YA Books I'd Like to See Become Musicals
Guest Post: Sarah Robinson Hatch
Something I discovered recently about myself is that I’m a massive musical nerd. When I discovered Hamilton, I didn’t think musicals were my thing — I thought it was just a fluke that I became so obsessed with it, and that it was only because it was a phenomenal musical that I listened to it non-stop for the next year. When I saw The Book of Mormon I thought it was luck again that I loved it so much. It wasn’t until I saw Dear Evan Hansen I realised I might just be a fan of musicals in general. So that got me thinking — what YA novels would make amazing musicals? We’re all getting excited over books being made into movies and TV shows, but where are our musicals?
The only things I can think of that vaguely resembles a ‘YA musical’ is The Cursed Child — which is actually a play — and that Percy Jackson musical that I, admittedly, don’t know much about. In order for a YA novel to make a great musical, I think all that it needs is just a fantastic and compelling narrative — that’s it! I do think that some things would be hard to pull off live and on stage, like conveying paranormal or supernatural forces might be difficult, but for the most part, I think technology is sufficient to make almost anything possible. Of course, things can always be altered and optimised for stage, so I don’t really think it’s an issue for a lot of books! Here are my top picks for YA novels that need to become musicals:
A Darker Shade of Magic – V. E. Schwab
One book, or rather series, that I think would make an excellent musical is A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. For those that haven’t read this amazing series, first of all — read it! Second of all, it’s about four different Londons and there’s magic and travelling between these worlds and thieving pirates and, basically, everything about it is phenomenal. But there’s also a great sense of humour to it that I think would work marvellously on stage. I mean, can you imagine Kell and Lila doing a witty ballad? Or Rhy singing about his love life? Or Holland doing an exaggerated number about wanting to take over the world? It would be hilarious. I want that musical in my life.
Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan
I think contemporary YA stories would also work really well on stage. Imagine Will Grayson, Will Grayson as a musical, with one of the characters writing and performing in a musical inside the musical — musicalception! I don’t just want to read books where characters are into musicals, I want to watch these stories played out on stage, in musical format! Please tell me I’m not the only person who thinks this would be amazing?
When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
And what about When Dimple Met Rishi, with those Bollywood vibes? That’s something I would really love to see as a musical. It’s one of the best contemporary novels I’ve read all year, and I adored the inclusion of culture and the idea of arranged marriage in the narrative. Seeing the friendship between Dimple and Rishi would also be gorgeous on stage.
Basically, I just want to see all my favourite novels as musicals. I want to watch Frances and Aled Last from Radio Silence on stage, singing about podcasts and university and expectations. I want to hear August from This Savage Song play on the violin to steal some souls and hear Kate sing about monsters while killing a few at the same time. Now that I’ve got this idea in my head, there’s no way it’s leaving until I see these things on stage — how cool would that be?
So now it’s over to you. What books would you like to see become musicals? Are there book to musical adaptations that actually exist? Let’s talk all about our favourite musicals!
Sarah Robinson-Hatch is a student who, when not dwelling in fantasy worlds or outer space, resides in Melbourne.
Sarah has won a number of writing awards and hopes to one day have a novel published. Her favourite things to write about are teenagers saving the human race during world-ending cataclysms and death scenes, both of which probably freak her out more than any potential readers. When she’s not writing, she can be found trying to wrangle fifteen novels onto a bookstore counter, thinking of how she can best make readers cry, or fangirling to the point of hyperventilating over fan-art, movie trailers and authors favouriting her Tweets.