This spring we get to watch some of our favorite books come to life in glorious technicolor. But first, we’ve got to get caught up on the reading material. If you haven’t read any of the fantastic books on this list, now is your chance to dig into to these stories before they hit the big screen. The books below feature a true story of war and heroism, a reimagining of a beloved classic, a swashbuckling and electrifying adventure—and that’s only a sneak preview of the exciting adaptations coming to theaters this spring.
12 Books You Must Read Before Seeing the Movies this Spring
A reimagining of William Shakespeare’s tragedy HAMLET, OPHELIA is told entirely from Ophelia’s perspective. She must choose between her love for Hamlet, the prince of Denmark, and her own life. In a surprising twist, Ophelia devises a plan to escape from Elsinore forever. Daisy Ridley brings one of Shakespeare’s most alluring characters to life in the film adaptation.
Now in Theaters
12 STRONG is the true-life account of a U.S. Special Forces team who secretly entered Afghanistan after 9/11 and rode horses into battle against the Taliban. They overcame great odds to become heroes of our era. Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon star in the exhilarating film.
Now in Theaters
In the late Walter Dean Myers’s multi-award-winning novel MONSTER, Steve Harmon is a teenage boy in juvenile detention. Presented as a screenplay of his own imaginations and peppered with journal entries, Steve’s story reveals how a single decision can change one’s life entirely. The adaptation stars Jennifer Hudson, Jeffrey Wright, and Nas.
Now in Theaters
A group—including an anthropologist, a surveyor, a psychologist (the de facto leader), and a biologist—arrive at Area X with a mission to map the terrain, record all observations of their surroundings and of one another, and, above all, avoid being contaminated by Area X itself. They arrive expecting the unexpected, and Area X more than delivers. Natalie Portman, Oscar Isaac, and Gina Rodriguez star in this Kafkaesque adaptation.
In Theaters: February 23, 2018
Jennifer Lawrence stars as Dominika Egorova, a state intelligence officer, in the adaptation of Jason Matthews’s impossible-to-put-down espionage thriller. Drafted against her will to become a “sparrow,” a trained seductress in the service, Dominika is assigned to operate against Nathaniel Nash (Joel Edgerton), a first-tour CIA officer who handles the agency’s most sensitive penetration of Russian intelligence. When Dominika and Nathaniel become entwined in an impossible love affair, this twisted spy thriller comes to a deadly and electrifying conclusion.
In Theaters: March 2, 2018
Read with a Classic Martini
In this incredible first novel in the RED SPARROW trilogy set against the backdrop of modern-day Russia, Dominika Egorova is drafted to become a “Sparrow” for the Russian state intelligence. Her complex journey has all the makings of the perfect espionage tale: Moles, double lives, betrayals, and yes... even love. The only pairing that makes any sense with this book should be shaken—not stirred.
Meg Murry’s father, a scientist engaged in secret work for the government, is missing. Madeleine L’Engle’s classic tale A WRINKLE IN TIME is the story of Meg, her little brother (and child prodigy) Charles Wallace, and Meg’s schoolmate Calvin’s adventures through space and time as they look into the mystery of Dr. Murry’s disappearance. Arguably one of the most anticipated films of 2018—A Wrinkle in Time is directed by Ava Duvernay and stars our favorite Hollywood bookworms Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Mindy Kaling as Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who. Prepare to be amazed.
In Theaters: March 9, 2018
Sixteen-year-old and not-so-openly gay Simon Spier prefers to save his drama for the school musical. But when an email falls into the wrong hands, his secret is at risk of being exposed. If he doesn’t play wingman for class clown Martin, his sexual orientation will become everyone’s business. Nick Robinson (Everything, Everything) plays Simon in the anticipated film titled Love, Simon.
In Theaters: March 16, 2018
Since the announcement of this adaptation, we’ve been anxiously waiting for this electric, high-energy film to hit the silver screen. READY PLAYER ONE follows teenage Wade Watts (Tye Sheridan) in the year 2045. The only time Wade really feels alive is when he’s jacked into the virtual utopia known as the OASIS. So, when the multibillionaire creator of OASIS hides his entire fortune somewhere within his creation, Wade embarks on a virtual journey and finds himself beset by players willing to kill for the ultimate prize.
In Theaters: March 30, 2018
Set in post–World War II England, this is the story of a young British author and an island community that formed a book club during the German occupation. Overflowing with warmth, humor, and charm, this novel is a poignant celebration of the power of the written word. Downton Abbey actors Lily James and Matthew Goode star.
In Theaters: April 20, 2018
“I wonder how the book got to Guernsey? Perhaps there is some sort of secret homing instinct in books that brings them to their perfect readers.” January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
Could we ask for more talented actors than Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig to star in the adaptation of one of our favorite books? In WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE, Bernadette Fox is missing and it’s up to her 15-year-old daughter, Bee, to find her by searching for clues in email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence. This is a compulsively readable and touching novel—not to mention great source material for a fantastic film.
In Theaters: May 11, 2018
Bernadette Fox is a fiercely independent wife and mother, when one day she disappears. It began when her daughter Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle—and people in general—has made her agoraphobic, making a trip to the end of the earth a bit of an issue. To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, and secret correspondence.
Ray Bradbury's classic FAHRENHEIT 451 is set in a dystopia when books forbidden by a totalitarian regime are burned. The hero, a book burner, suddenly discovers that books are flesh and blood ideas that cry out silently when put to the torch. The adaptation, coming to a small screen near you, stars Michael B. Jordan (Black Panther, Creed) and Michael Shannon (12 Strong, Revolutionary Road).
Premieres on HBO this spring
First published in 1953, Fahrenheit 451 is a classic novel set in the future when books forbidden by a totalitarian regime are burned. The hero, a book burner, suddenly discovers that books are flesh and blood ideas that cry out silently when put to the torch.
Read the full review here.
When Ronit—a young photographer living in New York—learns that her estranged father, a well-respected rabbi, has died her first impulse is to anesthetize the pain with drink and casual sex. But Ronit can no longer run away from the truth, and soon sets out for the Orthodox Jewish community in London where she grew up. This critically acclaimed novel is about the universality of love and faith, and the strength it takes to fight for what you believe in—even when it means disobedience. Disobedience stars Rachel McAdams and Rachel Weisz.
In Theaters: April 27, 2018