Friday, April 22, 2016

If YA Books Were Musicals

I love musicals. LOVE. Looooooove love love love love. Old ones, new ones, Hamiltonones, non-Hamilton ones--doesn't matter, I love it. And I love YA novels (obviously). So put them together and A THING I LOVE EVEN MORE IS BORN. Broadway people, call me. I have idea. Let's do this.

The other day on Twitter I asked which YA novels you'd love to see as musicals, and the answers were so AMAZING that I decided to do a post about the ones I most wanted to see immortalized in song and on the stage!

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli, suggested by Katherine Locke

HOW PERFECTLY ROMANTIC WOULD THIS SHOW BE? Becky herself says she wants Lin-Manuel Miranda to write it, and. Well, if Becky says, then it must be so.

Greatest Hits:

"Oreos and More, Yo"
You just know Lin can think of 80+ words that rhyme with Oreo.

"Blue is the Color of my Heart"
Aw, Simon, you old softie. Simon would sing this near the beginning, telling us all about how he's--oops--falling in love with someone he's never met.

"Vast Rooms"
People really are like houses 
With vast rooms and tiny windows
And maybe it's a good thing
The way we never stop surprising each other

And here's the song that would make us all cry

"Underlying Everything"
And here's the song that would make us all swoon

Anna, Lola, Isla, suggested by Alexa 

You could have all three love stories playing at once--and to indicate which city or story we're in, you could flood the stage with pink, orange, or green light. It would be so romantic and cute and contemporary and then at the end, all the storylines UNITE IN PARIS and sing a swoony reprise!

Greatest Hits:

"Anna Confused (French Name, English Accent)"

"Wanting Him, Wanting Her"
I picture it like Anna and St Clair are singing dueling and overlapping melodies from opposite sides of the stage, singing about how they want each other but cannot get their shit together omg you fools just kiss already

For the two of us, home isn't a place, 
but a person 
And we are finally 

"The Girl Who Talked to the Moon (Entire Galaxies)"
Lola and Cricket <3 (also there should def be a whole song devoted to Lola Nolan's costumes and general awesomeness)

"Blank Canvas (Unlimited Possibilities)"
This song would be Isla's MOMENT. The moment she realizes that she's a brilliant person worthy of love and the world is her oyster.

"Home (Reprise)"
And then all the couples come together and sing about how much they love each other and we all cry some more

The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater, suggested by Shae

Obviously this musical is not FINISHED because EEP The Raven King isn't out, and it probably would be more fun to have the whole series be one musical that would make us cry our whole faces off and swoon so hard we melted. It would be pure, soul-ripping magic.

Greatest Hits:

Welcome to Henrietta, Virginia. There is FUNKY STUFF going on here. Something about ley lines. And destiny. And those weird women of 300 Fox Way.

"Aglionby Boys"
Blue does not like Aglionby Boys. And she's about to tell us why.

"Welcome to Monmouth Manufacturing"
Our intro to our main boys and their home

"More Out There (Somewhere)"
This song was Shae's idea, because she likes to murder my feels. Like, all of the crew are singing separately, but they're all singing about what they're searching for. Gansey for magic, Blue for something else, Adam for more, Ronan for...well, and Noah for...WELL.

"The Trees Speak Latin"

"Blue and Her Boys"

"Mint and Memories"
Well they've got to sing about SOMETHING on those midnight drives

"Murder Squash"

"Mirrors" "Make Way for the Raven King" "Boat Shoes"
spoilery spoiler spoiler stuff. Except for the boat shoes. I just really think Blue and Ronan should sing a song making fun of Gansey's boat shoes.

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, suggested by Christina

The moment Christina mentioned this one to me, it was like I saw the WHOLE THING in my head. Gah, this would make a fantastic musical! PLEASE GIVE IT TO ME, O GODS OF THE STAGE.

Greatest Hits:

"There's a Boy in my Room"
Opening song. Cath is standing in the door of her dorm, freaking out because a) there is a boy in her room and b) FIRST DAY OF COLLEGE AND CATH IS NOT PREPARED

"Avoiding Life"
Cath argues that she's not avoiding life. She's know. Giving it its space.

"Pumpkin Spice"
When cute smiling boys bring you coffee you must sing about it

"Not Really a Book Person"
Cath thinks that's the stupidest thing Levi has ever told her

"Go Fic Yourself"
Everything gets terrible. Fights galore. Cath still loves fan fiction

"I Choose You (Over Everyone)"

"Carry On, Cath"
THE ROUSING FINALE. Everyone sings. It's stuck in your head for months.

Confessions of Georgia Nicolson by Louise Rennison, suggested by Morgan

How funny and irreverent and fantastic would a singing Ace Gang be? I want it SO TERRIBLY.

Greatest Hits:

"Mati and Vati and Libby (and Angus)"
Welcome to the Nicolson family. They are collectively batshit, especially the cat.

"I've Got the Cosmic Horn"
The song in which Georgia sings to us her story problem: her red bottomosity

"Viking Disco Inferno"
Ace Gang, being Ace, wearing Viking horned helmets, as they do

"The Snogging Scale"
Georgia and Jas educate the audience

"Sex Gods"
There are just too many attractive men in Georgia's life! What a red-bottomed girl to do? Besides sing about them?

"Nunga Nungas and Basoomas"
I just really want this song to exist


Uprooted by Naomi Novik

I know it's not YA, but I don't care. Give it to me. It would be a more focused Into the Woods except darker because the Wood is trying to kill you and also there are sexy times and shippy times and MAGIC.

"Beware the Wood"
Opening number. THE WOOD IS NOT GOOD. (Those would not be the lyrics.)

"The Dragon's Tower"
Agnieszka is whisked away to this strange, unfriendly place with its strange, unfriendly resident

"Roses (The Magic of Us)"

"You Impossible Creature"
This is how the Dragon sings a love song. It is mostly insults.

"Savage Song"
Shit is going DOWN in the Wood.

Ella Enchanted, suggested by Morgan

I love the movie Ella Enchanted. I truly do. And it even has a few musical  numbers in it, because the makers of guilty pleasure films know exactly what we want in life, but before I loved the movie, I was a diehard fan of the book. It's one of my ultimate childhood faves, and I would love a really loyal musical adaptation of Ella.

Greatest Hits:

"Ella, Obedient"
Ella sings to us about her obedience curse and how it's made her love to say no

"Hattie the Horrible"
Hattie is the horriblest

"Ella, Obedient (Reprise)"
Ella, after she pranks Hattie with the wig and runs the hell away from boarding school

"Sliding, Soaring"

"I Won't Marry the Prince"
THE CLIMAX. Ella breaks the curse by refusing to marry the prince and proceeds to sing triumphantly about how much she won't marry  him. (And then, of course, when she realizes...she sings about how she will)

"Laughter and Love"
And they all lived happily ever after

To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han

I don't know what it is about cute contemporaries, but I think they'd make the loveliest musicals. I just love the idea of Lara Jean singing all her love letters rather than writing them.

"Heartbreak in a Hatbox"
Lara Jean puts all her feelings in a very special hatbox

"Dear Peter K"
Lara Jean sings her love letter to Peter K out loud.

"Oh, Margot"
Poor Margot. Poor sisters. Oh, Margot.

"The Great Song-Covey Christmas Cookie Bake Off"

"Dear Peter K (Reprise)"
And it ends with another letter to Peter

Hope you enjoyed this very frivolous post full of musical fun. Are there any YA novels you'd love to see made into musicals? WHO KNOWS, MAYBE WE COULD MAKE IT HAPPEN.


  1. OMG...LOVE LOVE LOVE! I would get opening night Anna/Lola/Isla tickets right? Right??

  2. LOVE this concept!! I was totally visualizing a boys rendition of Welcome to Monmouth Manufacturing ;D totally would be down for all of these as musicals!!!

  3. This made me smile SO much!!! I love that you came up with song titles and everything!!! I would sign up for a theater membership so fast to see every one of these plays. I adoooore your idea for Anna/Lola/Isla, that is so cool!!! And omg "Soarin, Slidin" I started singing in my head "We're sooooaring, flyyyying, there's not a star in heaven that we can't reach...." hahah. All the contemporaries would be so lovely and cute and oh. my. god. Uprooted would become the new Broadway darling and tour forever. LOVE.

  4. OMG! I NEED ALL OF THESE!!! Especially The Raven Boys and Uprooted ones! I can just see Ronan's intro in "Welcome to Monmouth Manufacturing" being shitty techno music. OMG! I'd go see all of these so fast my wallet would get whiplash.

  5. I would honestly just go and watch ALL OF THESE. Because seriously, they would make amazing musicals! I'm partial to the Anna/Lola/Isla combination of course. Can you imagine the costumes and colors and art and songs? SO ADORABLE.

  6. I LOVE THIS IDEA SO MUCH! I'm such a big fan of musicals too, so this is pretty much my favourite thing ever. I think Simon vs. would be such a cute musical, and I love your ideas for song titles so much! It seems Lin Miranda is a musical God, so he would make Simon vs the best musical ever. I love the idea of TATBILB being a musical too. Lara Jean has such a distinctive narrative voice, so her singing all her letters would be perfect <3

    Denise | The Bibliolater

  7. Love these choices and you did lyrics too :D You know I think it's entirely possible they could translate YA to the broadway stage they've done it with teen movies-The Heathers and I think I heard that Mean Girls is getting adapted to the stage too. Oh, and then there is A Very Potter Musical.

    I would love to see an Uprooted broadway version would be cool how they would do the effects on that one. I also think another good one might be Carry On there was just something musical-ly about that one. Also, I would love something like the Lunar Chronicles to be turned into a musical if possible. I know five very long books, but I'd love to see a production that would mesh the sci-fi elements of the Lunar Chronicles world with the whimsy of fairytale musicals-I'm thinking back to some of the DIsney stage adaptions, fyi my favorite show of all time Beauty and the Beast. I think it could be a fun production (though no idea how they would have to adapt it because again five very long books).

  8. I LOVE THIS SO MUCH. I SAW THIS IN MY INBOX AND JUST WENT "YES YES PLEASE MAKE ALL OF THESE HAPPEN." For reals though. This should be like a weekly/monthly feature. YA into musicals! Pretty please? ;)

  9. ""You Impossible Creature"
    This is how the Dragon sings a love song. It is mostly insults."

    This is the thing I need in my life. The only thing. I have Broadway Grabby Hands for this.

  10. I have totally fallen in love with this post! The Raven Boys would be amazing, especially seeing a magical Cabeswater on stage. And there would have to be a song about boat shoes.

  11. The musical we all truly need Lin Manuel to do is Six of Crows. Where Nina and Matthias have some really heart renting satisfied type songs, and Wylan and Jesper have some really cute, snippy rap numbers, and Inej is a largely silent dancer who scales the whole stage and makes it look gores but has the really insane musical numbers when it comes down to it.
    And Kaz has an endless assortment of badass raps.
    I would watch the hell out of that.

  12. I love this! I LOVE THIS! Uprooted would be such an incredible musical. Ella Enchanted, done faithfully, would be wonderful. And also, how about the Lunar Chronicles, with all those amazing heroines and heroes who aren't intimidated by their girl's smarts and can't you just imagine Levana's solo?

    No, wait, I've picked my favorite. THE NIGHT CIRCUS. If anything should be a musical, it's that one. OH PLEASE???

  13. I love this, Gillian! I think my favorite musicals from this list would be ANNA LOLA ISLA and FANGIRL (the one and only time I would approve of Kanye music too, bahaha). UPROOTED would be like INTO THE WOODS meets WICKED, I think, with a darker tone. OMG. The moving forest.

  14. I would LOVE a song in which Blue and Ronan make fun of Gansey's boat shoes?? And The Trees Speak Latin and Mint and Memories, WRITE THEM PLEASE! I finished TRK last night, lol I'm dead. I say it flippantly but only because I don't have the requisite words.

    I'm up to Georgia book 8 and WHEN WILL MY SHIP COME TOGETHER? Book 10, I'd wager. I really don't want to finish. When I do, I'll just to have read them all again, I guess. I also really want to read Uprooted. (I love this post.)

  15. Gillian, this is BRIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIILLIANT, and not just because you used my idea. :D

  16. Casually stumbled upon this blog post and I'm so glad I did because WHAT AMAZING IDEAS.
    Lin Manuel can write any (or all, you know, why not) of the music and lyrics for these, but hey I can totally see some Stephen Schwartz 'Defying Gravity' punch in the gut catchy songs for The Raven Cycle.
    I'mma be thinking about this all day now so THANK YOU for this post <3

  17. These. Are. Absolutely. BRILLIANT!! Oh my god, Gillian, the powers that be NEED to check this post out and derive "inspiration" (or outright copying, whatever works) from it!! All these NEED to happen. I will die. I literally CANNOT EVEN right now! *SQUEE*


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