I found the trailer for The DUFF movie in Buzzfeed’s “21 Books to Read Before They Hit the Big Screen in 2015” list. It seemed like it would be a fun movie, so I decided to read the book. Perhaps my expectations were set incredibly low by the movie trailer, but the book surprised me by delving into serious issues like substance abuse and society’s preconceived ideas about sexuality.
Photos via Penguin, Veronica Roth Books, and Wikipedia
As far as movies adapted from young adult novels go, 2013 was both a really great and a really awful year. The Hunger Games: Catching Fire was one of the biggest blockbusters in theaters during a year of many great big budget films. It also swooped in at the last minute and stole the title of highest grossing film of the year fromIron Man 3, netting $409.4 million in just under 50 days at the box office. However, on the opposite side of the spectrum, many films adapted from YA novels did incredibly poorly at the box office:Beautiful Creatures, The Host, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, and The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. In 2013 we saw incredible success and incredible failure when it comes to movie adaptations, but it certainly wasn’t the last year of Hollywood attempting to bring YA novels to the big screen.
Photo via Lionsgate
Since we ended 2013 on such a high note with Catching Fire, which was both a success in terms of box office sales as well as staying true to the book, it’s hard not to be optimistic about 2014. Catching Fire seems to have renewed fans expectations of their favorite novels being turned into movies. It’s no longer guaranteed that the film adaptation will be horrible–although, statistically speaking, it’s still likely. However, with so many more films debuting in 2014 that are adapted from YA novels, we might be able to take what we learned in 2013 and predict how the films will do this year. (I am by no means a movie scientist–no matter how much I wish that were an actual profession–and I’m merely making semi-educated guesses here.)
If you haven’t heard of it–whether you’re on Tumblr or not–the social blogging site launched a book club. Reblog Book Club is toted as “the first-ever official Tumblr Book Club.” It launched the week of September 10th with Fangirl: the Novel by Rainbow Rowell, who is a Tumblr user herself. A book club where I can participate–both by reading the book and talking about it–from my couch? Count me in! I was pretty late to jump on the bandwagon so I just finished Fangirl this weekend, but it’s safe to say the Reblog Book Club definitely picked the perfect novel with which to launch the club.
Fangirl follows Cather and her twin sister, Wren, who start off their freshman year of college in Nebraska. The girls are very close but as they start school, they begin to grow apart in most aspects of their life: Wren chooses to room with someone other than her sister, the girls argue over whether to get in touch with their estranged mother, as well as how to participate in the college lifestyle–Wren decides to join in the party culture of the school while Cath often stays in her room. They also begin to grow apart in regards to the one thing on which they were bonded: Simon Snow. Simon is the main character in a series of books about a magical world. (A none-too-subtle nod to Harry Potter.) Simon Snow plays a huge part in Fangirl since it’s what inspires Cath to be a fangirl and a writer of fanfiction (which is also an important aspect of the story.) Despite her apprehension, Cath is sucked into college life through her roommate Reagan, and Reagan’s constant companion, Levi. Overall, Fangirl is a fantastic window into the life of a modern college girl, one who is nerdy, introverted, and relatable to many, many people.