You know as well as I do that when your nose is in a book with cinematic storytelling, enticing dialogue, and irresistible plot twists you’re bound to see it on the big screen (or little screen) in no time. This spring there are so many adaptations worth checking out, in theaters and on your favorite streaming platforms. We’re strong believers that you should read the book first, so before you check out these amazing films, dig into the fantastic stories they’re based on.
Your Reading Guide to the Must-See Films of Spring
Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor stars in and makes his directorial debut in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, based on William Kamkwamba’s remarkable real life story. Growing up in a small Malawi town, William had lofty goals of brining his town electricity and running water—a luxury enjoyed by only two percent of the population. THE BOY WHO HARNESSED THE WIND tells the story of one boy’s quest to inspire and change his community through crippling adversity.
Now Streaming on Netflix.
William Kamkwamba was born in Malawi, a country where magic ruled and modern science was mystery. It was also a land withered by drought and hunger. But William had read about windmills, and he dreamed of building one that would bring to his small village a set of luxuries that only 2 percent of Malawians could enjoy: electricity and running water. His neighbors called him misala—crazy—but William refused to let go of his dreams. With a small pile of once-forgotten science textbooks; some scrap metal, tractor parts, and bicycle halves; and an armory of curiosity and determination, he embarked on a daring plan to forge an unlikely contraption and small miracle that would change the lives around him.
Dubbed Stephen King’s most horrific novel—let that sink in—PET SEMATARY reminds readers, sometimes . . . dead is better. When the Creeds—along with their friendly family cat—move into a beautiful old house in idyllic rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true. But the nearby woods hide a bone-chilling truth, more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful. The film, starring Jason Clarke and John Lithgow, is worth a watch if you want to see how this remake differs from the book. Spoiler alert—it does.
Now in theaters.
This is probably the most frightening novel Stephen King has ever written. When the Creeds move into a beautiful old house in rural Maine, it all seems too good to be true: physician father, beautiful wife, charming little daughter, adorable infant son and now an idyllic home. As a family, they've got it all...right down to the friendly cat. But the nearby woods hide a blood-chilling truth, more terrifying than death itself, and hideously more powerful.The Creeds are going to learn that sometimes dead is better.
A seminal novel on what it means to be black in 1930s Chicago, Richard Wright’s controversial classic tells the story of Bigger Thomas, a young black man who is charged with murder and rape after he kills a young white woman in a moment of panic. The eponymous film stars KiKi Layne (If Beale Street Could Talk), Sanaa Lathan (Nappily Ever After), and Moonlight’s Ashton Sanders in the role of Bigger Thomas.
Now streaming on HBO.
Right from the start, Bigger Thomas had been headed for jail. It could have been for assault or petty larceny; by chance, it was for murder and rape. Native Son tells the story of this young black man caught in a downward spiral after he kills a young white woman in a brief moment of panic. Set in Chicago in the 1930s, Wright's powerful novel is an unsparing reflection on the poverty and feelings of hopelessness experienced by people in inner cities across the country and of what it means to be black in America.
Stella, hospitalized with cystic fibrosis, is awaiting a transplant and cannot get sick or it will jeopardize her spot on the transplant list. As a result, she cannot get within six feet of anything that could potentially pass along an infection. Then she meets Will, also a CF patient. Will is exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. But when they strike up an unforgettable romance, can five feet apart really hurt?
In theaters now.
Now a major motion picture starring Cole Sprouse and Haley Lu Richardson!
In this #1 New York Times bestselling novel that’s perfect for fans of John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars, two teens fall in love with just one minor complication—they can’t get within a few feet of each other without risking their lives.
Can you love someone you can never touch?
Stella Grant likes to be in control—even though her totally out of control lungs have sent her in and out of the hospital most of her life. At this point, what Stella needs to control most is keeping herself away from anyone or anything that might pass along an infection and jeopardize the possibility of a lung transplant. Six feet apart. No exceptions.
The only thing Will Newman wants to be in control of is getting out of this hospital. He couldn’t care less about his treatments, or a fancy new clinical drug trial. Soon, he’ll turn eighteen and then he’ll be able to unplug all these machines and actually go see the world, not just its hospitals.
Will’s exactly what Stella needs to stay away from. If he so much as breathes on Stella she could lose her spot on the transplant list. Either one of them could die. The only way to stay alive is to stay apart. But suddenly six feet doesn’t feel like safety. It feels like punishment.
What if they could steal back just a little bit of the space their broken lungs have stolen from them? Would five feet apart really be so dangerous if it stops their hearts from breaking too?
When good girl Tessa meets cocky and tattoo-ridden Hardin, she falls hard for him despite his cruelty and recklessness with her heart. Tessa should hate him but she’s overcome with a passion for him she can’t explain . . . also there’s something mysterious about him, a dark secret she’s eager to unearth. The steamy adaptation stars Hero Fiennes Tiffin (yes, he is related to “he who shall not be named”), Selma Blair, and more.
In theaters now.
Experience the internet's most talked-about book, now a major motion picture, from Anna Todd, the writer Cosmopolitan called “the biggest literary phenomenon of her generation.” Now with new exclusive material!
There was the time before Tessa met Hardin, and then there’s everything AFTER... Life will never be the same. #Hessa
Tessa is a good girl with a sweet, reliable boyfriend back home. She’s got direction, ambition, and a mother who’s intent on keeping her that way.
But she’s barely moved into her freshman dorm when she runs into Hardin. With his tousled brown hair, cocky British accent, and tattoos, Hardin is cute and different from what she’s used to.
But he’s also rude—to the point of cruelty, even. For all his attitude, Tessa should hate Hardin. And she does—until she finds herself alone with him in his room. Something about his dark mood grabs her, and when they kiss it ignites within her a passion she’s never known before.
He'll call her beautiful, then insist he isn’t the one for her and disappear again and again. Despite the reckless way he treats her, Tessa is compelled to dig deeper and find the real Hardin beneath all his lies. He pushes her away again and again, yet every time she pushes back, he only pulls her in deeper.
Tessa already has the perfect boyfriend. So why is she trying so hard to overcome her own hurt pride and Hardin's prejudice about nice girls like her?
Unless...could this be love?
Grown-ish actress Yara Shahidi stars in the adaptation of Nicola Yoon’s award-winning novel THE SUN IS ALSO A STAR. Natasha puts her trust in facts and not fate. Natasha and her family are being deported back to Jamaica in 12 hours—fact. Finding love at a time like this is not feasible—fact. But when she meets a cute boy on a crowded New York City street, she challenges him to change her mind.
In theaters May 17.
This rock ’n’ roll biopic takes all perspectives into account when telling the story of Mötley Crüe, one of music history’s most notorious bands. While memoirs like TOMMYLAND by Tommy Lee and (of course) THE DIRT written by three members of the band are present in the film, bassist Nikki Sixx’s memoir HERION DIARIES gives a personal account of his devastating drug addiction. Filled with diary entries of those dark times, HEROIN DIARIES is his brutally honest story of hitting rock bottom and finding the courage to start living again.
Now Streaming on Netflix.
In honor of the ten-year anniversary of The Heroin Diaries, Nikki Sixx’s definitive and bestselling memoir on drug addiction is reissued with exclusive new content. This shocking, gripping, and at times darkly hilarious memoir explores Nikki’s yearlong war with a vicious heroin addiction. Now more than ever, with opioid addiction ravaging our country and rising by twenty percent in the past year alone, Nikki’s story of both his descent into drug-addled decay and subsequent recovery and transition into a rehabilitation advocate are now more relevant than ever.
When Mötley Crüe was at the height of its fame, there wasn’t any drug Nikki Sixx wouldn’t do. He spent days—sometimes alone, sometimes with other addicts, friends, and lovers—in a coke- and heroin-fueled daze.
The highs were high, and Nikki's journal entries reveal some euphoria and joy. But the lows were lower, often ending with Nikki in his closet, surrounded by drug paraphernalia and wrapped in paranoid delusions.
Here, Nikki shares the diary entries—some poetic, some scatterbrained, some bizarre—of those dark times. Joining him are Tommy Lee, Vince Neil, Mick Mars, Slash, Rick Nielsen, Bob Rock, and a host of ex-managers, ex-lovers, and more.
Brutally honest, utterly riveting, and surprisingly moving, The Heroin Diaries follows Nikki during the year he plunged to rock bottom—and his courageous decision to pick himself up and start living again.
With a fantastic cast to boast of—including Armie Hammer (Call Me By Your Name), Dakota Johnson (Fifty Shades of Grey), and Zazie Beetz (Deadpool 2)—Wounds drew praise at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival. The film is based on one of the short stories in Nathan Ballingrud’s collection WOUNDS—where a bartender finds a phone left behind after a bar fight and experiences disturbing and mysterious happenings. All six beautifully crafted and quietly terrifying stories are worth a read.
In select theaters now.
“Nathan Ballingrud is one of my favorite short fiction writers.” —Jeff VanderMeer, New York Times bestselling author of Annihilation and Borne
“Ballingrud’s work isn’t like any other.” —Cory Doctorow, Boing Boing
A gripping collection of six stories of terror—including the novella “The Visible Filth,” the basis for the upcoming major motion picture—by Shirley Jackson Award–winning author Nathan Ballingrud, hailed as a major new voice by Jeff VanderMeer, Paul Tremblay, and Carmen Maria Machado—“one of the most heavyweight horror authors out there” (The Verge).
In his first collection, North American Lake Monsters, Nathan Ballingrud carved out a distinctly singular place in American fiction with his “piercing and merciless” (Toronto Globe and Mail) portrayals of the monsters that haunt our lives—both real and imagined: “What Nathan Ballingrud does in North American Lake Monsters is to reinvigorate the horror tradition” (Los Angeles Review of Books).
Now, in Wounds, Ballingrud follows up with an even more confounding, strange, and utterly entrancing collection of six stories, including one new novella. From the eerie dread descending upon a New Orleans dive bartender after a cell phone is left behind in a rollicking bar fight in “The Visible Filth” to the search for the map of hell in “The Butcher’s Table,” Ballingrud’s beautifully crafted stories are riveting in their quietly terrifying depictions of the murky line between the known and the unknown.
Image Source: Netflix