Novel to Netflix: How the Media Giant turns to Young Adult Fiction for Hit Shows

As the dawn of new technology and virtual reality comes upon society, so too does the readership of young adult novels.

Netflix, the popular movie streaming service has licensed many shows and movies based off of young adult novels. Just this month, Netflix released 13 Reasons Why, a teenage drama originally based on a young adult novel.

This year Netflix has also released A Series of Unfortunate Events, Trollhunters, and in the last few years The 100 came out, also based on a popular young adult novel.

It is quite obvious, even from just Netflix’s side of the technology spectrum that young adult novels, somehow, make great TV shows. Nearly every show release so far has done exceedingly well.

There is the question, however, if these TV shows create more readership for young adult novels, or detract from it.

Serial novelist Stephen Burrell is one fan of these “book to movie/tv series” conversions. His favorite thus far has been The 100.

“I think it detracts from readership,” he said. “Why read a book and stress your mind when you can sit and watch a show that pleases the eye?”


Stephen Burrell, author of the serial novel Lunar Eclipse, agrees that these TV series featured on sites like Netflix and Hulu are a great way to introduce readers to the material of their fictional worlds.

“So far I haven’t seen a young adult series that has been turned into a movie or television show that hasn’t turned out fairly well,” Burrell said. “The 100 was a sub-par book, but turned into a expansive TV series it was worth watching.”

Even though it detracts from the readership of the actual novels, those who enjoyed the novels can look forward to seeing their beloved characters and stories converted onto the screen before their eyes.

Of course, those who haven’t read the novel will get to enjoy the same story and characters, something they may not have done had they not had access to watching it on screen.

Technology is on the rise and there is no stopping the progress it has made. Some people will enjoy the fact that young adult novels are a popular medium to turn into hit shows on Netflix, some prefer the novel itself and that is just how it is going to be.

Though readership may fall, the universes of beloved series, characters, and environments can live in both the pages of the book, and on the screen of smart devices everywhere.


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