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YA Books into TV Shows

With all the talk of books to movies, it’s time we turned our attention to YA books that have been translated onto the “small screen.” It was recently announced that Sara Shepard’s Pretty Little Liars series is this.close to picked up by ABC Family.


Adapted for TV by Marlene King Liars is set three years after the  mysterious disappearance of the school’s queen bee Alison (beautiful, manipulative and vindictive).  It centers around Alison’s four 16-year-old girlfriends, Aria (Hale), Emily, Spencer, and Hanna, who reconnect when they start receiving text messages from Alison tormenting them about exposing their deepest, darkest secrets.  The texts continue to plague them even after Alison’s body has been found……

Lucy Hale (of CW’s  canceled Privileged, another show, incidentally, based on a YA book) is in talks to star in the show.  

Are we excited about this? Are the books worth reading? The plot sounds deliciously juicy in a way I think I would really enjoy….Advice? Has anyone read them?

A TV show based on a popular YA book series that I have read is the CW’s Gossip Girl.  I read every book in the Cecily von Ziegesar’s Gossip Girl series (including It Had to Be You: the Gossip Girl Prequel) before the they were adapted for television.  I like both the books and the television show, and I felt that for the most part the TV show managed to capture the tone of the books in a new, interesting way, that made even me, an addicted fan, tune week after week.  I thought it was a smart creative decision not to follow the plotlines of the books series, but to instead take the characters and let them run wild in glamorous NYC.  For instance, Blair and Chuck?  Perhaps the most talked about couple on the show, so never existed in the books. EVER.  (And the Chuck in the books? Had a pet monkey!)

The one qualm I have with the TV show was some of the casting decisions.  I was completely outraged by Vanessa and Jenny’s translation from the books to TV as they so completely disregarded their descriptions from the books. I thought the casting for Nate (blonde, beautiful, somewhat dense), Chuck (oily, sleazy, simultaneously attractive and repulsive) and Serena (blonde beautiful, great hair) were spot on. Sidenote: haven’t I waxed about Blake Lively’s perfect casting before (see Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants)? Penn Badley’s Dan also fit my mental image of the character and I warmed to Leighton Meister over the course of the first season as she just BECAME Blair. But Vanessa? She was supposed to be an artsy short curvaceous girl from Brooklyn obsessed with making gritty black and white movies who had a buzz cut and wore black army boots.

Instead we get this:

But I guess that’s TV for you.  Also, do not get me started on Taylor Momsen’s casting as Dan’s little sis Jenny…For one thing she’s BLONDE!

Another TV on the CW based on a book is The Vampire Diaries based on L.J. Smith’s four book series of the same name.  I have never read the books, but I started watching the show and I like it.  I happen to be a sucker for shows featuring tortured vampires (one with a conscience)+forbidden love+historical back story (and period costumes!)

Is anyone else watching the show? Read the books? How did  they do the casting?  I read that some fans of the books were annoyed by the shows choice to make the Salvatore brothers from Mystic Falls (somewhere USA, Virginia maybe?) instead of Italy where they were originally from in the books. 

In any case I’ll be sure to keep watching!

Any other TV shows based on YA books that I’m missing? Let me know, I’m anxious to add to my TV viewing schedule and my reading book list!


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