5 Disappointing YA Book-to-Movie Adaptations

It seems as though book-to-movie adaptations have become their own genre. The newest additions to this trend are Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children and The Girl On the Train, both of which have received sub-par reviews from critics. While there are some authentic and enjoyable book-to-movie adaptations, just as many disappointing ones exist. Here are five of them.

The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones

A promotional image from the book-to-movie adaptation of The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones.

Based upon a bestselling series about angel-human hybrids who fight demons, The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones had a lot of potential. But, the unique plot devolved into a campy movie about teen angst. Lily Collins’ portrayal of the Clary Fray is well done but isn’t enough to make up for how generic this film is. While its sequel never saw the light of day (and thank God it didn’t), at least fans have a television show to watch.

Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

A promotional image from a book-to-movie adaptation of Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

You would think that after a movie as disliked as The Lightning Thieffilm producers would learn. Sadly for moviegoers, this is not the case. Once again, producers transformed the exciting story of a teen demigod into a CGI-infestation with laughable dialogue and two-dimensional caricatures. The story replaces all of the heart with poor special effects. I mean, not even Nathan Fillion could save this movie. In fact, the author of the original novels hates it.

Beautiful Creatures

A promotional image from the book-to-movie adaptation of Beautiful Creatures.

Despite its star-studded cast, Beautiful Creatures is nothing short of forgettable. The film is an overly digitized story about two bland teenagers, unlike the gothic romantic novel upon which it is based. The plot is virtually non-existent, as it thrives on an unconvincing love story that inevitably backfires. The movie tries to make up for its lacking plot by cramming it with effects that are probably meant to seem Tim Burton-esque, but aren’t.

The Host

A promotional image from the book-to-movie adaptation of The Host.

The Host is a lifeless interpretation of the novel‘s story about a futuristic world in which aliens inhabit human bodies. The film’s vice is that it is utterly and unforgivably boring. The characters roam around a cave, sometimes leave and retreat into the desert, then return to their cave and roam some more. Perhaps the most laughable thing about this movie is that it is considered a romance; the three in the promoted love triangle lack all needed chemistry. It’s hard to believe that this movie is based on a novel by the same author who wrote the wholly more successful Twilight series.

Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events

Official image from the book-to-movie adaptation of A Series of Unfortunate Events.

A nightmarish tale of a man attempting to murder innocent children to obtain their wealth is somehow transformed into a comedy starring… Jim Carrey? The novels instilled a lifelong fear of Count Olaf in many readers, while the movie didn’t convey a shred of fear. Not only is its tone a far cry from the original books, but it is just an overstuffed melee of every novel in the series. At least fans have a Netflix original show to look forward to.


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