Why YA books should not always be turned into films

Recently it was announced that one of my favourite books from when I was a teenager, Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick, is being turned into a film. My expectations are obviously high although, to my dismay when the two main actors playing the most important roles were revealed, I was a little disappointed. Don’t get me wrong I have nothing against the actors, however my imagination of the characters’ appearance was smashed into tiny pieces.

This brought me to reminisce on Young Adult books that have been adapted into a film in the last 10 years, and there definitely has been criticism for a lot of them.

The controversy that was caused when the Twilight Saga became a film series was because fans of the books were divided – not whether they were Team Edward or Team Jacob, but whether they hated or loved the adaptations. Major parts of the book were altered or left out such as the development of character Renesmee, as her growth somewhat overlooked in the film.

Source: Odyssey

When reading a book you are able to paint a picture and create your own vision of what characters, settings and objects will look like. It makes reading special and integral for imagination. When a film adaptation is made, the directors and producers do the imagining for us, which can twist and change our perspective. As seen in Barnes and Noble’s post “6 reasons the book is (almost always) better than the movie”, reason two describes that there can be disappointment when the film does not turn out how we pictured it.

Books always provide a lot of detail and explanations that make it easier to understand the development of the storyline, whereas films tend to leave out important parts that really tie the plot together. In the article “reasons why books are better than movies” Ashley Bowden suggests that compromises must be made on what is included in a film due to a limited amount of scenes that can be included. This leaves people that have not read the book to be confused, and usually dislike the film due to lack of explanation and missing out on finer detail.

I understand that films have a time limit and simply could not include all information within a book – which is why it is so much more fulfilling being able to read: you have all the time in the world, unless it’s for university of course. 

Image source: Pinterest

Fallen by Lauren Kate was turned into a film in 2016 and it was terribly bad, and did not do the book justice. 

A review on IMDB by Morgan Seymour said, “I’ve read this book countless times over the years and I loved it… it’s one of my favourite book series and I could read it a million more times after this and still be in love with it when I read it. But I’m telling you… DO. NOT. watch this movie if you have read the book, or even if you haven’t read the book. They did a crap job on the movie: the actors/actresses were crap, the way they portrayed the story line was crap, the scenes that they did include from the book were so twisted that it is almost as if I didn’t even recognise it. They left out a whole bunch of scenes that I feel needed to be in the movie.”

Fans of YA books are being left disappointed and those who choose to watch the films for entertainment without reading the book, are left confused.

I am not saying that all film adaptations are terribly bad, because we do have the amazing Harry Potter film series, but sometimes a book should just be that.

This cute and fast quiz by BuzzFeed will tell you do you actually prefer reading the book or watching the film?


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