EmZombie

Fan. Writer. Questioner.

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Improving the YA Genre

The genre of Young Adult (or, as I refer to it, YA) has become one of the most popular book genres of the present. These stories, starring teenage protagonists and directed towards a teenage audience, have become quite big due to the appearance of several gems. The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer may be considered the first to inspire other writers to take up this popular genre.

But sometime there is too much of a good thing. For several years after Twilight sprouted up and was just beginning to die out, I was forced to look in other areas of bookstores in order to avoid the mediocre reproductions of YA that came to fulfill the need for this specific genre.

I thought most hope had been lost in that genre…until the arrival of the The Hunger Games Seriesby Suzanne Collins. With the publishing of her first book, Collins had breathed new life into the genre with her unique story about a girl trying to protect family and loved ones from a corrupt dystopian world.

While watching Catching Fire, the second movie made into film based on her book series, I began to think about the success of this book and film series and wondered about how it had emerged from the cess pool of YA novels that all seemed to be cloned from one another. For this article, that is just what I will be exploring as I try to figure out the formula for curing the YA genre.

The only drawback of movie theatre movies

On Mike Dariano

There is only one bad thing about going to the movies. It’s not the ticket prices, crowded theaters, extensive trailers – I could watch an hour of these – parking or driving there, or talking during the show.  None of those.  The only bad part of going to the movies is walking out and hearing someone say; “Well it wasn’t as good as the book”.  You know what it never is, and it’s not the movie’s fault. 

It’s yours. There is an implicit risk that people don’t seem to understand. When you begin to read a book there is a slight chance that book will become so popular that Hollywood will derive a movie from it and when you go to see it you will be ultimately disappointed.* It always happens, even with bad movies.  The Da Vinci Code book sold more than sixty million copies but the move garnered only a 25% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  I’d suspect that part of this rating was due to reviewers knowing what else was in the book but wasn’t included in the movie.** 

Let’s not blame the movie makers for this either, it’s your fault.  It took you sixteen hours to read the book, if they made a movie that included everything you wouldn’t even want to watch it.  They don’t make adult books short enough that would accommodate an appropriate movie length.  What you’re looking for is a different medium, called television. 

The only books that make appropriate movie lengths are written by Dr. Seuss

Only two remedies exists for this problem  - though many will find the first displeasing – stop reading these books. The current vein of books-to-Hollywood seems to mining outsiders as heroes (Twilight, Harry Potter, The Girl Who).  If you find yourself on that literary path, take caution because that road ends on a studio lot in California.  If ceasing to read seems too bitter there is a sweet part as well, watch the movie before reading the book and it will make both better.  For as bad and deplorable a book to movie becomes, a movie to book transition swings in the opposite way.  After getting exposed to a story through the visual medium the move to the book must be akin to hallucinogen drugs that allow the user to taste the color red. 

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