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10 YA Novel to Film Adaptations That Kept Their Edge

The Perks of Being A Wallflower, the film adaptation of the ’90s cult young adult novel by Stephen Chbosky, is out in wide release today, and we couldn’t be more excited. While some of its critics are saying the film packs in more issues then the entire canon of after school specials, no one is accusing it of shying away from the dicier topics that made the novel so relatable to its teenage readers. This, unfortunately, is not always the case for adaptations of classic YA books — The Princess Diaries, for example, was totally Disney-fied, much to our chagrin. To inform your viewing, here are some other movies based on YA books that managed to keep their edge.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Stephen Chbosky

Perhaps it’s because the film was both written and directed by Chbosky himself, but it sticks pretty close to the book, and the result is a labor of love that doesn’t shy away from the realities — sexuality, drugs, unrequited longing, mixtapes — of being a teenager. Maybe it’s because we’re older now, but we almost found watching the story unfold on the big screen a more intense and upsetting experience than reading the book — in a good way. In fact, it was originally given an R rating and had to appeal the verdict to secure a more teen-friendly PG-13.