In my adventure into books that are going to be hitting the big screen soon, I had to put a little bit of time aside to talk about those heart-wrenching novels that you sit down with on a Sunday night with a cup of tea and a blanket, preparing yourself for some serious sobbing action, whether it’s romance, crime or just a story of the hardships of life. For some people, these books are not interesting, engaging or filled with enough action to keep them involved, but with all the success that books such as PS I love you, The Help, Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Lovely Bones achieved when they appeared as movies, there must be some people out there who like to indulge in some heart-wrenching literature. With that in mind and for you people in particular, I’ve gone looking for some fantastic titles that you should read before they hit the big screen.
This is a novel for the romance lovers out there who aren’t interested in pointless teenage drama, love triangles or awkward angst. The Fault In Our Stars is a raw, tragic, humorous and emotional novel, which could appeal to anyone, even though it’s specifically catered towards the young adult market. Although a medical miracle has gained protagonist Hazel a few extra years of life by shrinking her tumour, she remains as terminal as ever, living with the ever pressing knowledge that she is going to die, and soon. However, despite her inevitable fate, this terminally ill teenager manages to fall in love with a boy named Augustus Waters, who walks into a Cancer kid support group, and into Hazel’s life. This book is funny, thrilling and absolutely engaging, exploring the tragic and beautiful circumstance of life and love. You may not think that a story about teenage cancer patients sounds particularly exciting, but it is full of characters that you truly care about and issues that will leave you thinking long after you have finished the book. As a reader, you become involved in the pain and heartache surrounding families and friends that are going to be left behind, watching Hazel come to terms with her death, and attempting to define herself beyond simply a diagnosis. This book is bound to be a tear-jerker when it hits the big screen with Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, but take my advice and read the book first; you’re going to be blown away.
This novel is less on the romantic side of things, and more catered towards the idea of family, crime and truth. Kate Baron, an apparently work-obsessed single mother and lawyer is introduced to us while she is in the meeting of her life. In the middle of all this, she is interrupted by an important telephone call from an exclusive prep school, where her daughter has just been expelled from (kids’ right?). When Kate eventually makes her way over to Grace Hall around an hour later, she is greeted with possibly the most earth-shattering news a mother could ever be given – her daughter is dead. Kate is told that her daughter committed suicide, but as she grieves, she becomes more and more convinced that her daughter would never do such a thing and begins digging around to find out the truth of what happened. Sifting through Amelia’s emails, text messages and Facebook posts, Kate attempts to piece together the last days of her daughter’s life, stepping for the first time into Amelia’s private world and realising that she might not know her as well as she had thought. Just as she begins to let go and allow herself to grieve, Kate receives an anonymous text, telling her ‘AMELIA DIDN’T JUMP’, and isn’t sure whether to believe that someone’s toying with her, or whether she has been right about her daughter all along. In this book, McCreigh introduces us to the thoughts, feelings and experiences of a mother going through the worst time in her life, while still managing to provide a reasonably easy read. The movie release date for this story hasn’t been announced yet, but it is said to star Nicole Kidman, and I can imagine it will keep viewers glued to the screen.
Gone Girl is another story that ventures towards the crime, murder mystery genre, starting you off with a woman who’s suddenly gone missing. After five years of being married, things have started to fall apart around the edges for Nick and Amy, and on the day of their fifth wedding anniversary, Amy simply disappears. As you read the book, you will find it difficult to decide who and what you should believe. The police suspect Nick and friends of Amy begin to reveal that she was somewhat afraid of him, keeping secrets from her own husband. Of course, Nick swears this isn’t true, but an examination into his computer reveals some strange searches that Nick claims were not made by him. It’s difficult for me to talk too much about this book without giving away any spoilers, but I will tell you that it’s not like any old regular thriller. You will be surprised, shocked and enthralled throughout, drawn in to various plot twists and turns and by the end, you will be desperate to know just what happened to Amy Dunne. This story is set to star our future Batman, Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike when it hits the big screen.