The Movie was Better – YA Edition

Everyone knows the book versions of stories are better than the movies adapted from them, but is that actually true? Well, not always. I have read many books and watched their movie adaptations and while usually the movie is not always as good, there are a few exceptions where the movie was far better. These opinions may be slightly controversial if any of them are your favorites, but take it with a grain of salt and prove me wrong. Here are 4 Young Adult movies that I think were better than their book. 


Simon was a book I enjoyed to the point where I recommended it to many others. However, the movie was more enjoyable in my opinion. The main reason for this is that book Simon overthinks EVERYTHING, going round and round and never coming to a good conclusion until the end. While this is normal for most people, I too am an overthinker, you come out of it feeling weighed down by his circling thoughts. Movie Simon doesn’t have as much of an internal monologue. The thoughts and expression are still there, it is just used in very specific moments. Plus Simon's conversation with his mom in the movie gets me every time. Book Simon is still really good, movie Simon is just a bit better.

Love, Simon

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda


I will be honest, I saw the movie Dumplin' first and I LOVED it. I loved Willowdean and Ellen’s friendship. I loved her interactions with Bo. I truly felt for this girl and loved watching her come into her own. I really rooted for this teen to figure out how to freely accept and love herself, just as she is, which is something many people struggle with all their lives. I enjoyed it so much, I decided to read the book because I wanted more detail from the story. I came out of it feeling like Willowdean was a different character. Book Willowdean was hurt, so I understand reacting negatively to certain situations, but she was so mean to Ellen, to Bo, to everyone. She felt very narrow-minded and selfish and projected so much of her negative emotions onto every person around her by putting everyone else down who tried to be her friend. I struggled to finish the last 1/4 of the book because I was so annoyed with Willdowdean that I didn't even care anymore. 


dumplin movie cover which has a young woman on stage, looking over her shoulder into a spotlight.
Available on Netflix.


I’ll keep this one short. The book Flipped is so cute and sweet but it's so short! It was such a fast read and I wanted more. However, that means it's short enough to have an equally great and well-thought-out movie with a very nice ending. They are both equally great, but the movie pacing felt a bit better.




This is again an instance where I watched the movie first and then read the book. I actually really liked the movie a lot (part of it is I just really love Mae Whitman’s natural sass) but I thought the message was good enough and the ending was cute and it all just somehow worked for me. Yet again, I went to read the book wanting more and Bianca was just…the worst. Movie Bianca was very quirky, headstrong, and kind of spiteful and I loved it, while Movie Wesley was sometimes a jerk but overall becomes a pretty ok guy, and the two end up working through their problems together. I don’t know why, it just somehow works. Book Bianca was just rude and mean to the point where I was wondering why anyone was even bothering to be around her and I wanted to scream at her “You know OTHER people have problems too right?!”

The Duff


Agree? Disagree? Other examples of movies that are better than the books upon which they're based? Leave a comment!

This blog was written by Jennifer L. and first appeared July 2021.