Three books you must read before they hit theaters


Make sure you grab “Divergent,” “Mockingjay” and “The Fault in Our Stars” before they hit theaters. Photo by SAVANNAH HOUDEK

There’s people who read the book. There’s people who see the movie. And then, there’s people who think that unless you’ve read the book, you shouldn’t see the movie. I would be one of them. So, before the hype becomes too overbearing, you might want to catch up on a few bestsellers. And yes, I mean read, not SparkNotes. If you have the time, here are three books you should read in the next few months before you see them on the big screen.

1. “Divergent” (Veronica Roth)

What it’s about: Set in a dystopian Chicago, Tris Prior belongs to a society in which people are divided into five factions – Amity, Dauntless, Abnegation, Erudite and Candor. Each faction represents a quality, be it peacefulness, bravery, selflessness, intelligence or honesty. When Tris finds out she’s what’s called Divergent, her entire world erupts into chaos. (After you’ve finished “Divergent,” go ahead and buy “Insurgent” and “Allegiant,” the last two books in this fantastic trilogy.)

Why you should read it: If someone told you that you had to choose your entire life’s destination at the age of sixteen, what would you do? “Divergent” follows Tris Prior as she must decide what’s best for her, her friends, and the people she holds dearest. This isn’t “the next ‘Hunger Games.’” It’s more than that. Yes, both Katniss and Tris are female heroines living in a dystopian society. But that’s right about where the similarities end. “Divergent” was one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life, and that’s huge for someone who reads books almost as often as she eats. If you just give “Divergent” a chance, I can guarantee you will devour it in a week, maybe even less. The reason I loved “Divergent” so much is because there’s nothing that makes Tris unrelatable; she doesn’t shapeshift and she doesn’t fly. She’s normal, and that’s a refreshment from the wave of vampire and supernatural books.

Release date: March 21, 2014. (watch the trailer for Divergent here.)

Cast: Shailene Woodley plays Tris Prior, and Theo James plays Four. Kate Winslet also joins the cast, playing Jeanine Matthews.

2. “The Fault in Our Stars” (John Green)

What it’s about: A teenage girl, Hazel Grace, fights terminal cancer and falls for Augustus Waters, a boy who also has cancer. The ending of this book will leave you with either a hole in the wall from where you flung it, or the inability to see out of your eyes from an abundance of tears.

Why you should read it: If you enjoy books that will change your life and the way you look at things forever, then you need to rush out and get “The Fault in Our Stars.” When I read the last page, I simultaneously wanted to hit John Green and hug him. His writing style is unparalleled to anything I’ve ever read. If you’re on the internet much at all, you’ve probably noticed constant strings of John Green quotes floating around the internet. It’s because when John Green writes, he doesn’t just write, he puts thought-provoking questions and instances of sheer brilliance onto paper. What makes this love story so different from others is the way it’s put together. This is the sort of situation where if the movie is half as good as the book was, it will be the best movie in existence. Seriously, what are you waiting for? Order “The Fault in Our Stars” now; thank me later.

Release date: June 6, 2014. (see the trailer for The Fault in Our Stars here.)

Cast: The cast includes Shailene Woodley (who also stars in Divergent) and Ansel Elgort (surprise- he stars in Divergent as well).

3. “Mockingjay” (Suzanne Collins)

What it’s about: Assuming you’ve already read the first two books of the “Hunger Games” series, or seen the first two movies, you already know District 12 is gone. In Mockingjay, Katniss Everdeen continues to fight against a very corrupt Capitol — but will she succeed?

Why you should read it: In the conclusion to the widely loved “Hunger Games” trilogy, Katniss Everdeen faces her biggest challenge yet. In some trilogies and series, the last book is a letdown. With “Mockingjay,” that is not the case. If you’ve only seen the first two “Hunger Games” films, then there’s no shame in only reading the last book. “Mockingjay” goes out with a bang and ties all the loose ends “Catching Fire” may have left you with. “Mockingjay” is only a few hundred pages — nothing compared to daunting textbooks, right? It’s a must. (read the “Catching Fire” review here.)

Release date: “Mockingjay” will be split into two parts, with the first part hitting theaters Nov. 21. 2014.

Cast: Jennifer Lawrence returns as Katniss Everdeen, with the rest of the cast resuming their roles from the first two films. Philip Seymour Hoffman (Gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee), who recently died from a drug overdose, will be digitally recreated for his last parts in “Mockingjay part 2. “See more about his tragic death and what will happen to “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay” here.


So, if you’ve got an extra $30, go ahead and buy “Mockingjay,” “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars.” You won’t regret it, and you won’t have to deal with pesky people telling you that you should have read the book first.