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Young Adult Books Dominate Current Best-Selling Book Lists

Veronica Roth
Jamie McCarthy, Getty Images

This year has been all about the Young Adult lit section. Authors like John Green and Veronica Roth are reaching celebrity status following their best-selling novels (each ranked in Forbes’ Celebrity 100 list at No. 79 and No. 95).

What’s especially helping these authors are the book-to-screen adaptations, luring in millions of readers with movie trailers and giving the books more promotional content than they’re used to. So, what isn’t surprising is the fact that both Nielson’s Top 20 and Amazon Kindle’s Top 20 are topped with YA books that went on to have a big screen debut.

According to Nielsen’s Top 20, as of June 29, the first seven spots were taken by both Veronica Roth’s ‘Divergent‘ series and John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars‘ (which steals three separate slots of its own for different versions), and ‘Looking For Alaska,’ which has recently been given the green light on a film adaption. The No. 1 spot, however, was ‘Divergent,’ which had its film debut in March, topping the list above this summer’s blockbuster, ‘TFIOS.’

Five other slots throughout Nielsen’s list were taken by novelizations of Disney’s ‘Frozen,’ stealing even more spaces from the seemingly forgotten adult fiction and non-fiction genres.

Amazon Kindle’s list isn’t much different. One exception, though: ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ holds the top spot, followed closely by Roth’s ‘Divergent,’ ‘Insurgent,’ and ‘Allegiant,’ in their series order. The list also has ‘The Divergent Series Complete Collection’ at the No. 10 slot. Markus Zusak’s ‘The Book Thief,’ which is often forgotten as belonging to the YA world, and had its film version hit theaters last year, ranks at No. 14.

Further showing the power of advertising is Solomon Northup’s ’12 Years a Slave,’ published in 1853. The film version put this book back on the market when it won an Academy Award in 2013. There’s also ‘Gone Girl,’ Gillian Flynn’s novel that also doesn’t fall into the YA realm, but does however fall into the books-to-film list, checking in at No. 11 for Amazon Kindle. The film comes out this October, starring Ben Affleck. There’s also ‘Lone Survivor’ by Marcus Luttrell, a true story that had a 2013 film as well.

What’s most surprising, however, is not that YA is dominating all of these lists — because, well, YA lit is awesome. What is interesting is seeing the influence that the film industry has over which books sell, and which don’t.

Both lists can be found on Publisher’s Weekly.

NEXT: 10 MOST ANTICIPATED YA BOOKS FOR THE REST OF 2014

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