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YA Books Being Made Into Movies - Reviews by Kathleen, Teen Blogger

It’s been a while, dear readers. So long that you’ve probably run out of books suggestions! In the meantime, though, you might have seen a few advertisements for movies—unless you’re some kind of hermit, in which case no offense was intended.

The Fault In Our Stars - book coverTHE FAULT IN OUR STARS, by John Green

Stop me if you’ve heard this one: girl meets boy. Boy and girl have a lot of angst.
Do they love each other? Will they admit their love? Will one of them die?

That last bit is usually true for dramatic dystopian novels, and soppy romances, but John Green’s, The Fault in Our Stars, isn’t either of those. It’s a romance, and it’s about teenage cancer patients. That sounds like a recipe for cheese, but it’s the fact that it’s teenagers in these situations that makes it so enjoyable, and thoroughly unsappy (for the most part). In many books, adults have to question what the death of a loved one will do to their kids, their dog, and their mortgage. Here, there’s no need to focus on that because both main characters know their love probably won’t last forever. Life has other things planned and unfortunately, those plans don’t always lead to a happy ending.

If I Stay - book coverIF I STAY, by Gayle Forman

I read If I Stay about three years ago. My mom brought it home and told me it was a “hot new read" (librarian speak for “popular new book”). I gave it a try, and it was one of the best books I’d read in a while. The story follows Mia, who—spoiler alert!—is involved in a car crash that kills her parents and younger brother. She is rendered comatose, but she finds herself able to come outside of her own body and watch everybody around her, including her devastated boyfriend, Adam. Mia has a promising future ahead of her, but the question of whether she wants to live is not so simple anymore. With her whole family dead, she has to make the most important decision of her life: if she wants to even keep living it.

This book, to quote modern teenagers, “made me feel all the feels.” The book goes back and forth between the present and flashback forms, allowing us to get a sense of how the characters became who they are. The struggle of Mia as she sits in her coma is very realistic, and the author is careful to make the decision about Mia herself, rather than just those still living. This is a fantastic read that I would recommend to almost anyone (the sequel, Where She Went, might be even better).

Insurgent- book coverINSURGENT, by Veronica Roth

The sequel to the film Divergent, Insurgent, will be out next year. The novel on which it will be based is just as thrilling a read as the promising first novel in the series. To recap, Divergent dealt with a world where people were divided into five factions, seemingly based on personality types: Abnegation, Amity, Candor, Dauntless, and Erudite. Tris is what they call Divergent — she fits into more than one faction, and she can’t be controlled. Choosing Dauntless, she meets Four, who has a few secrets of his own. In the sequel, Roth takes everything you thought you knew about this universe and spins it on its head. New characters are introduced, back stories are revealed, and you discover what really makes these characters tick. Insurgent deals with the stirrings of a revolution between Jeanine, the big bad of the story, and the factionless, who were deemed worthless by their former society. Tris is still at the forefront of the story, and throughout, Roth paints how a teenage girl (one who just lost her parents, no less) is able to deal with the happenings, and eventual outcomes, of a war around her.

[Editor's Note: Since a trailer for the Insurgent film has not yet been released, here's a trailer for the first film, Divergent.]

All of these are going to be coming out soon — The Fault in Our Stars is, in fact, already in theatres. If you’re thinking you want to read the book before seeing the movie (which I recommend, so you can nitpick the movie with the rest of us), then you can place a hold or pick one up at any branch of Halifax Public Libraries. Remember: the book is always better than the movie, but you have to read it to understand why.


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