For those who love the silver screen for its cinematic genius, and for those who just love curling up in bed with some popped corn and their favorite Netflix series, it is time to check out; these totally tubular books! Every issue, this new column will give readers five interesting books along with a snippet about each one. This week, we are highlighting books that have either been made into a recent movie or television show or are coming soon to a theater/Netflix account near you. Enjoy, and look for us in coming issues where we tackle the fantastical world of books to find out what you should be reading.
A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin; Game of Thrones on HBO
Both a critically acclaimed series in its original novels and in the widely watched HBO series, A Song of Ice and Fire is a must-read for any fantasy fan—but not just for the Tolkien or D&D lovers out there. Even if you aren’t usually one to go for a medieval political drama with added dragons and family tragedy, any one of the dozens of heart wrenching characters are enough to drag any reader into rooting for their triumph in Westeros. This reviewer suggests any fans of the show to give the books (despite their intimidating length) a try; you’re sure to get a more in-depth view of your favorite characters, houses, and story lines.
Divergent series by Veronica Roth; film series directed by Neil Burger
Though Divergent may seem like yet another Young Adult dystopian series hopping on the Hunger Games bandwagon, I think there’s still a case to be made for Veronica Roth’s rich world building and clever storytelling. Divergent is the first in an addictive, thrilling trilogy that follows its heroine through questions of morality, bravery, and the power of choice in her regimented and divided society. With the ever looming “book or movie?” question in mind, I’m always one to pick the book—though the adaptation got a lot right, you miss out on a lot of what drives the series: the inner voice of the very humanized main character Tris.
Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon; series on Starz
For fans of historical fiction, Outlander hits a double whammy, following a WWII British combat nurse as she’s pulled back in time by mystical Druid powers to mid-18th century Scotland. It’s not just what one could call a whimsical historical romance, but also a richly described look at that intriguing trope of a complete and total outsider being thrown into a wild society with little context to help them see their way through. Outlander, both in show and book form, is plain fun, full of adventure and drama and yes— silly, dashing, kilt-clad romance.
The Giver by Lois Lowry
If you haven’t read this, drop everything and run do not walk to the nearest library because The Giver is one of our generation’s best novels. Published in 1993, Lowry sets the scene by exploring a utopian society where everyone has converted to “same-ness;” emotion is shunned and deflected using futuristic technology that dulls natural human feelings of emotion. Jonas is the protagonist and lives with his community-appointed parents until the day comes where he receives his community position. Unlike his peers, who receive positions like laborer, birth mother, and teacher, Jonas is chosen to be the Receiver of Memory, where he learns the truth behind his seemingly perfect community and all the secrets that lead up to the decision to live the way they do. It is a gripping novel that keeps its readers on edge and brings tears to the eyes at the shocking ending.
The Fault in Our Stars By John Green
With the movie hitting the silver screen last June, this heartfelt story has touched countless viewers. Before the film was released however, this touching novel by John Green had already stolen the hearts of readers worldwide. Hazel is a cancer patient with an oxygen tank who meets Gus, who has a prosthetic leg, at a support group for teenagers with cancer. They fall for each other in a whirlwind romance that brings readers into their emotional story until the very end. It’s a fast and easy read that I highly recommend to anyone who loved the movie.