I wonder if reading—particularly in “young adults”—would be encouraged by not adapting books into movies.
I recently caught The Perks of Being Wallflower: The Movie. It was about as straightforward of an adaptation of a book as I’ve ever seen. I enjoyed it and I have many peers that cherished the book in their teenhood (myself excluded) that also enjoyed it, so I guess Chbosky & Co. did their job well.
I’m glad they left out all the smoking.
I, among millions of others, enjoy the plethora of excellent young adult fiction and am pained to see the film adaptations fall so short time after time. Perks: The Movie, in my opinion, effectively captured the emotional weight of the book, particularly in the last act.
Harry Potter tries, at least.
Anyone who has experienced both the Potter books and films will quickly remind you that the magic (figurative) of the story is far more affecting in the novels. The films are wine coolers and the books are port.
I just want everyone to try the port.
Catcher in the Rye has never been filmed, per Salinger’s request and other reasons. It’s a book you still have to earn. You can’t get it in an hour and a half. Because of this, Catcher still maintains its luster, its magic, its importance.
A recent great YA novel, John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, is one I would never wish to be a movie. I want kids to earn it. I’ve heard stories from English teachers that claim it as the new gateway drug of literacy in their high school students. A film adaptation wouldn’t completely wreck that, but it wouldn’t help much.
In summary: Please, Hollywood, keep making adaptations of the sub-par YA fiction like Twilight and the Hunger Games. Leave the good stuff alone. Kids still need motivation to be literate and cheapening the magic doesn’t help.