Tuesday, February 03, 2015

15 FOR 15 - Books Hitting the Big Screen This Year

The second prompt in my #26BOOKSwithBringingUpBurns Challenge is A Book That Has Been Made Into A Movie. This prompt can be met by an abundance of titles!! But selfishly, I added this to the list because I flove movies. Almost as much as books. And if I know that something was a book first, then I HAVE TO read it before seeing it. And I see a lot of movies - so that means I have to read a lot of books! There are several movies coming out in 2015 that I am looking forward to seeing...so that means each of these books, is also on my list.

1. Still Alice, Lisa Genova

I start with this one, because I've already seen the movie! My bookclub read this book about three years ago, and, while it wasn't a happy story, it was an enjoyable book. I am an avid Kristen Stewart fan (understatement of the year) so when I saw this would be screening at AFI Film Fest last Fall, I went on their website every morning until I was lucky enough to score two free tickets! It was a night I won't forget for many reasons, mainly - Kristen was there for a Q&A panel afterwards with Julieanne and Maria Shriver (producer) - but also because the movie was so well done! The energy, emotion, and brave deterioration that Julieanne brings to life in Alice's character is heart wrenching to watch. I am not surprised she has already won the Golden Globe and SAG award for Best Actress for her portrayal. She is nominated for the Oscar as well, and I hope she wins! If you get a chance to see this movie, you wont be disappointed. There are slight changes from the book, but nothing off putting as someone who enjoyed the read. 

You can watch the trailer HERE.
Release Date: January 16th
Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kate Bosworth, Kristen Stewart

2. Where Rainbows End (Love, Rosie), Cecelia Ahern

I've heard great things about this book but have yet to pick it up. I better get cracking, however, because the movie comes out this Friday! I like both Lily Collins and Sam Cauflin and I am a fan of stories that span several years. I have no idea if I'm correct, but I get the feeling this story will be a bit like One Day by David Nicholls, and I really enjoyed that book. Also - it's from the same author as P.S. I Love You, so it's made my list for several reasons.

What it’s about: Rosie and Alex, best friends since childhood, are the type of people who should be together, even if they don’t realize it. Despite being separated as teenagers, they are inseparable via email and letters, and are constantly on the rise of a potential romance. This story comes from the same author as P.S. I Love You.

You can watch the trailer HERE.
Release date: February 6th
Starring: Lily Collins, Sam Claflin, Suki Waterhouse

3. Fifty Shades of Grey, EL James

Oh, the controversy!! I initially picked up this book to see what all the fuss was about after six months of non-stop buzz. I knew the books were supposed to be sexy and had seen them called "Mommy Porn" a few times, but other than that, I had no idea what the story was about. When someone told me the story started out as Twilight Fan Fiction...well, that did it. I had to read. Help me, Rhonda! I read all three books in 2 days. The paperbacks were for sale at my local grocery store and when I stopped in to buy the second one later the same day I had bought the first one, the checkout girl chuckled at me and said, "You should probably just grab the third one right now too, don't you think?" Without going into too much detail, (I'll save that for next week when I blog my movie premiere pre-party ideas - we all know I love a good movie party!) I am interested to see this story brought to the screen. Yes, it was very sexy. And yes, it was utterly unrealistic, cliche, repetitive...all those things. But it was also a fun love story. This first book was my least favorite of the trilogy, however. The ending is ATROCIOUS!!! So I am very interested to see what Hollywood does different - will there be a re-write? Or will they end it at a different place in the stories?  

What it’s about: An innocent girl named Anastasia Steele falls for a rich, powerful, and dominant man named Christian Grey. Their newly developed romance brings out the dark side in Ana and a very unusual side of Christian. The book is 530 pages of sex and BDSM with a little bit of plot in between. (The real plot - if you can call it that - doesn't start until book 2!) With over 100 million copies sold, there's no doubt the theaters will be packed.

You can watch the trailer HERE
(incedently, the more trailers and clips I watch, the more Dakota Johnson grows on me as Ana. My verdict is still out on Jamie Dornan. No question he is good looking, but he is not the Christian I read...another reason I'm interested to see the movie!)

Release date: February 13th
Starring: Jamie Dornan, Dakota Johnson, Rita Ora, Luke Grimes

4. The DUFF, Kody Keplinger

I just bought this book this week. I saw a blip about the movie on Buzzfeed and I happen to love Mae Whitman. She was the little girl in Hope Floats...and she was perfect as Mary Elizabeth in Perks of Being a Wallflower. Add in the angsty, YA plotline and I was sold.

What it’s about: Bianca Piper is somewhat of an outcast, but she has a gorgeous group of loyal friends to keep her company. When man-whore Wesley Rush calls her the DUFF (Designated Ugly Fat Friend), Bianca adds him to the top of her enemy list. As things turn bad at home however, Bianca develops a friends-with-benefits relationship with Wesley, and worse, falls for him the more they hang out.

You can watch the trailer HERE
Release date: February 20th
Starring: Mae Whitman, Bella Thorne, Allison Janey, Robbie Amell

5. Insurgent, Veronica Roth

Ok - I should warn you. If you're not already aware...I'm a little obsessed with this trilogy (second understatement of the year.) I read Divergent early on. I saw an article about it on a movie website saying Summit had just bought the rights to make it into a movie and was banking on it being their next "Twlight/Hunger Games" type blockbuster and that led me to pick it up. I loved the book, partly because I have a soft spot for Chicago, but also because of the characters. I loved that for the first time, in a long time, it was a fast, action packed YA read that didn't have a love triangle at the center of it! I've been telling everyone to read these books for almost 4 years. Insurgent is my favorite of the three books and I am beyond excited to see it come to life (even if I can't stand Shailene's horrible 80's dye job!) I threw a huge party last year for the premiere. This year...Matt and I will be in Hawaii when Insurgent comes out. I'm trying to convince him that one night in a theater is not a waste of our precious tropical vacation!

What it’s about: The second book in the Divergent series, Insurgent continues Tris’ fight against Jeanine Matthews and her brutal agenda that threatens to tear society apart and kill Divergents. The book is exciting and hard to put down, and hopefully the movie will follow the novel more than the previews imply. Roth has mentioned that "The Box" is a way to bring many of her scenes from the book together into one place...but I'm a little nervous...

You can watch the trailer HERE
Release date: March 20th
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Ansel Elgort, Kate Winslet

6. Serena, Ron Rash

I don't know much about this book other than where it's set (North Carolina mountains) and that two of my favorites are playing the main characters (Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.) I am thinking of using it for prompt #10 - A Book Set Somewhere You've Always Wanted To Visit. JLaw and Cooper killed it before with the book to movie adaptation of Silver Linings Playbook, so hopefully we're in for a repeat treat with this one! 

What it’s about: The book is a thrilling story that follows newlyweds George and Serena Pemberton on their journey to create a timber empire and ruthlessly kill all who fall out of favor. When Serena finds out she can’t bear children, she seeks to murder the illegitimate child she believes George is trying to protect. 

You can watch the trailer HERE
Release date: March 27th
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Bradley Cooper

7. The Longest Ride, Nicholas Sparks

 HoHum...that's usually how I feel about Nicholas Sparks. His books are pretty predicable, if not completely formulaic. But when I'm up for a mindless read that usually has some angst, a few secrets, swoony romance and a twist...then Sparks can be a great choice. Perfect for poolside with a wide hat and a cold drink. Perhaps I will pack this one for Hawaii. The main reason I'm looking forward to this movie (and so must read the book!) is Britt Robertson. I fell in love with her in The First Time and have followed her career ever since. Also - say HELLLLLO! to Clint Eastwood's hot son. 

What it’s about: Like any other Nicholas Sparks book, this story involves romance and scenes that will make you cry. The Longest Ride is a story of two couples whose lives intersect in profound ways. If you’ve read or seen any other Sparks creations and loved them, I'm guessing this one will be no different.

You can watch the trailer HERE
Release date: April 10th
Starring: Scott Eastwood, Britt Robertson

8. Far From the Maddening Town, Thomas Hardy

I'm thinking this will be my #19 - A book you were supposed to read in school, but didn't. Somehow, a Victorian England set story of a strong willed girl named Bathsheba didn't appeal to me Freshman year in college. But now, a novel about an independent woman with the surname Everdene (!!) who bounces back from hardships seems to ring familiar...and enticing. Furthermore, after Gatsby, I have trouble resisting anything Carey Mulligan. 

What it’s about: A classic love story, Far from the Madding Crowd is about a beautiful woman who attracts three very different suitors: a shepherd, a sergeant, and a rich bachelor. The novel is about tough choices, the nature of relationships, and pressing on in the face of hardship.

You can watch the trailer HERE
Release date: May 1st
Starring: Carey Mulligan, Michael Sheen, Matthias Schoenaerts, Tom Sturridge

9. Paper Towns, John Green

If Looking for Alaska and The Fault In Our Stars are any indication, I am assuming this book is right up my alley. I already know I love Nat Wolff (check him out in Stuck In Love,) so I am assuming I will enjoy the movie adaptation as well. 

What it’s about: Margo Roth Spiegelman, the unattainable girl next door, convinces Quentin to embark on a journey of revenge, but come the next morning, Margo has gone missing and has left clues for Q. He and his friends go on a road trip in search of M, unsure if they will find her dead or alive. 

No trailer yet!
Release date: June 19th
Starring: Cara Delevingne, Nat Wolff

10. The Scorch Trials, James Dashner

The Maze Runner was the only movie I saw last year without reading the book first...and it grated on me the entire time! I broke my own cardinal rule because it was a movie the whole family could enjoy (we found ourselves at the movie theater on a whim) and I love Dylan O'Brien (again, I reference Britt Robertson - his IRL girlfriend - and The First Time, in which he also stars.) With that being said, I left the theater and knew I wanted to know the rest of this story. The movie ends in such a cliffhanger! So this book will definitely be consumed before September this year. 

What it’s about: The second book in the Maze Runner series, Thomas and the Gladers are entering phase two of their “trials” and race to earn a cure for the Flare virus. Chased by Cranks and facing a series of dangerous weather conditions, the boys attempt to complete their mission. 

No trailer yet!
Release date: September 18th
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, Thomas Brodie-Sangster

11. Mockingjay, Suzanne Collins

I feel like this makes my list by default. I enjoyed the books and I've seen all the movies up until this point - so of course I will see it through. But I have several reservations. By some sort of movie magic - I pray they redeem Peeta from his scary Gollum status he had at the end of Part 1. And I pray it moves 9000 times faster than Part 1. The last movie felt like a huge 2 hour preview of what's to come...which I guess that's the point, but I was bored. In contrast, this final book annoyed me in that I felt it wrapped up too fast! The final 100 pages could have easily been expanded to an entire fourth book. So I pray this final installment of the movies does that justice and really tells Katniss' story to it's fullest. 

What it’s about: The last book of the Hunger Games series, Mockingjay is the completion of Katniss Everdeen’s rebellion against the Capital and her fight to bring President Snow down.

No Trailer yet!
Release date: November 20th
Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, The Leprechaun, Sex For Dinner

12. The Martian, Andy Weir

This book has been showing up in my Instagram feed NON STOP the past few weeks. So far, I haven't seen anyone not like it. People are calling it a cross between Gravity and Castaway - that's hard to resist! Matt Damon is set to star and the ensemble cast is fab. I was depressed when The Newsroom ended...so any way I can get more Jeff Daniels, the better! It's bound to be another stressful, but entertaining two hours in the theater.

What it’s about: In this fictional book, Astronaut Mark Watney is one of the first people to land on Mars, and he’s sure to be the first person to die there. After his crew believes Mark died from a dust storm, he’s stranded and completely alone with no way to signal Earth.  

No trailer yet!
Release date: November 27th
Starring: Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Jeff Daniels, Kristen Wiig

13. Dark Places, Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl was a thrill to read, but I have yet to explore any of Flynn's other books. I'm excited to add this one to my list. I was told by a good friend however, not to read it when I'm home alone or late at night. I'm not one to be easily spooked, but that advice freaked me out! I'm a fan of many people in the cast and anything scary or anything starring Theron is sure to be an easy sell to my husband. 

What it's about: This thriller of a story is about Libby Day, a girl whose mother and sisters were murdered at the family's farmhouse when she was only 7. Her testimony sent her older brother, Ben, to prison for life, and 25 years later, Libby decides to meet with the Kill Club, a group of crime enthusiasts who investigate the case and force her to rethink what really happened.

Release Date: Late 2015
Starring: Charlize Theron (also producing), Nicholas Hoult, Christina Hendricks, and ChloĆ« Grace Moretz

14. The Light Between Oceans, ML Stedman

This book has been on my list for awhile. I'm thinking it will be my #18 - A book with a Blue cover. I am intrigued by the wife's story and can't wait to see how it unfolds and effects those around her. The movie is from Spielberg's Dreamworks so I'm sure it wont disappoint.

What it's about: Tom, a lighthouse keeper, and his wife Isabel, who has suffered two miscarriages and one stillbirth, discover a boat washed up onshore near their home on an island off the coast of Australia after WWI. Inside the boat are a living baby and a dead body. Isabel insists the baby is a "gift from God," and against Tom's better judgment, they take her in and name her Lucy. Two years later, Tom and Isabel return to the mainland and are reminded there are other people in the world who have been devastated by their choices.

Release Date: Late 2015
Starring: Michael Fassbender, Alicia Vikander, and Rachel Weisz

15. Room, Emma Donoghue
Oh goodness, this book tore at my heartstrings. My bookclub read it when it was released  in 2010 and it has haunted me ever since! I found the POV of Jack, a 5 year old boy who has never known anything other then the inside of the room he and his mother are held captive in, extremely disturbing and yet unputdownable. 

What it's about: A 5-year-old boy grows up in a small shed, which becomes the only world he knows because his mother hides the truth — she was abducted and has been kept prisoner for years. His father is their captor. 

Release Date: Late 2015
Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, William H. Macy, and Sean Bridgers 

Have you read any of these books yet? Are you excited to see the movies? Have you decided what book you will chose for #2 in the 26BOOKS Challenge? Leave a comment and let me know! 

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