8 Books To Read Before They Hit the Big Screen!

I love books. But I also love seeing film adaptations of books that I’ve enjoyed reading. There are a lot of great books being made into movies and I thought I’d share some of the ones that are being released in the next few months.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins

Why You Should Read It: If you enjoyed the Hunger Games and haven’t got around to the sequel yet – I highly recommend it. It’s got all the drama of the first book but more. More tributes, more arena and more twists and turns that you probably aren’t expecting. I know I wasn’t This trilogy is very quick to read with engaging characters and more of what I loved about the first book.

Australian Release Date: 21st November 2013

Staring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hucherson, Woody Harrelson, Elizabeth Banks, Donald Sutherland, Stanley Tucci

Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card

Why You Should Read It: In preparation of the return of evil aliens, young children are sent to an intense military like academy to train. Family drama and zero gravity – this book may be almost thirty years old but it stands the test of time.

Australian Release Date: 5th December 2013

Staring:  Asa Butterfield, Abigail Breslin, and Harrison Ford

The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug by JRR Tolkien

Why You Should Read It: Okay – so I haven’t actually read the Hobbit yet. But I recently bought myself a copy (and a copy of the Lord of the Rings books too!) and plan on reading them soon. This book has been loved by children and adults for decades and has influenced literature for just as long. I have to admit I’m rather excited about this second film too – the cast is amazing!

Australian Release Date: 26th December 2013

Staring: Martin Freeman, Ian McKellen, Richard Armitage, Benedict Cumberbatch.

The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Why You Should Read It: This is a beautiful book that tugged on my heartstrings when I read it. Set in Nazi Germany, The Book Thief follows a young girl who steals books. But it’s so much more than that. It’s about love and war with one of the most unusual narrators I’ve ever read. And plus – it’s written by an Aussie!

Australian Release Date: 9th January 2014

Staring: Sophie Nélisse, Geoffrey Rush, Emily Watson, Ben Schnetzer

The Maze Runner by James Dashner

Why You Should Read It: Once a month a new boy is deposited into the maze knowing nothing but his name. It’s creepy, full of monsters and only a matter of time before escape isn’t an option any more.

Australian Release Date: 13th February 2014

Staring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, and Patricia Clarkson

Vampire Academy: Blood Sisters by Richelle Mead

Why You Should Read It: You may think the world has had enough of YA vampire novels. But don’t write Vampire Academy off just yet. These are vampires with some bite. Rose Hathaway is a kick-arse heroine who isn’t like any sparkly vampires you may have met before. Warrior types protecting other vampires who rule their own with magical powers. And trust me – the book isn’t quite as Fanged Gossip Girl as the trailer makes it look.

Australian Release Date: 13th March 2014

Staring: Zoey Deutch, Lucy Fry, Danila Kozlovsky, Sarah Hyland

Divergent by Veronica Roth

Why You Should Read It: Set in a dystopian society where the population is segregated based on their talents, Divergent is one I’d recommend for lovers of the Hunger Games. With a main character who is engaging and brave, Tris is faces danger as she is different. Having traits belonging to more than one category or faction, she’s in danger of being found out. Her life is in danger as she tries to fit in or be found out. There’s a lot more going on that just that but I don’t want to spoil it for anyone!

Australian Release Date: 20th March 2014

Staring: Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet, and Theo James

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Why You Should Read It: It’s a beautiful story about life and death. Teenagers Hazel and Augustus meet at a support group for teenagers fighting cancer and the novel follows them as they both muddle their way though. Young yet wise beyond their years, terminally ill Hazel falls in love and has to deal with the consequences relating to that. I’d not read a John Green book before this one and I enjoyed the journey he took me on despite needing to read for the box of tissues a few times along the way!

Australian Release Date: June 2014

Staring:  Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort

That is my list of eight books that I recommend you read before the films come out! Let me know in the comments which of these you’ve read or want to read – or which movies you’re excited about!

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Top Ten Tuesday: Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I Thought I’d Like More/Less

As much as I try not too – expectations get the better of me. When I hear/see people RAVING about a book/series/author, I admit that the hype sometimes gets the best of me. And I realize it’s not the book’s fault – but I often can’t help but feel a little disappointed when a decent book didn’t blow me away like I was anticipating.

(Links will take you to my reviews. Clicking on the book cover will take you to the book’s page on goodreads)

Books I Though I’d Like More (and wound up a little disappointed):

Obsidian (Lux, #1)

Obsidian (Lux #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout – This isn’t a bad book. I did enjoy it but I wanted more. Daemon is great but it’d take someone even better than him for me not to resent him for blowing up my computer.

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1)

Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful #1) by Jamie Maguire – I love love. But I don’t love over the top jealousy and people who keep trying the same thing over and over but expecting different results.

Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1)

Shatter Me (Shatter Me #1) by Tahereh Mafi – There’s a lot I liked about this book. And a lot that left me feeling wanting. This was one of the most talked about books of 2012. It seemed that people everywhere were praising this one. And whilst I thought it was clever I think I spent most of the time I was reading it waiting. Waiting for it to live up to my (possibly unrealistic) expectations.

Marked (House of Night, #1)

Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast – A friend told me this book was absolutely fantastic – the best Vampire Teen series around. I think I got my hopes up and just missed things I would have liked had it not been off the back of such high praise.

Beautiful Creatures (Caster Chronicles, #1)

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. – This one I think was my own fault that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I had hoped. The trailer for the movie ruined the book and that in itself frustrated me. Also I listened to this one on audiobook and the fact that the narrator’s voice had an accent but his thoughts didn’t – it really took me out of the story.

On the other hand are books that I went in not expecting too much and being blown away. These are the best kinds of books! To quote one of my all time favourite movies… A Diamond in the Rough.

(and since I couldn’t find any appropriate gifs – here’s one from Aladdin just cause I love that movie!)

Books I Thought I’d Like Less (and ended up loving!):

Anna and the French Kiss (Anna and the French Kiss, #1)Lola and the Boy Next Door (Anna and the French Kiss, #2)

Anna and the French Kiss & Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins – There is the saying “Don’t Judge a Book By It’s Cover” but perhaps I should not judge a book on its title. These books have names similar to those I’d bring home for homework in primary school. But these books are far from simple. They’re beautiful stories about love, friendship, family problems and the complexities of growing up. These are two of my favourite teen contemporary romance novels and I’m so glad I picked them up because I very nearly didn’t..

Vampire Academy (Vampire Academy, #1)Bloodlines (Bloodlines, #1)

Vampire Academy/Bloodlines by Richelle Mead – It probably wouldn’t be a TTT without a Richelle Mead series featuring somewhere on my list. These are both series that feature some kind if paranormal creature in a boarding school but they are both so much more than that. There’s depth and consequences and the gorgeous leading men don’t hurt things either. I had read Mead’s Georgina Kincaid series before starting VA but I didn’t expect for the series to have such a profound effect on my views regarding YA paranormal novels.

Cinder (Lunar Chronicles, #1)

Cinder by Marissa Meyer – A sci-fi futuristic cyborg version of Cinderella? This isn’t something I ever thought I’d read let alone like. But somehow Meyer wrote a novel that’s well thought out and the fairytale links are crafted in a way that feels so right for the story.

The Fault in Our Stars

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green – I thought I’d try to see if I could somehow beat the system. I’d heard so much about this book. The Best Book EVER! is a line that many of my friends and reviews had thrown around. Not having read any John Green and having nothing to compare his work to I though I’d go in expecting the worse. I’m a big enough person to admit I’m wrong because I ADORED this book. It’s beautiful and the characters are almost ridiculously perfect in their own way. I cried. So if you haven’t read this book and you’re intending to – try to ignore the hype. Make up your own mind. But this is a book that I recommend for everyone to read. Even if it’s just to be on the bandwagon and know what people are talking about when they’re talking about TFiOS and John Green.

Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #1)Days of Blood and Starlight (Daughter of Smoke and Bone, #2)

Daughter of Smoke and Bone / Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor – These books are beautifully written. And the covers are gorgeous. And I have no idea why I didn’t think I’d like them but I very nearly passed on the opportunity to read them.

That’s my list for another week. I love reading other people’s TTT’s and blogs in general so please leave me a comment with a link so I can visit back. All comments are welcome and very much appreciated. Thanks!

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Book Review: The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Title: The Fault in Our Stars
Author: John Green
Genre: contemporary romance; realistic fiction;
Publisher: Penguin
Publication Date: 11 January 2012
Pages: 336 pages
Rating: 4.5 stars

Synopsis (from goodreads):
Diagnosed with Stage IV thyroid cancer at 13, Hazel was prepared to die until, at 14, a medical miracle shrunk the tumours in her lungs… for now.

Two years post-miracle, sixteen-year-old Hazel is post-everything else, too; post-high school, post-friends and post-normalcy. And even though she could live for a long time (whatever that means), Hazel lives tethered to an oxygen tank, the tumours tenuously kept at bay with a constant chemical assault.

Enter Augustus Waters. A match made at cancer kid support group, Augustus is gorgeous, in remission, and shockingly to her, interested in Hazel. Being with Augustus is both an unexpected destination and a long-needed journey, pushing Hazel to re-examine how sickness and health, life and death, will define her and the legacy that everyone leaves behind.

My Review:

Coming into reading this book – not knowing anything about it – and finding out on the very first page that the main character had terminal cancer, I knew that it wasn’t going to be the kind of book filled with sunshine and rainbows. And it wasn’t. But it was the kind full of heartbreak and hope, a few tears here and there as well as a hearty dose of laughter.

The Fault in Our Stars is the story of Hazel – a teenager who has been fighting a never-ending battle against her own body. Given up on a real life, Hazel drifts between class, watching reality tv with her parents and (at her mother’s request) going to a cancer kid support group once a week. It’s there that Augustus Waters enters her life. In Augustus, Hazel finds a kindred spirit. Someone she can be herself with, someone who knows what she’s been through.

I loved these two together – they’re both quirky and a little pretentious. And whilst pretentious isn’t usually a trait that endears me to characters, I loved how these two interacted with each other. They’ve been through so much at such a young age with both of them never expecting a future. They’ve become somewhat old for their age. And where their bodies are falling apart around them, their minds are free to grow and give them a somewhat unique wisdom. They are both intuitive and poignant with a sense of humour that stayed with them both no matter what.

The relationships in this book were another part that shone for me – Hazel with her parents, Hazel + Augustus and Peter and Hazel + Augustus and Isaac – I loved them all for different reasons. It was beautiful to read a story of someone with a terminal disease who didn’t spend their entire time being bitter. I loved Hazel’s camaraderie with her family and the gallows humour she and Augustus invoked at Isaac regarding his sight (or lack thereof).

The only thing stopping me from giving this book a perfect score is that I found it somewhat predictable. There were surprising turns of events but overall I found things going along just as I was expecting. That said, it never stopped the story from being one that I couldn’t put down.

I can understand why after over a year since this book was first released, it remains in the number one on the best seller list for YA literature in Australia. It’s a beautifully written book with characters that both broke my heart and broke my face into a giant smile every so often. I’ve not read a John Green book before but after reading A Fault in Our Stars I can’t wait to check out some of his older works.

Thanks to NetGalley for the digital review copy.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon / Book Depository 

Read for the 2013 TBR Pile Challenge