The 11 Best YA Romance Adaptations, From 'To All The Boys' To 'Twilight'


With the tremendous amount of fanfare and anticipation that's gone into Netflix's new release of All the Bright Places, it's clear that the market has never been hotter for young adult romance adaptations. Fans of all ages seem to enjoy taking in these fanciful (and often tearjerking) depictions of young love, but what are the absolute best YA romance adaptations ever made? To come up with such a list, one must first determine what qualifies as a YA romance adaptation.

First of all, the films in contention must be based on a novel — they can't be an original work. Secondly, said novel must be geared toward young adults. The Notebook may be terribly popular with young people, but it's just as popular with older adults. Not only that, but the book was not written as a young adult novel. It's told from the perspective of an elderly man whose wife is suffering from alzheimer's disease — not exactly the stuff of YA fiction. Third, the main focus of the storyline has to be a romance. There are several good YA movie adaptations that contain romantic elements, like The Princess Diaries or The Perks of Being a Wallflower, but those elements are not at the heart of their stories. Lastly, since this is a list of the best YA romance adaptations, the movies have to be pretty good. So sorry, Dear John and other overtly emotionally-manipulative fare, but you're just not getting on the list.

With the rules out of the way, it's now time to get into the 11 best YA romance adaptations ever made.


'To All The Boys I've Loved Before'

There's a reason why this Netflix original has spawned a sequel, with a third installment on the way. It's really good, it's refreshing, it's different, and thanks to its Asian-American lead, it's trailblazing. Clearly, the movie did author Jenny Han's work justice.


'The Fault In Our Stars'

Perhaps the biggest tearjerker of the bunch, this adaptation of the John Green novel about two terminally-ill teens who fall in love was a monster hit, raking in over $300 million at the box office.


'Paper Towns'

Although it wasn't nearly the success that The Fault in Our Stars was, this less sad and more adventurous John Green adaptation proved that the author was no one-hit wonder.


'Love, Simon'

A revolutionary film as it is one of the first mainstream American movies to center on a gay teen romance, Love, Simon proved incredibly popular with critics and audiences alike. So much so that a TV show adaptation of the original Becky Albertalli novel Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is on the way.


'Every Day'

Based on the novel by David Levithan, this supernatural romance follows a teen who wakes up in a different body every day, which makes things extra challenging when the body-swapper falls in love with a classmate.


'Nick & Norah's Infinite Playlist'

Adapted from the novel also by Levithan, this film is far quirkier (and funnier) than your average YA romance, thanks in no small part to leads Michael Cera and Kat Dennings.


'The Spectacular Now'

A young all-star cast led by Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and Brie Larson bring this hard-hitting film about a high school senior's serious drinking problem to life. Based on the novel by Tim Tharp.


'The Sun Is Also A Star'

Can two young people fall in love after spending just a single day together? That's the concept of this Nicola Yoon adaptation, and spoiler alert, they totally can.


'Everything, Everything'

Serious medical issues are a common feature of YA romance films, but few feature a condition as serious or as unique as the medical conundrum at the center of this Nicola Yoon adaptation in which Amandla Stenberg's protagonist can't leave her home due to a rare genetic immune disorder... or can she? With the help of her neighbor, she'll find out.


'If I Stay'

The title of this Gayle Forman adaptation refers to the protagonist's (Chloë Grace Moretz) impending metaphysical decision over whether she should live or die following a serious car accident. Pretty heavy stuff for a YA romance.



Yes, it's an epic saga about werewolves and vampires, but this franchise, which is based on the novels by Stephenie Meyer, also happens to be arguably the most popular YA romance adaptation ever.

From realistic high school dramas to medical tragedies to supernatural monsters, the YA romance genre is more diverse and expansive than it's sometimes given credit for. And given the success that it's had in recent years, fans should only expect the genre to explore even more new territory in the future.