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Best YA movies and TV shows of 2021, ranked

Adapting a book to the screen is hard work, but it can be even more complicated when it was a young adult novel. Whether it’s satisfying the passionate (and sometimes hard to please!) built-in book fan base, or elevating the material beyond the “minor” reputation of YA fare, these These transformations each have their own effects. Lucky for us audiences, there’s a lot of great content in the YA world – and plenty of strong contenders for best YA adaptation of the year, both film and television.

Below, we rank the YA offerings of 2021 from worst to best.

RELATED: The best teen movies on Netflix right now

8. After We Fell


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Image via Voltage Pictures / YouTube

The After movie – adapted from a book series that was turned into a fanfic of Anna Todd – has never been critically acclaimed. But even so, After We Fell doesn’t improve anything from the previous two movies. If you’ve watched one, you’ve seen them all: Tessa (Josephine Langford) and Hardin (Hero Fiennes Tiffin) is plagued by jealousy issues and family drama on both sides, as well as Hardin’s notorious anger issues. (This time, oddly, there’s a bit of a fertility issue!) Sitting at a dismal 0% on Rotten Tomatoes, the third film is generally considered an “extra” installment. Here is hopefully the conclusion, After ever happy, better fare.

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7. Is there someone inside your house


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It’s been a good year for YA thrillers, but Is there someone inside your house (adapt Stephanie Perkins‘novel) doesn’t quite have land. As a genuine Gen Z killer, the film tries to capture both the moral issues of young people while also fitting in with classic stories. There are some high points, like a good cast and some thrilling murder scenes, but it falls short of the standards of its predecessors like Screaming and I know what you did last summer.

6. Moxie


Hadley Robinson in Moxie
Images via Netflix

Based on the novel of the same name by Jennifer Mathieu, this teen drama offers a healthy dose of girl power, even if it’s not quite as revolutionary as it should be. After finding some of her mother’s old feminist magazines (Amy Poehler, who also directed the film), high school student Vivian (Hadley Robinson) became an inspiration to change the status quo at her school. ONE funny, funny, feminist movie, the film has just enough edge to tackle some of the more serious themes, though it fails to break the mold of high school-set storytelling.


5. Panic


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Image via Amazon

Author Lauren Oliver she herself adapted her own horror film to this Amazon series. Set in the small, impoverished town of Carp, Texas, where each year five teenagers play an illegal game “Panic” for prize money. The game’s challenges are a series of death-defying stunts – and not everyone makes it whole, or even alive. There are interesting twists and turns and the typical – but enjoyable – teen romance. While the cast and characters are both a high point, the plot struggles to make it through the gonzo challenges. Still, it’s a fast-paced hilarity that’s befitting of your spot, although sadly there won’t be a second part.

4. To all the boys always & forever


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Images via Netflix

Although the sequels don’t capture the lightning magic in the bottle like To all the boys I’ve loved before, the the last movie still ends the trio on a high note. Adapted from the novel Always and Forever, Lara Jean via Jenny Han, it ends Lara Jean’s love story (Lana Condor) and Peter Kavinsky (Noah Centineo). However, their romance gets in the way of Lara Jean’s university. It’s a new direction for the series after two troubled love triangles, but also lots of great Lara Jean/Peter moments, as well as her warm relationship with her sisters (played by Janel Parrish and Anna Cathcart), to make fans happy. In the end, witnessing the growth they go through is a wonderful tribute to these beloved characters.


3. One of us is lying


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Image via Peacock

Based on best-selling author Karen M. McManushorror film debut of, this whodunnit . series is a satisfying mix of The Breakfast Club and Pretty little liars. A group of seemingly stereotypical high school students are thrown together when they become suspects in the death of a classmate. Unfortunately for them, this classmate (do Mark McKenna) was the administrator of the school gossip website, and he continued to haunt them after his death. Zigzag Mystery relies on some of the typical teen drama clichés, but the show is well done and does a good job of layering each of the characters’ stories (and secrets). The page-to-screen edits might annoy some OG fans, but the adaptation is mostly honest while the change-over also changes just enough to end up with a arresting spoiler for a season 2 potential.


2. Fear Street The trilogy of works


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Images via Netflix

The Fear Street trilogy is definitely YA’s horror win this year. Based on the classics of RL Stine, the film event explores three separate timelines in a cursed town. The series plays with tropes ranging from summer camp killers to witch hunts and satanic rituals, all in the fun, period classics. Each era could easily stand alone (and in fact, each is better than the last as they travel further back in time), but they come together in a satisfying way. The sweet exotic romance The heart of the trilogy – a film that echoes throughout history – also helps to elevate the material, especially in terms of how the curse emerges from Shadyside’s original “witch”.

first. Balls and bones


Shadow and Bone Freddy Carter (Kaz Brekker), Amita Suman (Inej Ghafa), Kit Young (Jesper Fahey) Social
Images via Netflix

Balls and bones is a brilliant, beautiful adaptation of Leigh BardugoGrishaverse is extremely popular. While there were a lot of worlds crammed into the first eight season episodes, the show cleverly incorporated both the powerful elemental Grisha of Balls and bones novel with the gang of thieves by Ketterdam from Six of Crows. The plot revolves around the newly discovered Sun Summoner, Alina Starkov (Jessie Mei Li), an untried Grisha said to be able to conquer the dangerous Shadow Fold. Everyone, from the Crow to the mysterious General Kirigan (Ben Barnes). Undoubtedly the most satisfying YA adaptation of the year, the series has so far captivated book fans and Grishaverse novices alike – and plenty more to come from the world. Bardugo’s rich fantasy coming out in season 2.



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https://collider.com/best-ya-movies-tv-shows-2021/ Best YA movies and TV shows of 2021, ranked

Bobby Allyn

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