After checking out the offerings at Book Expo America this week, MTV sat down to consider which books could become the “next Twilight.” And while we cringe that this phrase — really, what they’re talking about is what’s going to be the next big thing in book to movie adaptations — we think they’ve picked out some really great contenders.
In fact, we’ve already started buzzing about some of these books — and a few others that MTV didn’t mention.
Here’s what MTV picked:
“I Am Number Four”
What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: The book by “Pitacus Lore” (the pseudonym of James Frey and Jobie Hughes) doesn’t hit shelves until August 17, but that didn’t stop Steven Spielberg, Michael Bay and the creators of “Smallville” from teaming up to produce a big-budget film that’s set for a 2011 release. Alex Pettyfer of “Beastly” and Dianna Agron from “Glee” are among the stars already attached. That alone could help the book shoot to the top of the pile, but at its heart the title is about one young man and his quest discover himself, get the girl and take down the enemy.
What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: Author Justin Cronin developed his book, which come out on June 8, while listening to his 13-year-old daughter obsess over Stephenie Meyer. Like the “Twilight” series, the story revolves around a special girl. Director Ridley Scott (“Gladiator,” “Blade Runner”) apparently agrees and has optioned the book to develop into a feature film.
“The Hunger Games”
What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: Suzanne Collins’ trilogy (third book, “Mockingjay,” is out August 24) has created a fierce, selfless heroine, a tragic love triangle and a frightening dystopian future that’s captured adults and teens alike. There aren’t any vampires in sight, but fans’ enthusiasm for these books is growing mighty feverish. Lionsgate is slated to begin filming a movie adaptation in early 2011.
What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: When we covered the “Vampire Academy” books last year, we called Richelle Mead’s series the “perfect antidote” to frustrations over Bella often playing the victim. In this series, we get a strong female character who’s more liable to kick someone else’s ass on her own, rather than relying on any strapping hunks to do it for her. And as of today, the latest book in the franchise, “Spirit Bound,” has hit #1 on the best-seller charts.
“Beautiful Darkness” and “Beautiful Creatures”
What Could Make It the Next “Twilight”: Like “Twilight,” teenage angst is mixed with Gothic charm, dark secrets and choices to be made. The book is heavy on the romance aspect as it follows two young lovers and the feverous attempt by the boy to sway his girlfriend to the more righteous path.
While all of these sound great, we’re especially enthusiastic about Beautiful Creatures/Beautiful Darkness and The Hunger Games.
But besides MTV’s five picks, we’d also like to throw out a few more titles:
The supernatural romance in Shiver and the upcoming Linger are epic on a level likely to give Bella and Edward a serious run for their money.
Clare’s already got three books in this series out — plus one more next year, in addition to a trilogy of prequels. Besides offering filmmakers plenty of material to work with — Clare’s books also offer a much broader appeal than Twilight. In other words, guys would go check this series out, too. The same crossover appeal could easily be given to The Hunger Games (which we’re seriously obsessed with here. Who else can’t wait for Mockingjay?)
This is a relatively new book compared to the others on this list — it only came out this past March — but I’m telling you, it’s got all the makings of a blockbuster. I am calling it now. The Body Finder is an intensely chilling crime thriller — which offers broad audience appeal — but it also features one of the sweetest romances I’ve ever encountered in YA lit. A sequel is due out next year, and Derting’s already got plans for a third and fourth book, as well.
For the comments: Which books do you think have what it takes to be the next big thing?