For readers, the silver screen this year will not disappoint: over 40 books are being made into movies. Here are the movies that will be released yet this summer based on books we know and love. Do you need to have read them to enjoy watching the movie? See my take below… but consider this as your summer reading list!
June 6 – “The Fault in Our Stars,” an adaptation of author John Green’s eponymous novel, arrives in the theaters just as high school lets out for the summer, and is likely to draw teens right to the theater. The romantic leads in this tale of two teens who not only meet but also fall in love at a cancer support group are Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort (who recently played siblings in “Divergent”). While many will have already read it, the film can be enjoyed without having done so, as the theme of love is timeless. That is not to say that those who were enthralled with the novel won’t be doubly glad to see the movie.
August 1 – The Marvel Universe is having a big year in theaters and “Guardians of the Galaxy” is yet another of their movies. Though this tale is not as well known as perhaps “Captain America,” the film’s stars (Bradley Cooper, Vin Diesel, and Zoe Saldana) are likely to draw in theatergoers. Based, of course, on the comic book of the same name, this story brings together an American pilot and a group of misfits who try (does it even need saying?) to save the universe. Let’s face it: movies based on comics seldom need reading to be understood, and while this comic isn’t as widely read as some, niche comic fans are likely to have already read it.
August 15 – A don’t miss summer release, “The Giver” is based on a beloved Newberry Award winning novel by Lois Lowry that many have already read. If you have not, I highly suggest you do. As good as this film promises to be, with its amazing cast including Meryl Streep, Jeff Bridges, Taylor Swift, and Alexander Skarsgård, the book does deserve a read, whether before or after viewing the movie. Caveat: Although Jonas is 12 in the book, he is played by an actor who is 25. Some viewers may find that change too jarring.
August 22 – “If I Stay,” based on the novel of the same name by Gayle Forman, will star Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia Hall, whose family all dies in a tragic car accident. Mia alone survives, although the accident leaves her in a coma. Instead of deciding whether or not to go to Julliard, now she must decide whether to live or die. While those who already read the book will want to see the film, the theme of the story is facile enough to follow if one has not read it.
After Labor Day – It may signal the end of wearing white, but it’s not the end of book-based movies. Fall and winter will bring the premieres of “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Pt. 1,” “The Maze Runner” “The Hobbit: There and Back Again,” and a tentatively scheduled 2014 release of “Far From The Madding Crowd” based on Thomas Hardy’s 1874 novel, which can be downloaded for free with a quick Internet search, so there’s no excuse for not reading the classic ahead of time. For that matter, since they don’t come out for some time yet, there’s time to read them all. Consider this your summer reading list.