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5 books to read before they become movies this year

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Films adapted from books always have the challenge of living up to a reader’s expectations. Even so, there’s a certain thrill in seeing our favorite books come to life on the big screen. Lois Lowry’s famous dystopian novel, “The Giver,” which was originally published in 1993, is one of those books; the film adaption of the award-winning books is in theaters on August 15, 2014. But it's far from the only popular book being turned into a film this year. Check out these five books before they hit theaters in 2014.

"If I Stay" by Gayle Foreman

The best-selling novel "If I Stay" by Gayle Foreman is at once heartbreaking and beautiful. After a tragic car accident in which both her parents die, 17-year-old Mia Hall is in a coma, and she has to make the hardest decision of her life: should she fight for her life, or should she go? In the this emotional rollercoaster of a book, Mia reflects on her life, the family she’s lost, and her musician boyfriend who she’d leave behind if she died. The movie stars Chloe Grace Moretz as Mia, and Jamie Blackley as Adam, her boyfriend.

Film release date: August 22, 2014

"Gone Girl" by Gillian Flynn

For an even darker story, open up Gillian Flynn’s “Gone Girl.” Flynn’s third novel is often considered the most popular. It centers on the story of Nick Dunne (Ben Affleck), who is suspected of killing his wife Amy (Rosamund Pike) when she goes missing from a small town in Missouri on their fifth wedding anniversary. Sound like it’s ripped from the headlines? Maybe it kind of is, but Flynn puts a twisted spin on this story that’s all her own, and it’s worth reading first so you know what to expect -- kind of -- before the film hits theaters

Film release date: October 3, 2014

"Dark Places" by Gillian Flynn

If you like “Gone Girl,” then pick up another one of Gillian Flynn’s bestselling books, “Dark Places.” (All three of Flynn’s novels actually are being turned into films). While “Dark Places” also has shifting narratives, it focuses mainly on Libby Day, the lone -- but traumatized and maimed -- survivor of a brutal attack on her family in their Kansas home. More than two decades later, Libby, now in her 30s, is approached by the “Kill Club,” who thinks her brother is innocent of the crime. Flashbacks to the massacre also provide some insight into the tragic day. The movie stars Charlize Theron as Libby, Nicholas Hoult as Lyle, and Christina Hendricks as Patty Day.

Film release date: September 1, 2014

"The Maze Runner" by James Dashner

The first book in a trilogy by James Dashner, “The Maze Runner” has perhaps the most unique premise of all the books on this list. The main character, Thomas, wakes up one day in a different world, called the Glade, with all his memories gone. But he’s not the only one. The Glade is full of other boys just like him, and none of them can leave, because they’re surrounded by a constantly shifting maze full of vicious creatures. Then one day things change when a girl arrives with a message: “Remember. Survive. Run.” The film features Dylan O’Brien as Thomas and Kaya Scodelario as Teresa.

Film release date: September 19, 2014

"Unbroken" by Laura Hillenbrand

The full title of this book is “Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption.” The award-winning biography by author Laura Hillenbrand details what happens when Louis Zamperini survives a plane crash only to drift out on the ocean for more than 40 days. Even when he’s “rescued,” life doesn’t get much easier, as he spends the next couple years of his life at Japanese internment camps. The inspiring non-fiction story is being brought to the big screen by Angelina Jolie, and features a British actor, Jack O’Connell, as Louis.

Film release date: December 25, 2014

This is a "sponsored post," meaning the company who sponsored the article compensated me for writing the article. The opinions I have expressed, however, are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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