Even before Twilight — or Harry Potter — Hollywood had made a habit of turning beloved books into movie hits. You can thank the vampire craze for the booming genre of young adult fiction in publishing, though, and its success (along with Potter's and The Hunger Games') has paved the way for a booming, previously untapped market.
The latest book-to-movie adaptation, Beautiful Creatures about a 15-year-old witch, her mortal boyfriend, and their ill-fated romance, hits theaters on Thursday, Feb. 14. It's just the first in a string of post-Twilight, post-Hunger Games movies based on popular YA book series to hit the theaters (or the small screen) in 2013. Instead of catching up on dozens of novels, why not peruse Hollywood.com's YA primer for a taste of each before you decide which books are worthy of your time?
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Beautiful Creatures, Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
What Happens:Lena comes from a long line of casters (witches), who, upon their 16th birthday, are claimed for the light or the dark. She moves in with her shut-in uncle in a small Southern town and becomes increasingly worried that she'll go dark as her fateful claiming day approaches. Complicating matters further is that she falls in love with mortal Ethan, her new classmate.
Love Triangle? Not here. These two fall in love almost immediately, but Lena's claiming is what comes between them.
Development: This movie comes out on Valentine's Day. You should probably pay better attention to the billboards and commercials (and the second paragraph of this story).
Who's Attached: Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert play the mortal and caster who fall in love, while a pedigreed cast of veterans, including Viola Davis, Jeremy Irons, and Emma Thompson, add their support.
Should You Read? Like many series, the first book's engaging, while the subsequent volumes run off the rails. Stick with Beautiful Creatures and you won't be disappointed.
RELATED: Why 'Beautiful Creatures'' Lineup Of Thespians Separates It From The YA Pack
Divergent, Veronica Roth
What Happens:In a dystopian future, civilization has split up into personality-based factions. Once children reach high-school age, they're tested to find out the tribe for which they're most suited. Abegnation (Selfless) teen Beatrice learns that she has qualities of her native faction, along with Erudite (Intelligent) and Dauntless (Brave) — she's divergent, a very dangerous quality. Beatrice decides to join the Dauntless, renames herself Tris, and learns how brave she actually is.
Love Triangle? Nope. But Tris does fall for her sexy, older instructor, Four, also a former Abignation.
Development: Production should start any day now, and the project is actively casting. Neil Burger will direct the film, which is being produced by Summit Entertainment (the company behind Twilight).
Who's Attached: Oscar nominee Shailene Woodley will star, but her love interest is proving harder to cast. Kate Winslet is circling the project, though it's unknown what character she'd potentially play.
Should You Read? Heck yes. Plus, the sequel, Insurgent, is just as good — a rarity in the YA book world.
NEXT: Forbidden Love, Demon-Fighters, and Hunger Games Bachelor-Style
Delirium, Lauren Oliver
What Happens:In a dystopian near-future, love has been banned. All teenagers undergo a surgery that eliminates the emotion from their brains after their 18th birthday, when they are matched with their spouse. Lena is all set to live her assigned life, but things get complicated when she meets a boy from the Wilds — the forest outside her walled-in society — and, naturally, falls in love before her operation.
Love Triangle? It's a little hard to have a triangle when love is outlawed, but Lena has her share of illicit affairs. In both the first and the second books of the trilogy she manages to develop real, passionate feelings.
Development: Fox is currently producing a pilot for the 2013-2014 broadcast season.
Who's Attached: Emma Roberts will star as our rebellious heroine Lena, but her potential boyfriend/s has/have not yet been cast.
Should You Read? Definitely. Delirium is fascinating, and the sequel, Pandemonium, is unique in that the setting and most of the characters are completely different from the first book — usually there's not such a drastic change.
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The Mortal Instruments, Cassandra Clare
What Happens:Ordinary teenager Clary finds out that she's a member of a secret race of Shadowhunters, or demon-fighters, and is taken in by bad boy Jace and shadowhunter siblings Alec and Isabelle when her mother is kidnapped by the Voldemort-like evil villain Valentine. Clary and her new friends must find the Mortal Cup to save her mother — and prevent Valentine from rising to power again.
Love Triangle? Clary's mortal BFF Simon is hopelessly in love with her, but she's too busy crushing on buff, badass demon hunter Jace to notice.
Development: This one's already been made — The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones was filmed in Toronto in 2012 and is scheduled to hit theaters on August 23, 2013.
Who's Attached: Lily Collins stars as Clary, while former Twilight vampire Jamie Campbell Bower plays Jace, Kevin Zegers is Alec, and Jemima West is Isabelle. Robert Sheehan, of the British teen superhero series Misfits, plays Simon.
Should You Read? The first book's an engrossing introduction to the shadowhunter world, but you don't need to read more than that. Plus, there's a weird incesty storyline that we just can't get behind even though it's easy to predict the eventual, non-gross outcome.
The Selection, Kiera Cass
What Happens: In a dystopian future (sense a theme?), low-caste teenager America Singer is chosen, Hunger Games-style, to compete in a Bachelor-esque contest to win the prince's hand in marriage. Unfortunately, the rebel forces who oppose the prince's father's rule decide to disrupt the competition as a way to win back the kingdom.
Love Triangle? Although America's dedicated to her secret fiance, a lower-class soldier assigned to protect the castle where she's now living, she strikes up a very real friendship with the prince that has the potential to blossom into something more.
Development: The CW developed (and rejected) a pilot for the 2012 season, but has completely revamped the script and story — deviating from the book's framework in very key ways — for a second go-around.
Who's Attached: Aimee Teegarden and Ethan Peck played America and Prince Maxon in the first version, but both actors have moved on since then and the project is actively casting round two.
Should You Read? In a word, no. If the show makes it to series, a quick plot summary is more than enough to catch you up on the book series' goings-on. Besides, most TV shows adapted from books deviate from the original plot within episodes.
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The Fault in Our Stars, John Green
What Happens:Just because a book is YA doesn't mean it needs supernatural romance or a dystopian bent. This very modern, very real novel follows teenage cancer patient Hazel as she meets and falls in love with fellow cancer victim Augustus. Other stuff happens too, but you'll be too busy crying — tears of sorrow, tears of happiness, tears of joy, tears of grief – to articulate the plot too.
Love Triangle? Only disease gets in the way of Hazel and Augustus' love.
Development: The movie, written by (500) Days of Summer scribes Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber, is set to film over the summer.
Who's Attached: TFIOS hasn't been cast yet, but add Hollywood.com to the list of many who believe Mae Whitman would be the perfect Hazel.
Should You Read? You mean you haven't yet? TFIOS was No. 1 on Time's best books of 2012 list — not best YA books, best of all books. Get to a bookstore/library/ebook purveyor immediately, and don't forget the tissues. You'll need them.
Vampire Academy, Richelle Mead
What Happens: Rose Hathaway is headstrong, independent Dhampir (half-human/half-vampire) bodyguard in training to protect her best friend, Moroi (vampire) princess Lissa Dragomir, the last in her royal bloodline following a tragic car accident. The Strigoi – the fiercest and most dangerous undead vampires who kill humans, Moroi, and Dhampirs —have made it their mission to end Royal bloodlines, so Lissa is their prime target. Rose and Lissa have been on the run from St. Vladimir's Academy because of the dangers the Strigoi present, but they're dragged back to the school where they become enmeshed in government politics, the school's social scene and Rose's forbidden romance with her much older instructor, Dimitri Belikov, who is known as a god among the Guardians.
Love Triangle? Not really. Rose and Dimitri’s romance is filled with enough obstacles without another person complicating things, but another Dhampir student, Mason, tries to throw his hat in the ring with deadly consequences. Later in the series, a royal Moroi complicates the romance a bit, though.
Development: Optioned by Preger Entertainment way back in the summer of 2010, the movie adaptation is finally moving forward with a cast and everything. Heathers’ Dan Waters wrote the script, and Don Murphy will produce. The name of the first movie has changed from Vampire Academy to Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters, the name of the first book in the German version of the series.
Who’s Attached: Zoey Deutch, who has a supporting part in Beautiful Creatures, will star as Rose, Aussie actress Lucy Fry will play Lissa, and Russian superstar (but unknown in the U.S.) Danila Kozlovsky will play Dimitri.
Should You Read? Sure — the series is pretty engrossing; there's a reason author Richelle Mead wrote a spinoff series, Bloodlines, with characters from the VA world. If you’re into the supernatural but want a more mature series to get into, this is for you.
Follow Jean on Twitter @hijean
[PHOTO CREDIT: Warner Bros. Pictures; Penguin Group; Margaret K. McElderry; Harper Teen; Katherine Tegen Books; Harper Collins Publishing; Dutton Books: Little, Brown and Co.; Dutton Books]
Now that news of Donna Summer's death has flooded the interwebs, people are looking for ways to cope with their grief. And while some may choose to express their sorrow via Twitter, others (including yours truly) prefer to journey back in time and see just how much this legendary singer has impacted the world with her classic hit songs, especially in the realm of reality television.
From American Idol to Dancing With the Stars, this singer's incredible music has been the source of inspiration for an up-and-coming talent throughout the years. Contestants from all over the world have covered Summer's songs in the hopes of captivating the crowd just as much as the late legend once did.
As these videos below prove that Summers may be gone in the physical sense, but her impact and inspiration will last forever.
Kris Allen performed "She Works Hard For the Money" during the eighth season of American Idol. He also went on to win the competition entirely. Now I'm not saying there's any correlation between the two, but you can't help but wonder...
Kris Allen sings She Works Hard for the Money
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Melinda Doolittle sang a beautiful rendition of Summer's hit "Heaven Knows" during season six of Idol. Arguably, nothing can compare to the late singer's version, but Melinda sure seemed to come close.
Jordin Sparks performed "She Works Hard For the Money" on the six season of Idol, proving that she more than earned her right to be a member of this singing competition. She worked hard, alright — and it paid off in spades.
Donna Summer even went on Idol herself in May 2008 and performed "She Works Hard For the Money" with the female contestants. Let's hope those girls knew just how lucky they were.
Other contestants who performed Donna Summer hits on Idol include: Allison Iraheta ("Hot Stuff" in Season 8), Ryan Starr ("Last Dance" in Season 1), Diana DeGarmo ("No More Tears" in Season 3), LaKisha Jones ("Last Dance" in Season 6), and Anoop Desai ("Dim All The Lights" in Season 8). Sadly, the videos for these performances were not available.
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Natalie Fotopoulos and Musa Cooper danced Disco to "Hot Stuff" in season two of SYTYCD, sending both the crowd and the judges into quite the frenzy. Who's hot stuff? These two are!
Sabra and Dominic managed to put together an impressive dance number to Summer's hit "No More Tears" during Season 3. The only tears they should be crying are tears of joy after this phenomenal performance.
Melanie and Marko performed "I Feel Love" during the Top 4 finale of Season 8. In the mood for something sexy and fun? Well look no further my friends.
Kathryn and Ryan made America hope that this wasn't their last dance after dancing to Summer's "Last Dance" hit on the sixth season of the show. The background is almost as eye-catching as the actual performance.
Next: I'm Seeing Stars.Dancing With the Stars
Kenny and Andrea danced the Cha-Cha-Cha to "Hot Stuff" on the second season of DWTS. And while they were the first couple to be eliminated, you can't help but enjoy this fun dance routine.
Tia Carrere & Maksim Chmerkovskiy danced the Samba to "No More Tears" in Season 2. Let's face it, ladies — any reason to see Maks shake his booty like that is fine by us.
Joey Fatone & Kym Johnson decided to slow things down a bit by free-styling to Summer's classic "Last Dance" in Season 4. You have to give them credit — they were very 'nsync.
Anna Demidova and Maksim Chmerkovskiy performed a professional (yet sexy) Samba together as they danced to "Crayons" during the eighth season of DWTS. Is it getting hot in here?
Next: Talent Is Everywhere!America's Got Talent
The girls who called themselves The Glamazons performed a rocking rendition of "Hot Stuff" in Season 2 of AGT.
Dancing Trombonist Jonathan Arons performed an incredibly entertaining version of "Bad Girls" during Season 3. If you get a knowing smile from The Hoff, you know you're doing well.
Donna Summer herself performed with Prince Poppycock during the show's Season 5 finale, which brought both the crowd and the judges to their feet. Plus, those outfits were insanely awesome.
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Carrie, Jenna, Tiffanie, Chrystina wowed fans with their sparkly rendition of "Dim All The Lights" in 2010. Now you can decide for yourself if it was a good wow or bad wow.
Katelyn Tarver performed Summer's "On the Radio" in the only season of American Juniors in the summer of 2003. She may be really young, but the girl's definitely got some talent.
Goodbye, Donna Summer: Neil Patrick Harris, Gloria Estefan & More Mourn on Twitter
Donna Summer, Music Legend, Dies at 63
S1E2: And we're back for a second round of contestants on The X Factor. This much-hyped, heavily anticipated singing competition was exactly what the previews indicated it would be and what Cowell intended it to be: a show to out-idol American Idol, out-voice The Voice and outdo all other reality shows. It was fun for the most part, with a few genuinely inspiring moments along with some unforgettable contestants who left the judges looking either ecstatic or horrified. Although Cowell seems a little nicer (let's hope it doesn't last too long) and the product placement is a little much, the show itself has got serious potential. (It was watched by over 12 million people last night.) And we've only just begun!
So far we've seen some great singers and some not-so-great singers in Los Angeles and Seattle. And I have to say, I'm a little disappointed that the producers are choosing to spend so much time focusing on so few singers. It seems unfair to the other musical acts that were passed on to the next round, but never got the chance for America to see them perform. I feel like I'm only familiar with a handful of contestants each episode. But if the show operates as it should, the momentum and talent will only continue to build and grow along the way to the December finale. So now it's time to see what great moments occurred in Miami and Dallas.
1. Simon passes his bad guy crown to L.A. Reid.
Ashley Sansone was the first contestant introduced this episode and man did she have a lot to say. In fact, she wouldn't shut up. As soon as she got on stage she just rambled on about her love for music, which singers she admires, etc, etc, etc. Simon had to actually stop her and tell her to sing. So she took off her shoes (eww) and did just that. But if we thought the talking was bad, the singing was worse. No one -- in the room of 5,000 people -- could understand a word she was singing. It was almost as if she was speaking in a different language (maybe she's been walking too much Navvi?). When she was done L.A. Reid told her that he wanted to slit his wrists after listening to that incoherent noise. It's weird that he's the one coming up with the harsh feedback and not Cowell. I mean, her singing was awful, but ouch. Looks like there's a new bad guy in town...move over Simon.
2. A family member flips out backstage.
It's completely normal for a contestant to get upset or angry onstage if they don't like what the judges have to say. In fact, that's why I watch these auditions (I can't help but take pleasure in other people's misery -- I admit it). But I've never seen a contestant's family member get more upset than the actual contestant...until tonight. The DreamGirlz duet was just terrible and definitely not X Factor-worthy, but while the two singers took the criticism with grace, a certain family member backstage was not dealing with the rejection so well (or quietly). There's a first. They even had to put a little X-bleeper over his mouth most of the time because he was so upset they didn't get chosen. I guess he'll just have to find someone else's potential fame to piggyback off of.
3. The X Factor is turning into a Lifetime movie.
Is it just me or is this show quickly turning into a Lifetime movie instead of a singing competition? We've got the long admiring looks from the judges, the thankful smiles from the contestants, the loving support from the families backstage, the dramatic pauses, and the cheesy music playing in the background. At times I can't tell if this is a show about singing or a hyped up soap opera. I know it's supposed to be emotional and inspiring, but they need to dial it down just a little bit. I'd rather see more contestants than watch the performers burst into tears of joy or sorrow onstage. Let's focus on the singing!
4. A contestant can see dead people.
I'm guessing that most of you who are watching this have watched Idol and heard all the crazy quirks, jobs, and hobbies that former competitors have had. Well this one takes the cake for the spookiest of them all. Contestant Ashley Deckard is a ghost hunter, which means she can see can see dead people (eat your heart out, Bruce Willis). While Scherzinger seems absolutely scared, Cowell is fascinated and actually asks her to bring the ghosts down to them. And the best part is, Paula admits that she has the gift too to which Simon replies he's not surprised. Alright, I guess I kinda missed those two.
5. A contestant finally brings the Miami crowd to its feet.
Miami turned out to be kind of a bust, but one contestant made it all worthwhile. After singing an unbelievable rendition of Beyonce's song "Listen," the entire room got to their feet and cheered for this amazing talent. Scherzinger cried and said this is why she's in this business because of people like her. Reid is even so bold as to say that she has the X Factor. Beautiful compliments for a beautiful talent. Of course, she got four yeses and I'm sure we'll see more of her in the future.