13 Books You Need to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year

From www.justluxe.com by Mila Pantovich
13 Books You Need to Read Before They Hit Theaters This Year

Books have always been a great source material for Hollywood, with some of the most popular and beloved being adapted into feature-length films. Granted, not all of them are good, but they definitely affirm the strength of the written word. Plus, being able to say, “the book was better” seems to be a rite of passage nowadays (especially for the Game of Thrones folks). If you want to be ahead of the game you better get reading because each of the below 13 books have adaptations primed to hit theaters in 2015. Arranged in order of release date, this list has sweeping romance, murder mysteries, Irish Mob godfathers, mermaids, and an astronaut stranded on Mars.

insurgentPhoto Credit: Summit Entertainment
Insurgent by Veronica Roth

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5
Amazon Rating: 4.5/5

Release Date: March 20

The second film in the trilogy, Insurgent picks up right where Divergent left off in a dystopian post-apocalypse Chicago. Beatrice “Tris” Prior (Shailene Woodley) is forced to face her inner demons so she can continue her fight against the alliance, which includes her hiding out in various factions. If you liked the first one, you’ll probably like this one too. Returning actors include Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet, and Miles Teller. 

Serena, Bradley Cooper ,Jennifer LawrencePhoto Credit: Magnolia Pictures
Serena by Ron Rash

Goodreads Rating: 3.5/5
Amazon Rating: 3.8/5

Release Date: March 27

Though Serena isn’t technically released in the USA until March 27, you can actually already see it on many On Demand services since it was released late last year in other countries. Starring Bradley Cooper (Silver Linings Playbook) and Jennifer Lawrence (The Hunger Games), the story follows newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton after they travel from Boston to North Carolina in 1929. The couple reign supreme over the mountain community and prove that they will do anything to protect each other and their tinder empire. Brutal and beautiful, many fans of the novel urge potential readers to see the epic story to its shocking end. 

The Longest Ride by Nicholas SparksPhoto Credit: 20th Century Fox
The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks

Goodreads Rating: 4.1/5
Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

Release Date: April 10

The Longest Ride is about two couples whose lives connect in a very interesting way and of course, in pure Nicholas Sparks fashion, there’s tons of romance and drama. Similar to The Notebook, the story follows two couples—one in the present and the other from the past—whose lives intersect. Scott Eastwood (the hunky son of Clint Eastwood) plays a bull-riding cowboy who sweeps a college senior (Britt Robertson) off her feet. Upon finding an old man (Alan Alda) stuck in a crashed car, the film then tells a second story of a love lost (the young roles played by Jack Huston and Oona Chaplin). 

Kaya Scodelario, Pierce BrosnanPhoto Credit: Kaya Scodelario Official Instagram
The Moon and the Sun by Vonda N. McIntyre

Goodreads Rating: 3.6/5
Amazon Rating: 3.8/5

Release Date: April 10

This fantasy novel is set in 17th century France and centers on the flamboyant Louis XIV (Pierce Brosnan) as he rules in a world that values appearances more than anything. Also known as the Sun King, Louis XIV was in power for 72 years, during which courtiers did whatever they could to appease him. The story takes place when he is in his 50th year as king and sends his natural philosopher Yves de la Croix (Benjamin Walker) on a trek to find the source of immortality, a rare sea monster that may not even exist. When Yves de la Croix returns, he has with him a shrieking mermaid (Bingbing Fan) trapped within a basin. Things get a little more complicated when Louis XIV’s illegitimate daughter (Kaya Scodelario) discovers what he’s hiding.

Even though The Moon and the Sun is being released pretty soon, there hasn’t been much of a marketing campaign thus far. What is known is that it costars William Hurt (Dark City, Into the Wild) and Ben Lloyd-Hughes (Divergent series).

The Price of Salt, carol, Patricia HighsmithPhoto Credit: Film4
The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5
Amazon Rating: 4.1/5

Film Title: Carol
Release Date: TBA

Often taught in LGBT literature courses, this cult classic from the 1950s tells the story of two women who fall in love and defy stereotypes. Originally published under the pseudonym Claire Morgan, the true story revolves around stage designer Therese Belivet (Rooney Mara) who toils away in a department store job by day. Her life upends when she meets Carol Aird (Cate Blanchett), a housewife who comes in the store to find a gift for her daughter. After falling in love, the two takeoff across the US for a journey that ends with Carol having to choose between her daughter and Therese. The film also stars Sarah Paulson and Carrie Brownstein.

Child 44 , tom hardy, gary oldmanPhoto Credit: Summit Entertainment
Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Amazon Rating: 4.3/5

Release Date: April 17

Tom Rob Smith’s historical account of Stalin’s Soviet Union gets the star treatment with a cast including Gary Oldman (Léon: The Professional, The Dark Knight trilogy) and Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, Warrior). Child 44 follows Leo Demidov (Hardy), an idealistic security officer/war hero who starts investigating a series of murders. As a result of his attempts, he is demoted and exiled, leaving Leo and his wife (Noomie Rapace) to uncover the truth alone. The film also stars Vincent Cassel, Paddy Considine, and Charles Dance.

Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas HardyPhoto Credit: Fox Searchlight
Far From the Maddening Crowd by Thomas Hardy

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5
Amazon Rating: 4.4/5

Release Date: May 1

"It is difficult for a woman to define her feelings in language which is chiefly made by men to express theirs." This highly quotable book set in Victorian England focuses on independent Bathsheba Everdene (Carey Mulligan), who ends up in Weatherbury to take her spot as the farmer on the biggest estate in the area, attracting the attention of three very different men: farmer William Boldwood (Michael Sheen), soldier Sergeant Troy (Tom Sturridge), and shepherd Gabriel Oak (Matthias Schoenaerts). Throw in some tragedy and community instability, and Everdene has a lot to deal with. Check out the trailer here

paper towns, Cara DelevingnePhoto Credit: 20th Century Fox
Paper Towns by John Green

Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

Release Date: July 24

The film adaptation of John Green’s Paper Towns (he also wrote that little-known The Fault in Our Stars book) marks model Cara Delevingne’s first big foray into acting. The story centers on Quentin Jacobsen (Nat Wolff), a young man who has loved the adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman (Delevingne) from afar for what seems like forever. After embarking on an unplanned epic night of intrigue and revenge with her, she disappears without a trace and Quentin sets out to find her. 

Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'NeillPhoto Credit: Goodreads
Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O'Neill

Goodreads Rating: 3.8/5
Amazon Rating: 4.1/5

Release Date: September 18

Written by two Boston Globe reporters who worked on the case from the beginning, Black Mass tells the scandalous history of FBI agent John Connoly (Joel Edgerton), the godfather of the Irish Mob, James “Whitey” Bulger (Johnny Depp), and his younger brother Billy Bulger (Benedict Cumberbatch) who ended up president of the state Senate. Starting from when they were all kids growing up in South Boston, the story tracks them on their separate journeys until they meet again in the mid-1970s. Connoly ended up bringing Whitey into the FBI’s good graces by convincing him to be an informant on the Italian Mafia. For a time, it worked perfectly, but soon Whitey began to shift the deal for his own needs and the line between lawman and criminal blurred.

Not only does the story sound fantastic for the big screen, the cast is perfect: Johnny Depp knows how to play a seasoned criminal (Blow, Public Enemies, Donnie Brasco), Joel Edgerton is perfect as the good cop trying to avoid corruption (Animal Kingdom), and Benedict Cumberbatch (The Imitation Game, Sherlock) is good at everything. It also stars Sienna Miller, Juno Temple, Peter Sarsgaard, Kevin Bacon, and Adam Scott. 

Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

Goodreads Rating: 3.7/5
Amazon Rating: 4.2/5

Film Title: Victor Frankenstein
Release Date: October 2

Victor Frankenstein stars James McAvoy as Doctor Frankenstein and Daniel Radcliffe as his faithful assistant Igor. Told from Igor’s point-of-view, the film will follow how he met the doctor and carry through to the creation of the monster. Aside from Danny Boyle’s stage adaptation that starred the one and only Cumberbatch, the world hasn’t seen too many faithful adaptations of Shelley’s famous novel. I’m not sure how Victor Frankenstein will turn out, since it’s more of a prequel, but at least the title brings the last name back to the creator.

As of publication, the actor playing the monster still hasn’t been confirmed. The film also stars Jessica Brown Findlay (Downton Abbey), Andrew Scott, Mark Gattis and Louise Brealey (all three from Sherlock). 

The Hunger Games, Mockingjay, jennifer lawrencePhoto Credit: Lionsgate
The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

Goodreads Rating: 4/5
Amazon Rating: 3.8/5

Release Date: November 20

With Mockingjay split into two films, the second half should pick up right where Part 1 left off, with the damaged Peeta (Josh Hutcherson) having been finally returned to Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence). With a lot to wrap up, Part 2 will mostly deal with the final big battle between Katniss and the Capitol, resulting in some pretty big character losses. The cast also features Liam Hemsworth, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Julianne Moore, and the late Philip Seymour Hoffman.

The Martian by Andy WeirPhoto Credit: Crown Publishing
The Martian by Andy Weir

Goodreads Rating: 4.3/5
Amazon Rating: 4.6/5

Release Date: November 25

Astronaut Mark Watney (Matt Damon) is the first man to walk on Mars and after a dust storm, his crew is forced to leave him stranded on the surface. With no way to contact Earth and limited supplies, he has to find a way to survive despite the insurmountable odds. Directed by Ridley Scott, the film costars Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig, and Chiwetel Ejiofor.

A cool bit of trivia is that author Andy Weir actually self-published The Martian on his website, which led to Crown Publishing picking it up a year later. 

Dark Places by Gillian FlynnPhoto Credit: A24
Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

Goodreads Rating: 3.9/5
Amazon Rating: 4.1/5

Release Date: TBA

With the success of Gone Girl, it’s no surprise that Gillian Flynn’s Dark Places is also getting adapted. Libby Day was only seven when her mother and two sisters were killed, and it was her story that sent her 15-year-old brother Ben to jail for murder. 25-years-later, Libby (Charlize Theron) is contacted by a secret society obsessed with finding details that may exonerate Ben (Corey Stoll) and in the hopes of making a profit, she agrees. After traveling back to the family farm, Libby starts questioning her own memories and begins discovering some pretty tough truths about her family, all while desperately trying to find out who was really responsible for killing them. The film will also star Chloë Grace Moretz (Kick Ass, Carrie), Nicholas Hoult (About a Boy, Warm Bodies), and Christina Hendricks (Mad Men). 

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