These days, it seems like every other television series or film is adapted from someone else’s original story. There are some who may lament the lack of original content in Hollywood’s wheelhouse, but there are plenty more who welcome adaptations whether they be from comic books or even novels.
When it comes to young adult literature, the genre seems to be a prevalent one in Hollywood. Hits like The Hunger Games and The Fault in our Stars are direct adaptations of popular books by Suzanne Collins and John Green. Cable television has also taken an interest in adapting books into full-fledged shows for fans to watch, and plenty of them do a remarkable job in doing so.
Here at ComicBook.com, we’re going over five of the best television series based on young adult literature. It’s time to kick off your shoes, grab a pint of ice cream, and give yourself over to the kind of drama only teenagers know how to stir up.
The CW kicks off the list with one of its newer series, The 100. The show, which is loosely based off Kass Morgan’s titular novel, is a post-apocalyptic thriller with gritty imagery and enough drama to repopulate the planet. The show follows a group of teenagers who are forced out of humanity’s collective space station and thrust back onto Earth almost a century after a nuclear apocalypse. With 100 humans now brought to Earth, the teenagers must learn how to survive on the desolate planet and outsmart the humans who managed to survive the fallout after being left planetside.
Having debuted in January 2016, Shadowhunters stands as one of the most recent adaptations based on young adult literature. The series is based off Cassandra Clare’s popular novels, The Mortal Instruments. The show focuses on a young girl named Clary Fray after she discovers she is a Shadowhunter, a half-angel hybrid who protects the world from demonic forces. When Clary’s mother is suddenly kidnapped, the high schooler is thrust into a complicated world as she bands together with fellow Shadowhunters to save her mother, discover her past, and defeat a shadowy cult known as ‘The Circle.’
Created by Sara Shepard, Pretty Little Liars was a little-known novel until ABC Family (Freeform) turned it into an unstoppable ratings juggernaut. The thrilling drama is set in the once-quiet town of Rosewood, PA and follows four girls who begin to drift apart once their clique leader is murdered. A year after the death, the friend are forcibly reunited after they receive strange texts from someone named ‘A’ who threatens to make them pay for all their past misdeeds - and they girls work together in hopes of finding them person who is blackmailing them.
If you are interested in complicated romances and ritual back-stabbings, then Gossip Girl is just the show for you. The wildly popular series ran between 2007 and 2012 after it was sourced from Cecily von Ziegesar’s novels. The story follows it-girl Serena van der Woodsen after she returns to the Upper East Side after a prolonged absence from school. The ritzy series follows Serena as she climbs her way back up New York City’s social ladder and goes on an (expensive) journey of self-discovery.
Arguably, The Vampire Diaries is the end-all, be-all of adapted young adult literature. The CW drama has been on air since 2009 and will wrap its final season in 2017. Based off L.J. Smith’s book series, The Vampire Diaries tells a romantic, supernatural tale of love and loss. The story follows a teenage girl named Elena Gilbert falls in love with a 162-year-old vampire named Stefan Salvatore. Their relationship is complicated when Stefan’s brother Damon plans to resurrect his former lover Katherine who is somehow connected to Elena. But, when the two brothers fall for the small-town girl, Elena finds herself conflicted and thrown into a world of untold drama.