “recently optioned for film”.

DIVERGENT trilogy by Veronica Roth (Dystopian)

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Not gonna lie. We really, really, really did not like the last book in the Divergent trilogy. After reading, I actually referred to screwing up the last book in the series as “pulling an Allegiant”. But we fell in love with the first novel and so far, the clips have looked interesting, bar the occasional hokey line. The first book is fast-paced, emotional, and really intense at times. Our butts will be in the seats next week!

THE FAULT IN OUR STARS by John Green (Contemporary)

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The following sentence requires a lot of commitment, but I’m going there: TFIOS, as fans lovingly abbreviate it, is my favorite standalone book of all time. At least at this point in my life. Yes, it’s about a terminally ill teen whose quiet existence is turned around after meeting someone who’s willing to connect with her despite it all. Everyone goes “Urgh! Cancer kid novel!” But it’s SO MUCH MORE than that. John Green is one of the most phenomenal writers in existence. TFIOS is smart, honest, and brave. It’s the kind of book that tears you apart and puts you back together again. And the trailer was so freaking good! We expect to laugh and cry and then do it all over again.

THE MAZE RUNNER trilogy by James Dashner (Dystopian)

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There’s a lot of back and forth about The Maze Runner, coming out in September, for two reasons:
1) The industry seems to have high hopes for it.
2) There’s a male lead and all but one co-star is also male. Some people believe that this is the reason the industry has high hopes for it.
We call shenanigans! The Maze Runner is a dystopian series, but it’s also a mystery series. You never know what’s going to happen next. Details trickle out only as they’re needed and you can’t help but want more. But you need to know. If the movie keeps that up, we’d certainly forgive the gender discrepancy.

DAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE trilogy by Laini Taylor (Fantasy)

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DOSAB is in the very, very early stages. It’s only got a director, as of right now. The books are worth it anyway. Laini Taylor has this lyrical quality about her writing that makes it easy to flit between modern day Prague and another realm with Karou, a seemingly normal girl who just happens to serve as a currier for otherworldly creatures. The films are going to require some serious CGI, so let’s hope for an amazing technical team!

SHADOW AND BONE (Grisha) trilogy by Leigh Bardugo (Fantasy)

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This project was optioned by producer David Heyman of Harry Potter fame and it’s easy to see why. This series is BADASS! Leigh Bardugo has such a creative take on her world and a keen skill for molding stunning characters. The books are quite dark and intense, but there’s some amazing moments of levity in there too. They take on both whimsical and gothic elements of fantasy so effortlessly. If translated onto screen well, the films will be stellar!

PANIC by Lauren Oliver (Contemporary)

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Panic came out last week, but it was optioned by Universal months ago. You’ve probably heard people say it sounds exactly like The Hunger Games, but other than the competition element, these people are full of it. Panic is a contemporary based in the impoverished fictional small town of Carp, New York, where students pay into a pot throughout high school and after graduation, they can choose to compete in a deadly competition of dares to win the money. There are two narrators: Heather enters because she’s trying to outrun herself– she thinks she could be a better, more likable, even prettier person if she could just leave Carp– and Dodge desperately wants revenge, even if it means murder. Important note: THEY DO NOT FALL IN LOVE. THX.

Hopefully, this list will do you some good if you’re adaptation junkies like us!
The Girl With The Pearl

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The Hunger Games and Multi-Fandom Frigidity

We’ve been lucky enough to be part of the planning for Victory Tour 2013, an upcoming young adult book convention featuring The Hunger Games. We can’t tell you anything about it except that it is going to be EPIC and if you can make it to Charlotte, NC next June, you will not regret it!

For those of you who never learned to share!

Anyhow, working on the convention has taught us something about this fandom: There are A LOT of Hunger Games fans who are very insular. Even though they’re part of this fandom, they generally shun the idea of fandom outside their little safe Hunger Games bubble. We’re super surprised by how many people aren’t enthused by multiple fandoms.

For instance, Victory Tour is exploring some other fandoms that I personally love– Delirium, Divergent, Matched, and The Mortal Instruments. The Hunger Games will still be a major standpoint and featured around every corner, but we would be thrilled to geek out about these other fandoms with you too! So to see people call the whaaaambulance because a few fandoms other than The Hunger Games can also be enjoyed at the same time baffles us.

We are people of multiple fandoms here on Victor’s Village. We love The Hunger Games, but we also love Harry Potter and Star Wars and Downton Abbey and The Avengers and the above mentioned series from the last paragraph, along with many others. Our recommendations page is a good place to get a better idea!

Delirium Lauren Oliver Divergent Veronica Roth The Uglies Scott Westerfeld

They deserve fandom love too!

So tell us, Hunger Games only crowd– WHY? Yes, The Hunger Games is spectacular. But does it somehow keep you from reading and appreciating other books? Can you not love other characters as well? Do you feel like you’d be betraying THG by loving another book or series? Or are similar genres to The Hunger Games (action, political, dystopian) just not your cup o’ tea? We don’t expect everyone to love everything, of course, but to love only one fandom? That just feels lonely.

We’re inviting everyone to expand their horizons! Suggest your favorite fandoms other than The Hunger Games in the comments and let’s venture into new experiences together, that way it won’t be so scary. Together we can make progress!

Many People Love The Hunger Games, But Nobody Loves A Hunger Games Snob,
The Girl With The Pearl

A NOTE ON VICTORY TOUR: Some people seems to be confused. Victory Tour shifted to include other fandoms because for legal reasons, it cannot be a Hunger Games only convention not because the organizers believe that The Hunger Games doesn’t merit a standalone convention. However, there will be tons of Hunger Games programming! So much that you can do entirely Hunger Games activities throughout the convention. If you’re not interested in participating in the other fandoms, you can still have a full convention experience without doing so!

The Hunger Games “Seal of Approval”

As Hunger Games fans, we feel like there’s always someone trying to convince us. The fandom has proven itself to be full of readers and consumers, so now everyone expects us to… well… CONSUME EVERYTHING.

Hunger Games Seal of Approval

Except not as cute!

Thusly, every book is getting what we like to call The Hunger Games “Seal of Approval”.

It goes a little something like this:
“If you like The Hunger Games, you’ll love THIS!”
“A great read for fans of The Hunger Games!”
“Readers who love The Hunger Games will be obsessed with THIS!”
“NO SERIOUSLY! IF YOU LIKE THE HUNGER GAMES, YOU HAVE TO LIKE THIS. WE DEMAND IT.

To us, The Hunger Games Seal of Approval is like poison. If we see it, we almost immediately put the book down and walk away. It’s not because we don’t want to read anything similar to The Hunger Games or have a grudge against teen dystopian fiction.

In fact, we’re not even 100 percent sure WHY we hate it so much, but if we had to guess, we’d assume it has something to do with reviewers suggesting that every other fictional book based in the future will be loved by fans of The Hunger Games, despite many differences between each series. Don’t get us wrong: we’ve read books that have been compared to The Hunger Games and loved them, some of them even ended up on the Victor’s Village Recs Page! But if we had checked out the “Praise For…” section for those books, we probably wouldn’t have bothered, even though they’re among our favorites now. It’s a strange, vicious tick.

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It’s what we do best!

Here’s the thing: Every book needs to be judged on its own merits. We don’t want to like a book just because we’re thinking of The Hunger Games. We’re also plagued by the vapid reviewers who act as if all dystopia is the same and The Hunger Games is THE Pioneer. The series is an amazing, beautiful example of dystopia, but it didn’t create the genre, just the craze. A book can be both wonderful and dystopian without being The Hunger Games (though none add up quite the same!)

Also, some of the books that DO get compared to The Hunger Games are actually really, really awful.

So read a book because it looks interesting to you, not because the back cover told you it will make you think of another book!

Of course, I’m reviewing a book for my other site right now, and what’s on the back? A glowing recommendation for Hunger Games fans. I’mnotbotheredI’mnotbotheredI’mnotbothered…

Fans Should Only Be Listening To Our Advice ANYWAY,
The Girl With The Pearl

We’ve Got New Stuff!

Just a quick post to let you all know that Victor’s Village has a brand spankin’ new feature that will pique your interests and keep you entertained on a long day!

We’ve compiled a list of our favorite books and movies that are not related to The Hunger Games so that you can see exactly what we’re addicted to when we’re NOT obsessing over this series. If you’re looking for a new entertainment to sink your teeth into, we’ve got a ton listed!

We’ve also thrown in our favorite Hunger Games items, for good measure!

VICTOR’S VILLAGE RECOMMENDATIONS – THE STUFF WE LOVE

Check out the list and if anything looks interesting, click on the image to get all of the details!

IMPORTANT NOTE: The page sometimes has trouble loading all the awesome, so if the page looks a little scant toward the bottom, HIT REFRESH!

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