Who couldn’t use a good cry from time to time? The Young Adult (YA) genre has plenty of tear-jerking stories to fuel your catharsis next movie night, it’s just a question of picking which one. Here’s our picks for YA book to movie adaptations guaranteed to make you cry. Ranked from a single-tear-down-the-cheek to on-the-floor-sobbing.
WARNING: The next section contains spoilers
7. Me Before You
Book Release and Author: 2012, Jojo Moyes
Movie Release: May 2016
Box Office: 208.3 million USD
Me Before You was a YA book designed to make you cry.
Outlining the love story of Louisa (Emilia Clarke) and William (Sam Claflin). The story centres on a horrible car accident that paralyzed William from the neck down. As a result, William wishes to euthanize himself. Louisa, his new care-taker, is trying to convince him otherwise.
While trying to convince William to stay, he shows her all the things she’s missing out on in her small British town. They fall in love with one another in both the quietness of day to day life, and in the search for why life should be lived. And in the end… she is unsuccessful. William still dies.
It’s hard to watch Louisa lose the person she has fallen in love with, and watch William make that choice in spite of his love for her. But the sadness of it is overshadowed by the questions it raises about the ethics of assisted suicide and what is means to live a “fulfilled” life. The film has also received backlash for being ableist.
In between the tears, I’m asking myself some pretty large ethical questions, distracting from the emotional punch. So it lands itself farther down on this list than I think the writer and film-makers intended. Even in light of that, it’s a good book to movie adaptation in terms of being true to the source material.
6. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2
Book Release and Author: 2010, Suzanne Collins
Movie Release: November 2015
Box Office: 658.3 million USD
Who could forget the shocking end to the Hunger Games trilogy?
The tragic death of Primrose Everdeen (Willow Shields) is still reeling in my mind as a great plot-twist.
The reason the Hunger Games arc takes place is because Katniss (Jennifer Laurance) volunteered in Prim’s stead. It’s no less than crushing to see what Katniss started fighting for ripped away from her the moment she thought she had won.
The book does let the reader sit with the loss a little longer than the movie does, with the movie reaching a conclusion quickly after the tragedy. Yet, the shocking and emotional ending is guaranteed to at least make you choke up a little.
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
Book Release and Author: 2000, J.K. Rowling
Movie Release: November 2005
Box Office: 896.4 million USD
Goblet of Fire is arguably the most important instalment in the series, in spite of it being known as the “sports movie.”
Up until this point Harry Potter has been fairly light with relatively low stakes. No one has truly died, and there is a childlike nostalgic gloss over the first three books and movies. But all that changes in the Goblet of Fire with the sudden and emotional death of Cedric Diggory (Robert Pattinson).
This is the first real loss in the story, and it has a profound effect on both Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and the tone of the series. From this moment onward, Harry Potter moves from children’s books to YA and there are other moments to make you cry.
One difference between the book and the movie is that the book steadily holds it’s light tone leading up to Cedric’s death. This makes the shock factor of losing him and the dark rise of Voldemort all the more intense. In contrast, the movie immediately begins with an angsty opening title from the get go. It incorporates the darker turn the series is about to make from the first scene onward. The movie also adds a lot of unnecessary fluff to random parts of plot, sacrificing time in the graveyard with Voldemort. This makes his rise and Cedric’s death a little less impactful. That loss is rescued, however, by the brilliant performance of Jeff Rawle as Cedric’s father (Amos Diggory.) His pained cries mixed with the heart wrenching Patrick Doyle score are tear-jerking to say the least.
The death of Cedric is felt throughout the rest of the series.
4. The Book Thief
Book Release and Author: 2005, Mark Zusak
Movie Release: November 2013
Box Office: 76.6 million USD
The Book Thief is famous for making you teary-eyed.
Following Liesel (Sophie Nelisse), a young girl caught in the horrors of World War 2. Set inside Nazi-occupied Germany, The Book Thief deals with the Nazi party and the war through the eyes of a child and narrated by Death. Liesel deals with losing her parents, living with a new family, hiding and befriending a Jew. At the end of the story, Liesel’s home is bombed, and her adopted parents die in the fallout.
It’s incredibly heart-wrenching and hard to watch and will make you cry. My only complaint is that the movie did not hold my attention as well as the book. That’s mostly just because Markus Zusak’s brilliant writing is hard to replicate. It’s a YA book guaranteed to make you cry.
3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
Book Release and Author: 1999, Stephen Chbosky
Movie Release: September 2012
Box Office: 33.4 million USD
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of the more honest depictions of high school out there.
We follow Charlie (Logan Lerman), a young teenager dealing with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after the death of his friend. He also deals with the psychological trauma of underlining sexual abuse. Befriending Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), the trio explores complex relationships and story arcs.
This adaptation is also extremely true to the book, as Chbosky worked as a writer and director of the film. He did take steps to make Charlie more active as a character to better suit a film adaptation, but that doesn’t make the emotional weight of the story less potent.
There are several moments in this film to make you cry, but none so bittersweet as the lost shot. Charlie stands on the back of the truck as they zoom through a tunnel, something he was afraid to do at the beginning of the film. It’s a release that shows that while Charlie has gone through some truly terrible things, there is still beauty in life to be found and progress to be made.
2. The Fault in Our Stars
Book Release and Author: 2012, John Green
Movie Release: June 2014
Box Office: 307.2 million USD
An obvious one, right? While the Fault in our Stars is probably one of the most mocked YA sad stories; it holds that reputation for a reason.
Another story about lovers who found each other at the wrong time, The Fault in our Stars follows Hazel Grace (Shailene Woodley) and Augustus (Ansel Elgort) as they build a relationship while battling cancer.
Hazel Grace is actively fighting lung cancer for the duration of the story, and so the audience may assume that it’s her who we’ll lose in the end. But the sudden relapse of Augustus’ cancer and his quick death make the somewhat obvious ending shocking and heartbreaking.
The performances of Woodley and Elgort are fantastic. Elgort’s charming and fun portrayal of Augustus makes his death all the more hurtful. While Woodley’s portrayal of Hazel Grace’s grief is down-right take-my-heart-and-throw-it-in-a-blender. Sure, it’s your typical teenage YA story, but if you’re looking to cry, this is a safe bet. It also does a pretty good job of staying true to the popular John Green novel.
1. If I Stay
Book Release and Author: 2009, Gayle Forman
Movie Release: August 2014
Box Office: 78.9 million USD
And finally, If I Stay, This movie is definitely a little underrated.
After a tragic car accident, Mia (Chloe-Grace Moretz) has to decide whether to die. The catch is that she was the only survivor of the car crash, and her younger brother and parents have all passed on. Faced with a choice, she reminisces on the past few years with her family. Looking back on her relationship with her parents, and the new love she has found with her boyfriend, Adam (Jamie Blackley).
Told in a non-linear format like it’s source material, knowing what happens to Mia’s family makes the moments with them all the more heart-wrenching.
Watching Mia wrestle with the reality of waking up an orphan from her coma, or dying and following her family, is compelling and painful. We watch her observe her friends and grand-parents stand vigil over her and her high-school years unfold in a bittersweet way. We mourn with her as she learns the loss of her family. Its unique plot is constructed well, and I promise that both the book and the movie will leave you sobbing.
So break out that popcorn and snuggle up on your couch for these tearjerkers. Whatever movie you pick from this list… Well, just be sure you’ve got your tissues handy.
That’s our list of YA books that became movies that’ll make you cry. Did we miss any? Which was your favourite? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out more of our literature articles HERE.
Read about IMDB information on Me Before You HERE.
Check out IMDB information on The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 HERE.
Read IMDB information on Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire HERE..
Check out IMDB information on The Book Thief HERE.
Read IMDB information on The Perks of Being a Wallflower HERE.
Check out IMDB information on The Fault in our Stars HERE.
Read IMDB information on If I Stay HERE.
Harry Potter: The Questions You Keep Asking, Answered
It’s been over 24 years since the first instalment of the Harry Potter series was published. But regardless of the length of time passed, many questions are still left unanswered. Fansites still tear apart page upon page looking for the key to unlock J. K. Rowling’s extraordinary mind. Interviewers have fired question after question at the infamous author. Yet, when one question is answered, it seems to open the flood gates for many more.
J. K. Rowling has now moved onto crime fiction. But she still finds the odd spare moment to grace Potter fans with her virtual presence. Using Twitter to answer some of the endless questions’ fans have conjured.
Let’s take a look at some of the most valid Harry Potter questions asked on Twitter and how J.K. Rowling answered them.
What happened to Fluffy the three-headed dog?
Poor Fluffy wasn’t mentioned again after being set free in the Forbidden Forest. Never fear! Rowling is here to tell us of Fluffy’s fate.
Back in February 2015, Rowling replied to the question on Twitter. stating that ‘He was repatriated to Greece. Dumbledore liked to put Hagrid’s more foolish acquisitions back where they belong.’
Beyond the happily ever after
A snapshot of Harry, Ron and Hermione’s Happily Ever After is presented at the end of the final book. The three (and Ginny) complete the circle by walking their own children to the Hogwarts train.
But, their lives developed much more than having children. As Rowling revealed back in 2007. Hermione began her career within the Ministry of Magic. She worked in the Department for the Regulation and Control of Magical Creatures. Here, she became instrumental in the improvements for the treatment of house-elves. After this, she moved to the Dept. of Magical Law Enforcement, where she ensured the eradication of pro-pureblood laws.
Harry and Ron took different paths. Harry became an aura, a highly trained law enforcement officer. Ron went into the family business, helping his brother run Weasley’s Wizarding Wheels.
Did Harry, Ron and Hermione return to their schooling?
There’s a huge gap at the end of The Deathly Hallows. The pages seem to jump from the defeat of Voldemort to 19 years later. So did the famous trio return to school?
Rowling stated that Hermione returned to Hogwarts to complete her NEWT’s. But Harry and Ron did not, instead, they followed their career paths straight away. Although, I’m pretty sure defeating the source of all evil scores big points on a C.V.
Harry’s scar shape is important, right?
Well, no. Unfortunately, Rowling just thought ‘it looked cool’.
Potter super-fans have other ideas, though. One Tweet back in 2019 revealed that the scar could symbolise much more. @TodayYearsOld Tweeted:
‘Did you know Harry Potter’s scar isn’t a lightning bolt, but the hand motion to cast Avada Kedavra.’
Avada Kedavra is a killing curse used within the Dark Arts. The hand movement looks like a lightning bolt, but much softer. Not surprisingly, the Tweet went viral and caused shock waves through the Potter community.
What does Hufflepuff’s common room look like?
We are taken on a trip to Slytherin and Ravenclaw’s common room, and we spend a lot of time in Gryffindor’s. So, when fans asked Rowling for a description, she was only too happy to oblige.
‘The Hufflepuff common room is accessed through a portrait near the kitchens, as I am sure you have deduced. Sorry – I should say ‘painting’ rather than portrait because it is a still-life. It is a very cosy and welcoming place, as dissimilar as possible from Snape’s dungeon. Lots of yellow hangings, fat armchairs, and underground tunnels leading to the dormitories. All of which have perfectly round doors, like barrel tops.’
Is there more than one Wizarding school?
If you are one of those people who watch the films before the books. You’ll have probably asked ‘Is Hogwarts the only school for wizards?’. In this instance, it’s the books that hold the key, and if you take notes in ‘The Goblet of Fire.’ Students from other schools arrive at Hogwarts to attend the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
The books reveal more about a couple of schools, such as the Palace of Beauxbatons. Beauxbatons is a beautiful chateau situated in the Pyrenees mountains of Southern France. Durmstrang is another, and one of the three largest in Europe. Durmstrang is situated in the northmost regions of Norway or Sweden and is known for its Dark Arts.
Rowling has since revealed more schools, including Castelobruxo, Mahoutokoro, Uagadou and Ilverymorny.
Neville Longbottom and Luna Lovegood end up together?
It’s a no, which has disappointed fans. But the two remained close friends as Luna followed a career in Wizarding Naturalism. She became famous for tracking rare creatures before marrying Rolf Scamander.
Neville married fellow Hogwarts student Hannah Abbot. Surprisingly, Neville became an aura before returning to Hogwarts as a Herbology Professor.
Did Draco Malfoy get his just desserts?
This is a big one for Potter fans who wished to see Draco pay for everything he subjugated Harry to. But, as The Deathly Hallows hints, it appears he went through a huge transformation.
Draco was a complex character, not only a member of Slytherin, but he was also a bully. But much of his behaviour came from his upbringing.
Draco tried to prove himself to the Dark Lord, only to be rescued by the three he often tormented. This caused him and his mother to neglect Voldemort once it was believed Harry was dead. The two avoided Azkaban, and he went into a very dark place, emotionally. But he emerged a changed man. He had a wife and a son, and a simple nod to the trio 29 years on seemed to solidify that he had changed.
Thanks for reading our article on unanswered Harry Potter questions now answered. Did you already know these? Did we miss any big ones? Let us know in the comments below.
Check out 5 Hidden Messages In Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows That You Missed HERE.
Read IMDB information on Harry Potter HERE.
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