Not all YA adaptations are created equally. In fact, there are many terrible examples of the genre. On the other hand, here are a few that are pretty great.
It's back. The franchise few were asking for, now dubbed The Divergent Series, has returned with part two of its underwhelming narrative, a little something called Insurgent. Apparently, Hollywood has fixated on the idea that every up and coming starlet, be she an Oscar winner (Jennifer Lawrence) or mere nominee (Shailene Woodley) deserves a Young Adult vehicle of her very own. In the case of this failing attempt, the expectations met with actuality, and both agreed to call a truce.
Of course, that doesn't mean that the final two films in the series -- both based on the Allegiant book -- will be just as bad. But when faced with the prospect of seeing more of that tiring Tris and her collection of male hangers-on, including boy toy and neo-nemesis, we'd rather invest in another Team Edward/Team Jacob argument. YA has come to mean copycat, a means for Hollywood to capitalize on a pop trend while it's still a literary thing. A decade from now we may be laughing at the desire to turn children's lit into worldwide hits, but it's already happened, so we'll let history judge.
For now, we've decided to "celebrate" Insurgent by providing a list of our ten favorite (and, therefore, best) YA adaptations. Now, there are some exclusions that one can complain about. We did not list The Wizard of Oz here, since there's really only been one attempt at bringing L. Frank Baum's books to life, with the rest being remakes / reboots / reimaginings / rights issues borrowing (each new entry sullying the original). We've also left out Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, James and the Giant Peach, and anything else Roald Dahl. The author may have a strong connection to YA, but most adaptations failed to fulfill their artistic promise.
Finally, there are so many flawed first attempts at jump starting a franchise, titles with names like "Spiderwick" and "Host" and "Inkheart", that we wanted to focus solely on those that eventually made the grade. So without further ado, here are Short Ends & Leader's choices, both as franchises and as standalone efforts. They may not represent your personal favorites, but they do illustrate that, on occasion, Tinseltown can jump on a bandwagon and not cause the vehicle to crash.