Monday, December 15, 2014

Best YA Stories I Can't Read

Spoiler alert: I write YA! I also watch a lot of teen shows because I think the stories are better than grown up shows.

I particularly love Disney movies/TV shows, and sometimes I wonder: if they had actually been YA novels would they have been given more credit? Would the concepts draw you in more without the cheesy dialogue, abysmal acting, and random outbursts of song and dance numbers? (for the record, I FREAKING LOVE ALL OF THESE THINGS.)

Anyway. I thought it would be interesting to strip them down to the basic heart of their stories, and present them as though you were scanning the back jacket of a book.

Here are my top 5 favorite stories/couples that are so YA but not in book form.

5). Brady and Mack (Ross Lynch and Maia Mitchell) in the movie Teen Beach Movie.

Mack's about to leave for the east coast for a new school, but not before breaking her boyfriend Brady's heart, and certainly not before tackling one final surf. When she's dragged out by a dangerous wave, Brady dives in to rescue her. But when they step out of the ocean they've somehow been transported into Brady's favorite 1960's musical. Things get way worse when the musical's two ditzy stars fall for Brady and Mack rather than each other. Until Mack and Brady can change the movie back to normal, they'll never get home again.

4) Chad Danforth and Taylor McKessie (Corbin Bleu and Monique Coleman) in the films High School Musical 1, 2, & 3.

Brainiac Taylor harbors a pretty deep hatred for "lughead" Chad. As they work together to keep their respective best friends from dating (then work together to repair the damage they've done) they realize they like each other. A lot. Taylor takes him down a peg or two, and Chad teaches her that emitting a girly squeal every now and then won't lower her IQ points.

3. Austin Moon and Ally Dawson (Ross Lynch and Laura Marano) in the TV show Austin & Ally.

He's a world famous pop star, and she writes the songs that make him famous. As the series develops, Ally overcomes her crippling stage fright, gets a record deal of her very own, and signs to the same label as Austin. They've finally admitted to themselves and each other that they want to be together, but the president of the label wants Austin to remain single for business purposes.

2) Mitchie Torres and Shane Gray (Demi Lovato and Joe Jonas) in the films Camp Rock and Camp Rock 2: The Final Jam.

Mitchie can't afford her dream: to attend Camp Rock. So when her mom gets the gig to be the camp's caterer for the summer, Mitchie gets to go at a discount. She's thrilled--until she arrives and wants nothing more than to fit in with the popular girls. In order to do that, she tells them her mom is the president of Hot Tunes China. Everyone thinks she's rich and privileged, just like all the cool campers. Meanwhile, wild pop star Shane Gray is forced by his "people" to teach at the camp to repair his bad-boy rep. He overhears a mystery girl singing in the practice room and falls for the song, the voice, and the heartfelt lyrics. He can't find her, but in the meantime he befriends Mitchie. His softer side is revealed when he starts to fall for Mitchie, but everything comes crashing down when a summer's worth of Mitchie's lies comes tumbling out. (Best moment ever: when Shane sees Mitchie perform at Final Jam and learns she's The Girl with The Voice--think The Little Mermaid's Prince Eric realizing mute, sweet Ariel is actually the singing girl who rescued him.)

1) Troy Bolton and Gabriella Montez (Zac Efron and Vanessa Hudgens) in High School Musical 1, 2, & 3.

He's captain of the basketball team and all around star of East High, and she's the math whiz and "freaky genius" girl who's never settled in one school--until now. Since finding each other, they've both discovered an unknown passion for musical theater. But it'll ruin Troy's rep and let down his team if he devotes himself to the high school musical rather than practice for the upcoming basketball game. Until he can admit his newfound passion to his team, his dad, and, most importantly, himself, he'll never find the courage to be with Gabriella.

Which of these stories/couples would you love to read in book form? Do you have a favorite that didn't make my list?
xoxo Beth


Kimberly G. Giarratano said...

Well my fave made it into book form (Thanks Rob Thomas!) I love me some Veronica Mars. Totally badass YA TV. For. the. win.

Leandra Wallace said...

I'd like the surfing one to be a book! the best I used to see commercials for it on Disney Jr. and was always totally confused as to what was happening- you broke it down nicely. All of them in fact! Would you like to write a blurb for my books, lol! Or how about my query letters? (only half joking...) ;) And I should totally watch the Camp Rock movies, I love Demi's voice.

Carrie Beckort said...

Having an 8 year old daughter, I've seen all of these (more than once) except for the Camp Rock movies. Although, I think she watched one of the two when I was busy with something else. I have to admit, I didn't hate watching them with her :-) Another that was cute that she liked was Zapped. That stars Zendaya - she plays a girl who's phone suddenly allows her to control all the men in her life with an app. As you can imagine, it starts off great and then chaos ensues.

Sherry Ellis said...

I really enjoyed watching High School Musical with my daughter. Just a lot of fun stuff!

Unknown said...

I've heard so many good things about VM!

Unknown said...

ha! seriously, anytime, I love condensing things into tidy little blurbs! Camp Rock is so fun, and Demi is uh-mazing. She has such an incredibly powerful voice and I loved her as Mitchie!

Unknown said...

right?! so fun! :)

Unknown said...

ooh haven't seen Zapped though I saw the commercials for it. I also think Geek Charming with Sarah Hyland from Modern Family seemed really cute, but I never watched it in full.

Jonathan Schramm said...

Great post, Beth! My wife is huge into cheesy Lifetime movies right now, and I would say they're a little underrated too, in that most of them weren't books first. And I totally agree with Leandra. You are a master at the synopsis. I'll definitely be consulting you before I send out my query letter!

Unknown said...

ooh lifetime has some pretty great stories that would make for some awesome fiction. Definitely a great example. and I'm happy to help! No doubt queries are hard but I like writing them out since it helps me identify stakes and conflict in popular stories, which is something I always need helping strengthening in my MSs. My theory is if corny, happy and peppy kid movies can have obvious conflict, so can my stories lol.

Stephanie Faris said...

What a great way to get yourself into the voice of that age group! Someone above mentioned Lifetime--but what about all the great Hallmark Christmas movies?! I was watching them on YouTube, but I eventually ran out of good ones to watch. I can never catch the good ones when they're on TV.

Unknown said...

oh I love those!! And if Candace Cameron Bure is in it I'm doubly happy.

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