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5 Least Accurate Young Adult Books Made Into Movies

With so many books made into movies coming out in 2013, there are bound to be a few hits and misses.

Let’s take a second to reflect on the young adult books that have already been made into movies. I’ve loved a bunch and disliked a few. The real question I always ask myself is: how accurate were they to the book?

That’s the kind of question that will eat you up inside. Gnaw at you for days. Drive your loved ones away with a constant litany of “well in the book…”

5 Least Accurate Young Adult Books Made Into Movies

This list stood out to me for definitely not including major plot points and/or character development with these books made into movies.

The Princess Diaries

the princess diaries books made into movies

Oh, The Princess Diaries. I LOVED these books in middle school. Mia was someone so relatable to me. She was awkward, I was awkward. I had secret crushes on my guy friends, she had secret crushes on her best friend’s brother.

I happened to love the movie too, but I always has one. tiny. problem. Grandmere, aka Julie Andrews. In the book Grandmere is a French, smoking fiend who is mean and never gives Mia any slack.

The grandma in The Princess Diaries movie was not just nice but sickly, sweet nice. Her idea of being mean was giving Mia a (much-needed) makeover. That = amazing.

It’s funny because the middle school me preferred seeing the nice Grandmere in the movies, but the adult me would find the mean book Grandmere much more entertaining now.

The Harry Potter and Half-Blood Prince

Harry-Potter-and-the-Half-blood prince

This movie was easily my least favorite of the Harry Potter franchise. Not so in the book series, but with the movies definitely.

One of the bigger changes was in the opening scene of the movie (actually pictured above). Harry does not roam around London willy nilly. There are flipping Death Eaters out there!

THEN, the aforementioned Death Eaters show up at The Burrow. THE BURROW. And they burn it down. What the heck?! That never ever EVER happens in the book. Why add it?

I could have forgiven all the rest of the mistakes if it hadn’t been for this one: in the movie, Harry stays in hiding while Dumbledore is killed. Just hides out of sight even though he can hear what’s happening.

In the book, Harry is hidden under his Invisibility Cloak and petrified. Only that could stop him from standing by Dumbledore in his hour of need. To change that changed Harry’s personality and character completely.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini

eragon books made into movies

Hmmm, where to start. I won’t go into all of the gritty details – if you want to see them go here and here.

The problem with Eragon as a movie is that it seemed to be completed unrelated to the book. It wasn’t even a third cousin. The main similarity between the book and movie is that there’s a boy and a dragon.

I don’t think the CG dragon could make up for the SLEW of inaccuracies and bad acting.

Anne of Green Gables

anne of avonlea

Ok, so the movie version of Anne of Green Gables isn’t horribly inaccurate, but there’s on thing in here that drove me crazy. Diana confesses to Anne that she has a crush on Gilbert. What the what?!?!

Um no. This bosom friend would never have on crush on HER bosom friend’s torturer/crush (even though Anne takes forever to realize it). I hated this so much it because it doesn’t fit in with Anne and Diana’s friendship. They were never “frenemies” – their friendship is rock solid.

Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging

angus thongs and perfect snogging

Let’s start with the title. The book title is the one listed above, and the movie title is “Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging.” I’m guessing “full frontal” is a tad graphic sounding for the tween set.

The first half of the movie is pretty spot on – Georgia’s in the olive costume at a party, and she and her friends are boy-obsessed (although Georgia’s told boys don’t like “funny girls”).

Problems start toward the second half of the movie when the focus shifts toward being upset her parents seem like they’re divorcing and stopping her dad from being shipped to New Zealand.

It’s true that Georgia’s mom does a ton of flirting with her dance instructor (in the book) and that her dad is getting shipped to another country, but the problem is in the book Georgia doesn’t care! She’s a self-absorbed teenager who is more worried about attracting The Sex God than to have super serious concerns about her parents.

Plus, there’s a typically over-the-top birthday party at the end of the movie that NEVER happened in the book.

The movie IS really cute though and I would still recommend it, despite it not portraying Georgia as silly, vain and trouble-making as the book version of the character.

Which books made into movies make your least accurate list??

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • The Princess Diaries film ENRAGED me. It’s SO different from the book(s). Everything is different. Her father is DEAD in the movie! Lilly is rude and stuck-up. And there’s no Tina Hakim Baba. And Michael isn’t a computer nerd. And her bodyguard is also completely different. ARGH!! Should have also mentioned Ella Enchanted. Another TERRIBLE Meg Cabot adaptation!

    • Ummmm, just FYI, Ella Enchanted is by Gail Carson Levine. I actually liked the movie…..

  • My least favorite book-to-movie adaptation is Prisoner of Azkaban. It’s my favorite book of the series and I just hate how it was portrayed. It just didn’t go into enough detail about the Marauders and Lupin’s werewolf was HORRIBLE. Sigh.

    • Jen

      I definitely agree! When POA came out in theaters I was so excited to see it bc it had been my favorite of the first three books and I was so disappointed in the film! David Thewlis was definitely not how I pictured Lupin either.

  • Percy Jackson and the Lightening Thief. I just couldn’t figure out why the villain was suddenly Hades? Also, we just watched Safe Haven. The book had a few redeeming attributes, like the really smart way in which Katie/Erin escapes. In the movie: she slashes at her husband with a knife. Not cool, I thought.

  • I never read the Princess Diaries, but did enjoy the movie. And sounds interesting about the grandma in the book though.

    I did enjoy Eragon, but the book was WAAAAY much better as I read it after seeing the movie. 🙂

  • I agree HP5 was a terrible adaptation. I know you cannot put book on screen directly but that was one big fail for such a huge production. The burning of the Burrow was the biggest WTF ever, along with Harry flirting, puhlease!
    And Eragon was a huge let down as well even though rereading the book recently I wasn’t really amused either. Great post!

  • Carley

    I have yet to see a movie that was a good representation of the book. I would much rather rent the book from http://www.collegebookrenter.com than I would watch the movie. But every now and then a movie slips in and I didn’t know it was a book until the end of the movie, then I don’t want to read the book because I know it will ruin the movie for me. LOL Odd I know.