Summer reading season starts this weekend, and whether you’re looking for books to help you escape on vacation or in your backyard, we’re here to offer you a little inspiration. A great place to start is with books that will soon be turned into movies. Why not tackle these 10 cinematic reads before they hit the big screen and determine for yourself if the original is better than the Hollywood adaptation.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Movie release: June 6
Plot: A teen girl battling cancer is the heroine of this heartbreaking gut-wrenching coming-of-age book that touches on life, death, and young love.
The Hundred Foot Journey by Richard Morais
Movie release: Aug. 8
Plot: This gastronomically inspired novel follows the rise of a brilliant chef from the slums of India to the top of the culinary world in France.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
Movie Release: Aug. 15
Plot: This young adult throwback from the 1990s by Lois Lowry uncovers the mysteries of a utopian society that’s not quite perfect. Consider it a precursor to books like The Hunger Games and Divergent.
If I stay by Gayle Forman
Movie release: Aug. 22
Plot: Another teen tearjerker, this novel has 17-year-old Mia deciding if she will live or die after a tragic car accident.
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Movie Release: Sept. 1
Plot: Writer Gillian Flynn is going to have a big year (see below for more) on the big screen. The female protagonist of this novel is trying to figure out who killed her mother and sister—25 years after the fact. Oh, and she initially testified that her 15-year-old brother did it. In true Flynn form, it’s full of unexpected twists.
This is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Movie Release: Sept. 12
Plot: After his father dies, Judd Foxman must return home to his dysfunctional family for a period of mourning, while trying to repair the myriad problems. Despite the heavy set up, it’s actually a funny, heart-warming read.
Movie Release: Oct 3
Plot: If you’re one of the few who hasn’t read Gillian Flynn’s blockbuster hit, please stop what you are doing immediately and get the book. There are so many twists and turns in this dark tale—it starts with a young wife who goes missing and her husband is the main suspect—that I needed a neck brace after. Seriously, it’s dark and twisted.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Movie Release: Dec. 5
Plot: After losing her mother and her marriage, a young woman makes the decision to hike, untrained, more than 1,000 miles on the Pacific Crest trail—by herself. This memoir is part soul-searching revelation, part adventure travelogue.
Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Movie Release: Dec. 25
Plot: Laura Hillenbrand captures the amazing survival story of Louis Zamperini, a one-time track star shot down in the Pacific during World War II. His ability to survive one horrendous experience after another is a testament to the power of the human spirit. It’s truly an inspirational read.