Hollywood’s brought to life some of the most compelling reads in 2017 - think tear-jerkers, nail-biting thrillers, and of course, a great love story.
We all know the feeling of wanting to read the book a movie is based on after watching it; and I’m sure you’re also familiar with the feeling of wanting your favourite book to be turned into a movie.
We curated a list of the hottest books to read (that also have movies based off them) so you can enjoy the best of both worlds. Here are our picks:
1) A Dog’s Purpose by W.Bruce Cameron
The book: Dog lovers hardly need any reminder that their canine buddies are probably the most loyal friends in their lives, but why not let a heartwarming read told through a dog’s perspective drive the point home anyway?
The 2010 New York Times’ bestseller chronicles the canine protagonist’s search for purpose in his own existence as he’s reincarnated numerous times through different lives and fates, before – spoiler alert – he finds himself reunited with his first owner in a full-circle moment ending. An expected tear-jerker that will make you want to give your pet a warm hug at the end of it.
The movie: Released in March 2017. Dennis Quaid starred as the lead character of Ethan, the first owner.
2) Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
The book: This 2013 hit about the mind-bogglingly lavish lifestyles of the old-moneyed in Singapore – apparently based on Kevin’s own life experiences – features incredible, almost outrageous anecdotes about living the high life in Singapore. Let’s just say you’ll learn about a palatial-like mansion undetectable on Google Maps, Hasten mattresses stuffed with Swedish horsehair; and a home sushi bar featuring food prepared by renowned sushi master Jiro’s second cousin. Trust us, this read is the ultimate guilty pleasure.
The movie: Slated for a late 2017 release. In the lead role of Rachel Chu is Fresh Off the Boat actress Constance Wu.\
3) The Mountain Between Us by Charles Martin
Image: Daily Mail
The book: What would otherwise have been your standard issue love story between two strangers meeting under strange circumstances (a bride-to-be and a surgeon share a charter plane after a snowstorm caused their flights to be cancelled) takes a bad turn when they crash-land in the harsh wilderness of the Uintas Mountains in Utah.
Badly injured and stranded, the two have to fend off nature’s wrath and their own personal demons. The inevitable falling in love between the two could have been a cringe-worthy cliché, if not for the well-fleshed-out characters that bring very real emotions to the forefront of the story.
The movie: Slated for an October 20 release in the US, Kate Winslet and Idris Elba will star in the leading roles.
4) Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews
Image: Diane Rehm
The book: First time novelist Jason Matthews’ spy thriller centres around a pair of young intelligence officers operating for opposing camps – she’s a rookie Russian “sparrow”, a trained seductress in the Russian intelligence force; he’s a Central Intelligence Officer (CIA) in charge of penetrating Russian intelligence. This pacey novel has a gripping storyline and incredible detail – unsurprising, when you learn that Matthews is himself a 33-year veteran of the CIA, with actual knowledge of the spy world’s inner workings.
The movie: Slated for a September 8 release (USA). Jennifer Lawrence and Joel Edgerton take on leading roles.
5) Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
The book: Think Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. Protagonist and high school queen bee Samantha is killed in a car accident, but finds herself alive and well in her own bed the next morning.
Eventually, she realises she’s trapped in a time loop, seemingly destined to have her life cut short over and over again. Over the course of the next week, as she tries to uncover the details behind the accident, she realises the impact of her actions on people around her, and makes amends. Nothing quite like a do-over story to get you feeling introspective.
The movie: Released in March 2017. Newbie actress Zoey Deutch starred in the role of Samantha.
6) Lost in the Jungle: A Harrowing True Story of Adventure and Survival by Yossi Ghinsberg
Image: Expertly Chosen
The book: Based on Israeli Yossi Ghinsberg’s harrowing, real-life, near-death experience trekking through the Amazon rainforest, the book recounts the extreme dangers he had to face – ranging from a near-drowning in a river, to coming face-to-face with a black jaguar.
The mental and physical pain he endured makes for an uncomfortable read at times, but it’s still a thrilling page-turner that will make you appreciate nature’s wrath.
The movie: Slated for a late 2017 release, with Daniel Radcliffe starring as Yossi.