We caught up with several young adult authors at the annual Book Expo America, and found out which adaptations are their personal favorites, and the results range from childhood classics ("A Christmas Carol") to newer, trippier fare ("Adaptation"). Here are 11 YA authors' picks for best adaptation.
1. Gayle Forman, author of "If I Stay" (in theaters Aug. 19)
That is a tough one, because there are a lot that I think are so good. I love "The Devil Wears Prada," I thought that was such a great adaptation. Everyone says "The Godfather," and that really was a spectacular adaptation, and then I'd like to go crazytown and pick "Adaptation" where they went completely off the rails and did their own thing. I can't pick just one!
2. Marie Lu, author of "The Legend" Trilogy
There's so many now, but I'm a huge fan of the the "Harry Potter" movies. I think they were done so well. They're so different from the books, but in a good way. The books and the movies really complement each other. And I just saw "The Fault in Our Stars" last night, and it was amazing. It was one of the best book translations that I've seen in a long, long time. They picked out all of the best elements of the book and enhanced them in a way. I was watching it with my agent, and we were just sobbing the entire way through. They had these little tissues they were giving out to everyone, and I used up my entire pack. It was just really, really well done.
3. Leigh Bardugo, author of "The Grisha" Trilogy
"Dune." No, I kid. But seriously, I think my favorite adaptation has to be "Like Water for Chocolate." Somehow the film managed to preserve the romance, intensity, and surprising humor of the novel -- and also brought all of those glorious recipes to life. "The Shawshank Redemption" is a close second. King's novella is one of my favorites, so I was wary of seeing it brought to life on screen. I was initially really cranky over the addition of the "Letter Duet" scene, but I've come to appreciate it as a moment that works in the film and belongs to that medium, even if it never appeared in the book.
4. Alex London, author of "The Proxy Series"
There are so many movie adaptations from books that I've enjoyed. I think they work best when they accept that film is a different story medium and embrace the heart of the books, while embracing the changes demanded by visual narrative. To name a few: "Children of Men" is visually stunning and, though bleak, absolutely gripping in a way that not even the book achieved for me. It found the emotional truth at the heart of civilizational collapse, without taking away all hope. "Wonder Boys" is just one of those perfect movies. It made plenty of changes from the book (which I also love) but all in service of the celebration of the story. It's one of the few movies I can rewatch over and over again. It's a celebration of writing and the writing life rendered vividly and to great comic effect in film. Rare that media cross pollinates so well. "The Perks of Being a Wallflower." What can I say? Chbosky wrote the book and directed the film, so even the changes still bear the authors intent. The performances were pitch perfect, bringing out these deeply felt characters just as I'd imagined them.
5. Anna Banks, author of "The Serena Legacy" Trilogy
My favorite book to film adaptation is "Pride and Prejudice" (starring Keira Knightley). I think Keira Knightley completely embodies all the feistiness and stubborness that is Elizabeth Bennet, one of my favorite book heroines of all time. And Mr. Darcy? Swoon! "Sense and Sensibility" is a close runner-up to "Pride and Prejudice," though, with Hugh Grant and Emma Thompson. Yes, I'm a Jane Austen fangirl.
6. Ava Dellaira, author of "Love Letters to the Dead"
"The English Patient." I first discovered "The English Patient" in high school, when we read the book and watched the film in my senior English class. I quickly fell in love, and rewatched the movie countless times. The adaptation gorgeously translates the poetry of the novel, and though it's been years since I've seen in, it's epic landscape and vivid detail remain imprinted in my mind.
7. Jessica Brody, author of "The Unremembered" Trilogy
"The Bourne Identity" -- I'm obsessed with stories of memory loss, especially when the main character finds out they're actually pretty extraordinary. Seeing this page-turning thriller brought to life -- with Matt Damon at the helm, no less -- was a happy day for me.
8. M.A. Larson, author of "Pennyroyal Academy"
I'm going with "Apocalypse Now." I don't actually know how faithful it is, but it's technically an adaptation to "Heart of Darkness."
9. Emmy Laybourne, author of "The Monument 14" Trilogy
"Children Of Men" -- Okay, so it's a loose adaptation -- but man, what a film. Cuaron's taut, heart-pounding film is both a steadily-accelerating thrill ride and, somehow, a meditation on hope.
10. Erin McCahan, author of "Love and Other Foreign Words"
My favorite page-to-screen adaptation is the 1951 version of "A Christmas Carol" with Alastair Sim as Scrooge.
11. Leila Sales, author of "This Song Will Save Your Life"
"The Last Unicorn": Loved the film as a kid, loved the book as a teen, love unicorns always.
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