It’s hard to believe that it’s time to start thinking about the new year, but it’s true. Whether you’re mentally ready or not, one bright spot is that we’re hoping for a pretty stellar year of fantastic adaptations of your favorite young adult books. These 2023 YA books about movies will have you hooked head over heels. From queer romance to a coming-of-age graphic novel, historical romp to dystopian prequel to get blockbuster treatment, something for everyone is coming to screens soon.
The list of YA adaptations in 2023 is promising for representation, but it should be noted that we are not remotely representative of either the YA reader world as a whole, nor the category of YA literature itself. We can only hope that the adaptations planned for the coming years will continue this growth trend and we will be able to enjoy as much inclusivity as possible while movies and series from YA books continue to thrive. There are boatloads of YA books that have been announced as having the option to develop into film or television, so now we’re waiting for them to come to fruition.
This look at 2023 YA Books on Movies and YA Books on Series focuses specifically on those adaptations that are either in the making, in post-production, completed, or have projected release dates. Titles currently in production may not be released in 2023, but there is a chance that they will be released in late summer or fall, while films in post-production are closest to release and will likely see a 2023 date. Dates are given where possible but note that given a number of circumstances they may be preliminary.
2023 YA Books-to-Movies for your viewing plans
American Born Chinese by Gene Luen-Yang, Disney+ series
Jin Wang is pretty average. At least he was an “average” high school student in an immigrant family, until on the first day of the new school year he encountered a new student – a student who is also an immigrant – and suddenly it’s the two of them battling Chinese mythological gods.
This series stars Michelle Yeoh, Ben Wang as Jin and Ke Huy Quan.
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Aristotle and Dante discover the mysteries of the universe by BENJAMIN ALIRE SÁENZ
Note that this film has already screened at the Toronto International Film Fest but has yet to be distributed and made available to a wider audience. That will most likely happen in 2023. No details are available at the time of writing.
Set in 1987 in El Paso, Texas, this award-winning novel follows two lonely Mexican-American boys through friendship, self-discovery, and ultimately love. The film stars Kevin Alejandro, Veronica Falcón and Eva Longoria, and production is complete. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who provided the voice for the audio book, is one of the film’s co-producers.
The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins, November 17, 2023
Starring Viola Davis, Peter Dinklage, Hunter Schafer and more, this film is sure to get the blockbuster treatment when it hits theaters in November. This is the prequel to the Hunger Games series and follows the events of the 10th Annual Hunger Games as Coriolanus Snow begins to mentor…and falls in love with…the female tribute from District 12.
Loveboat, Taipei by Abigail Hing Wen
Currently in post-production – filming began in December 2021 – the story follows 18-year-old Ever Wong. She was sent from Ohio to Taiwan to hone her Mandarin skills, but it turns out that’s a far cry from the intense training imagined.
Ashley Liao plays Ever in the adaptation.
My Lady Jane by Brodi Ashton, Cynthia Hand and Jodi Meadows, Prime
Developed for Prime, Emily Bader plays Lady Jane Grey. Though unhappy that her mother is selling her to Guilford Dudley, Jane discovers he has a secret that could kill them both. It also doesn’t help that her cousin King Edward is also facing murder threats. With her wit, tongue and heart, she can be the lady who saves herself first and foremost.
This historical series is full of heart and humor.
My Life with the Walter Boys by Ali Novak, Netflix
Novak’s book was originally written on Wattpad and is now being made into a film. It follows Jackie, an A-type who hates surprises when she learns her family has died in an accident. To make matters worse, her entire life is uprooted when she is sent to Colorado to live with her new guardians, the Walters, who happen to have 11 sons.
The Summer I Turned Pretty (Season 2) by Jenny Han, Prime
The first season of Hans YA’s debut series wowed fans last summer, and the second season was in full swing right away. Details are still few, but keep an eye out for a possible summer release.
Shadow and Bone (Season 2) by Leigh Bardugo, Netflix, March 16
Season 2 of the popular show, which links both of Bardugo’s YA blockbuster series, was announced in June 2021. She’s coming back for Season 2 in early 2023, so you won’t have to wait too long.
Turtles All The Way Down by John Green, HBO Max
Currently in post-production, it’s possible that 2023 will see a new adaptation of a book by John Green bring YA to the big screen. Turtles follows Aza Holmes as she struggles with intense anxiety. Reconnecting with her childhood crush, the two join forces to solve a mystery involving a fugitive billionaire, and Aza wrestles with what it means to have a mental illness and how to find “normal” — or Not. Isabela Merced plays Aza and Felix Mallard plays Davis.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld, Netflix
Westerfeld’s book, the first in a series, has had many production updates throughout 2022, and it seemed like it might hit screens. But it didn’t, so fingers crossed that 2023 is the year it happens.
Set in a world where a standard operation eliminates physical differences to make everyone pretty, the series has captivated readers long enough to not only stay in print but also spawn a spinoff series, The Impostors. It will be fascinating to see how that plays out on screen for contemporary audiences.