There’s nothing better than sinking into your comfy chair with a wonderful book and being drifted off into a whole new world. A world that isn’t yours. Many will agree that reading books is different than watching the movie version, since you grow attached to the characters as their feelings and story progresses. It’s not uncommon for a reader to actually get caught up into the book to such a level that they cry, laugh, blush or scream while their favorite character goes through different life episodes. That being said, there are 20 amazing novels that you must read before you watch the movie! Not only to know what to expect before it happens, but also to compare your vision of the character to the movie’s portrayal.
1. The Giver by Lois Lowry
Lois Lowry’s dystopian story comes to life as it takes a spot on the big screen. It’s a story that we’ve all fallen in love with, and it’s now time to connect with each character on a whole new level. A community without war, suffering, differences or free will is shaken up as a young boy, named Jonas, is given the opportunity to learn about emotions and past events from an elderly man. Will Jonas be able to take what he’s learning and change the community? With Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Brenton Thwaites, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift, and Alexander Skarsgard. Release date: August 15th, 2014
2. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
John Green’s book has made many weep and smile as they read about Hazel and Gus’ story. This amazing story has shined a new light on relationships and true love and the time has finally come to bring the characters to life! Two teenagers, named Gus and Hazel, fall in love while they’re both being treated at the hospital. Their wits and weirdness brings them closer together as the story moves forward and keep each other strong throughout the struggles that their illnesses put them through. Will it be a happy ending? With Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, Nat Wolff, Laura Dern, Sam Trammell, and Willem Dafoe.
3. Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
We’ve fallen in love with Suzanne Collins’ characters, Katniss and Peeta, during the first two movies that were inspired by the Hunger Games trilogy. Hollywood finishes the trilogy by dividing the third book’s story into two parts. Katniss unintentionally becomes the face of rebellion as she teams up with her mentors and hunger games teammates to bring President Snow down. It’s way more than just a rebellion though as she is also forced to choose between her two loves, Peeta and Gale. With Jennifer Lawrence, Liam Hemsworth, Josh Hutcherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, and Donald Sutherland.
4. If I Stay by Gale Foreman
For those of you who like the supernatural and have a soft side in your heart, you will love Gale Foreman’s book, If I Stay. Not only do you connect with the characters, but you also start viewing life in a whole different way… in a supernatural way. Time to let the dreams begin. Mia’s life changes drastically as she is put in a coma after a tragic car accident. While in a coma, she has an out-of-body experience where she meets various individuals. As her story moves forward, she has to decide whether or not she will stay in a coma, since she is not yet ready to let go of the people she met while in her out-of-body experience. With Chloe Grace Moretz, Mireille Enos, Jamie Blackley, Joshua Leonard, Liana Liberato, and Stacy Keach. Release date: August 22nd, 2014
5. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn’s mystery and thriller book Dark Places keeps us on the edge of our seat as the characters get themselves in various situations. The suspense of knowing whether or not the characters will reach their goal is what makes this book a must-read! Libby’s life is turned upside down when her mother and two sisters are murdered by her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben. After testifying against her brother, she thought she was done and ready to move on… but she was wrong. Twenty-five years later, a secret society pumps her for details about what happened to her mother and sisters in order to free Ben from prison, forcing Libby to reconnect with the tragic event. Will she survive her run from the killer? With Chloe Grace Moretz, Charlize Theron, Christina Hendricks, Nicholas Hoult, and Corey Stoll. Release date: November 14th, 2014
6. This Is Where I Leave You by Jonathan Tropper
Jonathan Tropper’s book makes us laugh and nod our heads as we realize the funny truths about our own families. An easy-read that needs to be shared with everybody! All grown and somewhat responsible, four siblings are shaken up as their father passes away. Although the passing upsets them, it’s what comes after that really hits them. Their father’s last wish, to ground all his children for one week, has been written in his will and forces all four siblings to return back home and face each other’s drama-filled lives. Will they survive the week? With Jason Bateman, Tina Fey, Jane Fonda, Adam Driver, Rose Byrne, and Corey Stoll
7. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
This story will most definitely hook you from beginning to end, as the characters go through a hard journey to keep their identity. Get your running shoes ready, because you will live this story at full speed. Thomas’ life is changed dramatically as his memory is erased and he’s dumped with 60 other teenage boys in a closed space. With the other boys, Thomas tries to escape by going through a maze that surrounds their living environment. Little did they know that they must run to keep themselves from being trapped there forever. With Dylan O’Brien, Aml Ameen, Ki Hong Lee, Blake Cooper, Thomas Brodie-Sangster, Dexter Darden, an Will Poulter.
8. Winter’s Tale by Mark Helprin
A forbidden love affair always makes everything more interesting for the lovers and the public who’s watching. Who’s to say that love can’t happen between two people? Certainly not Mark Helprin. Set in the 19th century, in Manhattan, a middle-aged burglar and a young heiress fall in love without meaning to. As their journey moves forward and their love for each other grows, a turn of events shakes up their relationship. As the burglar is left alone after the heiress dies, he realizes that he has a magic power that could help him bring back his beloved: the power of reincarnation. The burglar then goes on a journey to help the heiress and bring her back into his life. With Colin Farrell, Matt Bomer, Lucy Griffiths, Michael Patrick Crane, Brian Hutchison, Kevin Corrigan, and Alan Doyle.
9. Hector and the Search For Happiness by Francois Lelord
‘What’s the secret to happiness?’ is the question Francois Lelord wants to answer in his new book. Tears will fall down your cheeks from laughter and sadness, as you connect with the character through his journey to happiness. We always thought that psychiatrists had the answer to everything, but Hector is shaken up as he realizes that he doesn’t understand what true happiness is. He decides to quit his job as a shrink and go around the world to find what makes people happy and in turn find happiness for himself. With Simon Pegg, Jordan Schartner, Rosamund Pike, Tracy Ann Oberman, Veronica Ferres, Jakob Davies, and Chris Gauthier.
10. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
Gillian Flynn does it again! This book will submerge you in the story as you connect with the characters and look at the situations through their eyes. Nick’s wife has disappeared and instead of searching the town for the killer, the media bombards Nick with questions, blaming him for the disappearance. Under a lot of pressure from the police and the media, Nick concocts lies to keep them away as long as he can. He’s playing the role of the innocent, but is he really? With Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Missi Pyle, Carrie Coon, and Patrick Fugit.
11. The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
Nicholas Sparks’s books have touched our heart many times as we grew attached to the characters in his stories and felt the emotions they were going through. The Best of Me is no exception; an easy read that will bring you on a wonderful emotional journey. Amanda and Dawson fell in love in 1984, when they were both in High School, but their relationship never made it until the end. They both went their own way after they graduated 12th grade, almost forgetting about one another, until they are forced to come back together twenty-five years later and face the painful memories that brought them to that point in their lives. Will their love for each other be enough to surpass the pain? With Michelle Monaghan, Liana Liberato, James Marsden, and Luke Bracey.
12. Where Rainbows End by Cecelia Ahern
Cecelia Ahern’s book tells about something that a lot people are struggling with nowadays: the Friendzone. This story will keep you on the edge of your seat, as you laugh and connect with the characters’ struggles to find love for each other while not jeopardizing their friendship. Alex and Rosie has been best friends since they were five years-old. Since they grew up together, they learned to see each other like siblings, oblivious to all the signs showing them that they should actually be in a relationship. Follow their hilarious journey as they try to be together but just keep missing their chance! The movie is titled Love, Rosie. With Lily Collins, Sam Claffin, Christian Cooke, and Art Parkinson.
13. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
It’s so easy to connect with the main character in this books, as we’ve all felt like running away from everything at least once in our lives. Cheryl Strayed uses the perfect words to bring the story to life and make us feel like we’re on the journey as well. After having her life turned upside down by her mother’s death and family destroyed, Cheryl decides to go on a journey to find herself and be at peace. With nothing more than a backpack and ambition, she hikes more than a thousand miles from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon all the way to Washington State. Alone with her thoughts, she hopes to heal her heart from all the drama that’s recently filled her life. Will she succeed, or will the journey be too much for her to handle alone? With Reese Witherspoon, Gaby Hoffmann, Laura Dern, Charles Baker, Michiel Huisman, and W. Earl Brown.
14. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
There is absolutely no way to not fall in love with The Hobbit! J.R.R. Tolkien describes Bilbo’s journey like no other, with details that make the magic come to life from within. Goosebumps are guaranteed to occur when you follow the hard, yet hilarious, journey of The Hobbit. Bilbo Baggins’s journey continues as he tries to reclaim Erebor from the enemies and take back the treasure that was once rightfully his and the Dwarves’s. Will Bilbo be able to claim what is his? With Benedict Cumberbatch, Lee Pace, Evangeline Lilly, Richard Armitage, Martin Freeman, and Luke Evans.
15. Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand
Laura Hillenbrand’s words grab you and draw you into the story, leaving you feeling slightly like a better person for being part of the character’s journey. This is not a book that you read and put down every half hour, so prepare the time to read it in one sitting because you will not want to stop. Louis Zamperini was born to run. Not because he wanted to, but because there was a delinquent side of him that could only be tamed through running. Through running, he was able to go to the Berlin Olympics and compete at a young age. When World War II started though, he had to join the army and fight for his country. Little did he know that his journey was going to take a drastic turn and bring him right in the Japanese’s hands. A prisoner of the enemy clan, will he survive to see the day? With Jai Courtney, Domhnall Gleeson, Garrett Hedlund, Jack O’Connell, Luke Treadaway, and Alex Russell.
16. True Story: Murder, Memoir, Mea Culpa by Michael Finkel
Someone’s memoir is always interesting as it captures the author’s true feelings about a situation but Michael Finkel takes it to the next level by sharing the truth about why his feelings became what they did. This book will leave you frustrated on so many levels, while still wanting to know more. A must-read for anyone looking to know the truth about business and society. New York Times writer Michael Finkel received a troubling note one day that changed everything. A wanted convict had taken his identity by using his name while captured in Mexico. The story could stop there, but after losing his job under the claims of falsifying an investigation, Finkel goes out of his way to find the truth. This emotional journey brings together Finkel and the convict as they try to uncover what really happened in the investigation. Movie is titled True Story. With James Franco, Jonah Hill, Felicity Jones.
17. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James
E.L. James brings the erotic books to a whole new level by describing the passionate love between the two main characters. Not only do you connect with the characters as they find a way to love each other, but the story also makes you think about the passion in your own love life. Certain to make you blush and while raising a few hairs off your back! Anastasia was just a normal University student; her life lacked passion as she focused all her attention on work and studies. Everything changes though, when she meets the handsome billionaire Mr.Grey. Their erotic and somewhat bizarre love for each other brings new adventures as secrets are revealed on the tormented billionaire. Will Anastasia find out the true reason why Mr.Grey is the way he is, or will she remain blind to the truth? With Jamie Doman, Dakota Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Marcia Gay Harden, and Max Martini.
18. Fallen by Lauren Kate
The fantasy world portrayed in Fallen will surely make you look at your life a little differently. The feelings between the two characters are described so vividly that it may bring back memories of your own love life, both good and bad. Mostly good. You can’t go wrong with true love, even if it’s in a fantasy world! Lucinda is a teenager living a pretty ordinary life until she’s falsely accused of a crime. Now at a reform school for the delinquent teenagers of the city, she finds herself being attracted to two mysterious students. As her journey moves forward in the reform school, many secrets of her past unravel and make her realize the truth about those two mysterious students, who are actually angels battling for her love. Will she choose the right boy to love? With Addison Timlin, Jeremy Irvine, and Harrison Gilbertson.
19. A New Darkness by Joseph Delaney
Joseph Delaney shows off his talent at suspense in his book A New Darkness. Get ready to go on an adventure of a lifetime that will bring fantasy creatures to life and give danger a whole new meaning. John Gregory is the local spook and seventh son of his generation. His job is to protect the country from evil creatures, but he now needs to pass on his knowledge and power to a younger individual: Thomas Ward. The young man has to survive countless challenges that many have failed before him in order to take over the local spook’s job. Will he succeed and protect the country from the evil beings? The movie is titled Seventh Son. With Julianne Moore, Kit Harrington, Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, and Antje Traue.
20. Inherent Vice by Thomas Pynchon
A hilarious detective story with unforgettable characters that will take you on an amazing trip back to the sixties. The story will capture every moment and detail without fault and leave you eagerly guessing about the next chapter in the characters’ lives. Doc Sportello hasn’t seen his ex-girlfriend in a long time, and he didn’t mind. One day though, she shows up at his doorstep with a crazy plan to kidnap a billionaire land developer, whom she loves. Why does she want to do that and will Doc join in on her madness? With Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Jena Malone, and Joanna Newson
Featured photo credit: FidlerJan via morguefile.com