8 Books to Read Now, Before Hollywood Steals Your Characters

I’m all for book being made into movies, if it makes people more aware of a great story, bring it on.  Even when the movie doesn’t exactly match the book, I don’t always mind.  For me a movie is a different entertainment medium and sometimes things are altered – so long as the movie is good and done well, more power to them.

Regardless of how much I support movies, though, there is one thing I will always hate.  It doesn’t matter how much you try not to – your image of those characters will be forever altered.  That actor, actress, set, whatever, will forever be in your mind as portrayed in the movie and however you imagined it before is taken away from you.  It’s, easily, the move depressing part of movies from books I can come up with. I can still vaguely remember my version of Hermoine and, no offense Emma Watson, I miss my Hermoine like crazy.

Therefore, here is my life of movies soon-to-hit-theatres you should read before it’s too late to create the magical world yourself.

1) The Book Thief
Release Date: November 15, 2013


You don’t have much time as this is scheduled to come out in November.  As it’s a long book, too, I suggest getting started on it right away.  I always recommend books be read before the movie is seen but I super emphasize it with The Book Thief.  If you are going to read this book, I highly suggest doing it in audio book format. The narrator is phenomenal – I imagine that is exactly what death sounds like. I truly think hearing it read aloud made the experience for me; some of the other reviews I have heard indicated the story can drag a little, but in the audiobook format that flowery, somewhat backwards and fascinating imagery (my favorite kind of imagery) really came alive.

I like this book for so many reasons – it’s a genre I read a lot, it’s a perspective that’s new, and, while I’m not entirely thrilled with death as a narrator, I appreciate the newness of it. Liesel as a protagonist was amazingly real. Her personality was one of the most… well… authentic I’ve read in a long time.

My rating: 4/5 stars

2) Ender’s Game
Release Date: November 1, 2013


This is another one you have to get to soon – also set to release in November.  It’s a little shorter, and faster, of a read than The Book Thief, so I have faith you can do both.

Any book that makes me stay up until the wee hours of the morning is a good book; so, by the transitive property…

This is one of those books that I dove into with zero background. I didn’t even read the back cover. I’ve just noticed that a lot of people love it and when I asked the husband what to read next, he put it in my hands, and I started reading. And overall, I liked it. Unique, interesting, involving… but not quite five stars. I found the sibling relationships so… off-kilter and the ending didn’t hold a whole lot for me. But pick it up and give it a try – you won’t regret it.

My rating: 4/5 stars

3) Gone Girl
Release Date: 2015?


I’m mostly interested in seeing this movie because I’m curious if they can pull it off on film.  The reader’s facts are entirely based on one character’s thoughts, and translating that to film is going to be tricky business.

This book is too long and dense to complete in just one evening – which is unfortunate because you’ll spend the time not reading it thinking about it.

In this book, Nick Dunne’s wife goes missing.

And I think that’s just about everything can say. Anything else would be a spoiler.

My rating: 4/5 stars

4) The Night Circus
Release Date: 2014

night circus

I don’t often get excited about a book being turned into a movie – at most I’m interested.  But this movie, if they do it right, it could be phenomenal.  The images… I mean, they could do so many fantastic scenes!  I’m positively giddy about seeing a visual representation of this circus and, to be honest, it might make me feel better about the book. I found myself getting confused at time and the sequencing of a movie could probably help a lot.

While many people find this hard to get through on paper or e-reader, I myself had a hard time connecting with the characters, I think it would be great coupled with the visuals of Hollywood.

My rating: 3.5/5 stars

5) Suite Francaise
Release Date: 2014


This is an example of a book being made into a movie that makes me sigh in relief.  Even if the movie isn’t perfect, it might get more people to read the book, and this is a story everyone should make a part of them.

When I first picked it up, I was only so-so involved. I was confused by the characters, and, to be honest, alarmed by how small the font size was. But the more I read the more entranced I became. What a fantastic writer, and even more, what a fantastic story. This if the kind of novel I would love to write – a myriad of characters, loosely connected in passing but wholly connected by the horrors of war.

My rating: 4/5 stars

6) The Fault in Our Stars
Release Date: 2014


For me, this is a book you need to read now because I could really easily see the movie not being able to capture the true essence of the book.  Within two minutes of turning on this book (yes, I read it in audio book) I knew two things – it was going to be good, and it wasn’t going to end happy.

First off, unless you live under a rock and somehow this book ended up on your doorstep, you probably already know that this book has amazing reviews. So amazing that I wasn’t even cynical about it. I started this book because I knew enjoying it would be a done deal. Sometimes it’s nice to have the confidence.

Second, you know immediately that the main character has cancer. This main character is a teenage girl. I don’t think it’s a spoiler to say that sad things happen in this book.

When you get this combo, I think it’s easy to do it wrong, to mess it up.  Green did a great job writing this to make the perfect balance.  It’s going to take that same balance on the screen to get it right.  Read first and see if you agree!

My rating: 4/5 stars.

7) Angelfall
Release Date: ??


It looks like the movie adaptation of this might be a long way off.  That makes sense, considering the rest of the books of this series aren’t even published yet.  Regardless, I can definitely see the movie potential to this.  It’s young adult, it’s fast, it’s a unique world.

I personally liked this book more for the world – the fallen angel theme, while not entirely unique, certainly is well done on this book.  For me the characters weren’t always the most interesting, nor did they react the way I thought they should all the time, but their world and interactions were exciting.  I read this book in no time at all, it’s definitely a page turner. This will likely be really great on film.

My rating: 3.5/5

8) Unbroken
Release Date: End of 2014


I positively gush about this book. This was one of the most incredible books I’ve read. I was even lucky enough to enjoy it in beautiful audiobook format, which I would highly recommend. There are parts to this book where I know, reading on paper, I would have skimmed in an effort to learn what would happen next – the audiobook made me listen to each and every detail, and I’m thankful for it.

This book is a perfect example where ignorance is bliss. While I have savored many WWII memoirs and stories, I’d mostly stuck to Holocaust areas and that created the entirety of my understanding of the war. I learned next to nothing in school (hooray, US public school history classes) and was completely unaware that someone names Louis Zamperini ever existed. That, coupled by my purchase of this book without even reading the blurb, led me to a tumultuous read that sent my emotions through the roof.

Hillenbrand is a magician of factual, interesting details. The amount of research that went into this story is incredible, and so worth it. The descriptions told from the eyes and memories of those who lived it – for how many people we learned about – it was all so moving, so overwhelming. It’s a book I truly felt. I wanted at every moment to gush over what I had just learned to everyone I knew, but resisted, because I didn’t want to ruin anything for the people I plan I harassing until they read it.

Now, stop reading this, and read the book.

My rating: 5/5 stars.

Categories: Lists, Pick Ups | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

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4 thoughts on “8 Books to Read Now, Before Hollywood Steals Your Characters

  1. Ahh! I have only read TFIOS 😛 You are so right about movies stealing your characters… Great post.

  2. I’ve read five of them (TFIOS, Book Thief, Gone Girl, Ender’s Game, and Night Circus) I guess I better put the other three on my To-read list. Thanks!

  3. I have nominated you for a Liebster Award, follow this link: http://quitefranklee.wordpress.com/2013/08/30/the-liebster-award/

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