Are you ready for a new year packed with awesome adaptations of your favorite young adult books? Then these 2022 YA books to movies will have you head over heels. From vampires to queer romance, stories of mental illness to murdery thrill rides, there’s something for everyone coming to screens soon.
The slate of YA adaptations in 2022 is much more promising for representation than it has been in a while. But it should be noted that we’re still no where near representative of either the YA reader world at large nor the category of YA literature itself. We can only hope that the adaptations being slated for future years continue this growth trend and we’re able to enjoy as much inclusivity as possible as films and series from YA books continue to flourish.
This look at 2022 YA books to movies and YA books to series specifically focuses on the adaptations that are either currently filming, are in post-production, are completed, or have scheduled release dates. Titles currently filming may not release in 2022, but there is a chance they’ll hit in late summer or fall, while films in post-production are closest to release and will likely see a 2022 date. Dates are listed where possible, but note they could be tentative, given any number of circumstances.
Grab your calendars, both the one you know you’ll need and the tentative one you’ll use for future planning, and get these YA books to movies hitting big and small screens in 2022 on ’em.
YA Books to Movies 2022
29 Dates by Melissa de la Cruz
This romcom follows Jisu, whose traditional South Korean parents, concerned about her lack of concern for school and her future, hire Seoul’s premier matchmaker to ensure she finds a suitable partner — one piece of the bigger puzzle to help her get her life in order. Jisu compromises with her parents by going on the dates, but when she fails a test and skips a date, it’s off to a private school in San Francisco for her.
It’s her photography on social media that begins to get her some attention from boys and now she’s stuck between determining and moving toward the future she wants or finding love (or both!).
There’s not a release date for this film yet, and while it is still not yet in production — the only one on the list that isn’t post-production yet — this is a project that will be a Disney+ streaming title. That suggests there will be a quick turnaround, which sounds more and more certain than not.
Along For The Ride by Sarah Dessen
Starring Emma Pasarow, Andie MacDowell, and Dermot Mulroney, Dessen’s second adaptation will be coming to Netflix sometime in 2022, following on the heels of a number of other successful romantic YA books landing on the streaming service.
Along for the Ride follows Auden during the summer before college when she struggles with bouts of insomnia. She meets Eli, a fellow insomniac, and he offers her an opportunity to get to know the fun and carefree teen life across Colby, a beachside town, that she’s never been able to have before.
Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret by Judy Blume
Though this classic Blume title leans more into middle grade than young adult, it’s included here because it’s the first major production of a Blume title (she and her son did the adaptation of her YA book Tiger Eyes in 2012).
Starring Rachel McAdams and Kathy Bates, among others, the story follows 11-year-old Margaret when she and her family move from the city to the suburbs and now, she has to figure out who she is, how to make new friends, and how to traverse the tricky and sometimes embarrassing realities of adolescence.
Though there is no release date or distribution announced, filming wrapped up in late June 2021, so keep an eye out for it sometime this summer or fall.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Set in El Paso, Texas, in 1987, 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 it has wrapped up production. Lin-Manuel Miranda, who voiced the audiobook, is one of the co-producers on the film.
There’s no set release date or distribution yet, but given the film has been noted as post-production, it is likely to hit sometime in mid to late 2022.
Devil in Ohio by Daria Polatin
Emily Deschanel, Alisha Newton, and Sam Jaeger are among the names on board the adaptation of Polatin’s horror novel for teens. A hospital psychiatrist is keeping a mysterious cult escapee safe, but everything goes sideways when the very girl she hopes to protect threatens to ruin her entire life.
This series, to be released on Netflix, is inspired by a real-life story and should drop soon — the title page and description are already up on the streaming network.
“First Kill” by V.E. Schwab, From the Anthology Vampires Never Get Old
Looking for a completely fresh take on vampire lore? The First Kill adaptation is based on Schwab’s short story in the YA anthology Vampires Never Get Old and follows a teen vampire and a vampire slayer who find themselves falling for each other in what could only be described as a lethal — and steamy — romance for the ages. Schwab is an executive producer on the forthcoming Netflix series, and Emma Roberts is also on board.
There will be eight episodes in the first season of the show, which wrapped up filming in August 2021. The drop date hasn’t been announced, but it’s to be live very soon.
Heartstopper by Alice Oseman (June 24)
Kit Connor and Sebastian Croft star in this forthcoming Netflix series based on a beloved comic. Heartstopper is a British title that’s seen major U.S. success, especially among readers on TikTok.
The story follows Nick and Charlie, two teen boys at an all-boys school who are as opposite as can be. When they’re seated next to each other in class, a budding friendship starts to develop into something different. A queer romance with sports, mental illness, and how it is one comes to understand who they are as a person and a partner.
Season 1 of the show will start with eight episodes.
Hello, Goodbye, and Everything in Between by Jennifer E. Smith
Jennifer E. Smith has been writing excellent romances in YA for a long time, and three of them have been optioned for adaptation. Hello, Goodbye is the first with a cast and to have finished up production, meaning we should see some news about release dates and distribution soon.
Jordan Fisher is producing and starring in Hello, Goodbye, and if his name sounds familiar, that’s because he played John Ambrose in the Netflix adaptation of To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before.
Hocus Pocus 2, Based on Hocus Pocus and the All-New Sequel
Remember when a YA sequel to the beloved Halloween film Hocus Pocus hit shelves a few years ago? Now it’s being adapted into a sequel to the film itself. Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathy Najimy, and Bette Midler will reunite as the Sanderson sisters in the film slated for release in the fall on Disney+.
The Midnight Club by Christopher Pike
From creator Mike Flanagan, known for his work on the adaptations of The Haunting of Hill House and Doctor Sleep, comes the adaptation of Pike’s beloved teen horror classic. Though the single book is the primary source material for the adaptation, Flanagan pulled from a number of Pike’s titles for the series, which will hit Netflix with ten episodes beginning sometime in late summer/early fall.
If you loved the Fear Street films, chances are this will be up your alley, too.
On The Come Up by Angie Thomas
Bri is an up-and-coming rap star, hoping to live up to her father’s legacy before his untimely death, as well as provide stability for her grieving family, in Thomas’s sophomore novel — and her sophomore adaptation.
The film is in production, and Thomas has been sharing bits of behind the scenes work on Instagram and Twitter. Though there’s no release date or distribution yet set, it’s not hard to imagine this making its way onto screens in fall or early winter 2022.
Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan, Cliff Chiang, and Matt Wilson
Paper Girls is really a crossover comic, with tremendous teen appeal, so it deserves its place on this list. More, it’s an adaptation I’m stoked for, as many scenes were filmed at a local high school and in surrounding communities. A fun, feminist sci-fi adventure set on Halloween night in the ’80s when a rag tag team of 12-year-old paper delivery girls stumble upon a machine created in honor of War of the Worlds 50th anniversary, this story has huge appeal to fans of Stranger Things.
Amazon Prime will stream the original 8-part series, beginning sometime in 2022.
The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson
Grace Kaufman plays Lennie, a quiet, musical teen girl who struggles to understand her grief and herself in the wake of her more outgoing sister’s death. The adaptation of Nelson’s novel, which received wide critical acclaim upon publication, is in postproduction. It’s been a long time coming for the adaptation, as early deals included talks of Selena Gomez starring and producing the film in 2012.
This will be an Apple TV original film, slated to hit small screens sometime in 2022.
Something is Killing the Children by James Tynion IV and Werther Dell-Edera
2022 is certainly a good year for non-superhero comic book adaptations, including this saga of a small town in Wisconsin where children begin to go missing. While most of the children never return again, those who do come with tremendous trauma and stories of what lives in the shadows. It’s not until Erica Slaughter arrives and promises to kill the monsters seeking the children that the town begins to find any answers…as well as more questions about Slaughter herself.
Trevor Macy and Mike Flanagan (yes, as in the one behind the Pike adaptation) are bringing their efforts to this adaptation, which is slated for Netflix. The six episode series will hit screens in October.
Uglies by Scott Westerfeld
The long-popular, older YA series by Westerfeld began filming at the end of summer 2021. Set in a world where a standard operation removes physical differences in order to make everyone pretty has kept readers hooked long enough to not only keep the series in print but to bring about a spinoff series, The Impostors. It’ll be fascinating to see how this one plays out on screen to contemporary audiences.
Joey King is adapting the book for Netflix, which is set to wrap up production in January. A late 2022 drop is not out of the question.
Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead
If Vampire Academy sounds familiar, not only is that because of the popularity of the book series (still), but because it was made into a feature length film that hit theaters in 2014 to lukewarm reviews and reception.
The new series will land on Peacock, which ordered the show in early 2021, and with filming about under wraps, it’ll likely hit the streaming service in 2022. Julie Plec, who is adapting the series, pitches it as “modern day Bridgerton with vampires.”
Yaqui Delgado Wants To Kick Your Ass by Meg Medina
Gina Rodriguez and Eugenio Derbez are the executives behind the adaptation of Medina’s award-winning YA novel about bullying. The Hulu series is in post-production and follows a group of diverse Brooklyn teens navigating what it is to be a teenager, what it is to wrestle with one’s identity, and what happens when you’re the target of someone else’s ire.
There’s a great chance of this series hitting in 2022, and it might even coincide with the book’s adaptation into a graphic novel.
What’s especially interesting about this slate of 2022 adaptations is how many of them are from backlist YA titles, as well as how many of them are contemporary titles or contemporary titles with a heavy romance theme. It’s fantastic to see award-winning titles like Medina’s being developed alongside long-time fan favorites like Vampire Academy. That Thomas’s work will once again grace big screens is a reminder how much the push for more inclusivity in YA translates to major audiences, particularly where the audiences for whom the work is for have been perennially underrepresented.