Guest Post: Top 5 YA Dystopian Adaptations by Spencer Blohm

Top 5 YA Dystopian Adaptations
by Spencer Cole

Young adult dystopian fiction continues to be an incredibly popular genre, both in terms of reading and adaptation. Three YA series are currently coming out with annual films and several standalone novels have found their way onto the big screen. The empowerment fantasy for teens with compelling, yet easily understood characters has made this genre remarkably popular. Here are just five of the top YA dystopian adaptations.

The Hunger Games

Unquestionably the biggest series currently out, The Hunger Games follows Katniss, a young girl chosen to fight for her district in an annual bloodsport, The Hunger Games. She eventually becomes the symbol for a resistance dedicated to fighting the oppressive government that subjugates them all. The movies have been remarkably faithful to the books in most respects, and have managed to be just as compelling, bringing to life the books' world.


Perhaps the most well-known of the series to follow the popularity of The Hunger Games, Divergent, currently available on demand through Directstar, tells the story of Tris, a young girl who lives in a world strictly regimented into classes that are focused on particular tasks. Tris is given the opportunity to break out of her caste, joining the warrior faction and then finding out that the government has even more sinister plans for everybody.

The Giver

While just now making it to the big screen, The Giver was first published in 1993. It follows Jonas, a young man chosen to be the recipient of all information about the world before peace was brought by instituting Sameness, a system that eliminates emotion, color, and similar traits from human experience. The novel follows his attempt to reconcile with the new emotions he is experiencing.

Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials

After escaping the titular Maze of the first one, Thomas and the Gladers find themselves safe in a WICKED dormitory. That is until they discover that the evil corporation plans even more experiments on them involving the zombie-like Cranks, and the Gladers are forced to travel out into the desert wasteland of The Scorch in order to survive. The largest omission from the book, any mention of Phase Two or the knowledge that they are infected with The Flare and must complete the trial in order to get the cure, makes this adaptation a slightly color-swapped remake of the first, which is a shame considering how much went into promotion.

Ender's Game

Another example from well before the current popularity of the YA dystopian genre, Ender's Game is actually the only entry in the series that might be considered YA. It is the story of Ender Wiggin, a six year old genius sent to Battle School, a space station academy where he will learn to be a military leader in case an insectoid race called the Buggers returns to attack Earth.

There are likely to be a number of other YA dystopian film adaptations before the trend peters off. It's difficult to tell which will be good and which will be bad, but at least there are plenty to choose from.

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