26 Books to Read Before They Hit Movie Screens in 2015

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Books adapted to the big screen: we have mixed feelings about them. While it can be really cool to see your favorite novel given real life characters and personality, there’s always the fear that the casting isn’t what you had imagined, the screenplay fails to develop the characters the way the book does, or — worst of all — the ending is completely different. (We’re looking at you, Warner Bros., and your horrible ending to My Sister’s Keeper.) Nevertheless, we still hold onto the hope that our favorite book could turn into our favorite movie. That happened to us this year, in fact, with Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. From Rosamund Pike’s terrifyingly good performance to the screenplay that stayed true to the novel, we were hooked.

With the new year upon us, we decided it’s time to get our 2015 reading list in check. To help, we rounded up 26 books that are being adapted for the big screen next year. From true-crime novels to romantic comedies, we promise there’s a book (and soon-to-be movie) for whatever your preference.

1. Still Alice by Lisa Genova


Starring: Julianne Moore, Alec Baldwin, Kristen Stewart, and Kate Bosworth
Release Date: January 16, 2015

Part heartbreaking, part inspiring, Still Alice chronicles the life of brilliant Harvard professor, mother of three, and loving wife, Alice Howland, who is diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer’s disease. Follow along as she struggles to manage life as the illness slowly destroys her mind. Read with a box of tissues.

2. A Bear Called Paddington by Michael Bond


Starring: Nicole Kidman, Hugh Bonneville, Sally Hawkins, and Julie Walters
Release Date: January 16, 2015

If you haven’t introduced your kids to the magic of Paddington Bear yet, here’s your reason. The new live-action film follows the life of the Peruvian bear who is befriended by a young English boy at a London train station. With subtle themes of acceptance and generosity of spirit, this is a great book and movie to teach your kids the value in being kind to others, no matter their differences.

Note: The movie will be titled, Paddington.

3. American Sniper by Chris Kyle


Starring: Bradley Cooper, Sienna Miller, and Luke Grimes
Release Date: January 16, 2015

If you’re a biography junkie or love a powerful military story, this book is for you. The autobiography follows the life of SEAL Chief Chris Kyle, who’s the record-holding sniper in U.S. military history with over 150 officially confirmed deaths. If the book doesn’t sell you on the movie, the fact that Clint Eastwood is directing it should.

4. The Mortdecai Trilogy by Kyril Bonfiglioli

mortdecai.700Starring: Johnny Depp, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Ewan McGregor
Release Date: January 23, 2015

Dry Brit humor is the name of the game in this series of stories centered on the shenanigans of Charlie Mortdecai, an art dealer who walks a fine line between right and wrong. The film takes us on his adventure to recover a stolen painting that’s reportedly linked to a lost bank account full of Nazi gold. We’ll be reading this — then watching it — simply because this role seems to have been written for Johnny Depp.

Note: The movie will be titled Mortdecai.

5. Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James

50shades.700Starring: Dakota Johnson and Jamie Dornan
Release Date: February 13, 2015

If you haven’t hopped on this train yet, you have two months to get your BDSM on with this highly erotic novel about fresh-out-of-college Anastasia Steele who’s seduced by the dark and mysterious world of billionaire businessman Christian Grey. Spoiler alert: What happens in the Red Room of Pain doesn’t stay in the Red Room of Pain.

6. The Secret Service by Mark Millar and Dave Gibbons

secretservice.700Starring: Colin Firth, Michael Caine, and Samuel L. Jackson
Release Date: February 13, 2015

James Bond meets Kick-Ass in this spy comic book series that follows the story of Jack London, a super-spy agent who bails his wayward nephew, Gary London, out of jail and trains him to join his team of spies. And if this doesn’t sound good enough, just try to imagine British good-boy Colin Firth playing a gun-toting secret spy. Yeah, we’re sold.

Note: The movie will be titled Kingsman: The Secret Service.

7. The DUFF: Designated Ugly Fat Friend by Kody Keplinger

duff.700Starring: Bella Thorne, Mae Whitman, Robbie Amell, and Allison Janney
Release Date: February 20, 2015

Whether you hated high school or absolutely loved it, this book is going to take you back to those complicated days fraught with young love, mean girls (and boys), and family issues. The story revolves around 17-year-old Bianca Piper, who’s dubbed Bianca the Duff (designated ugly fat friend) by the school’s man-whore hottie Wesley Rush. Things get complicated when Bianca ends up kissing Wesley and even worse, realizes she likes it.

8. Dead Stars by Bruce Wagner

deadstars.700Starring: Julianne Moore, Mia Wasikowska, John Cusack, and Robert Pattinson
Release Date: February 27, 2015

This dark novel explores the current culture of Hollywood and mocks key players for their desperate attempts to become “famous” and “relevant” no matter the cost. Riddled with obscene, hyper-sexualized characters, this book will make you look at our society’s obsession with celebrities in a whole new light.

Note: The movie will be titled Maps to the Stars.

9. Love, Rosie by Cecilia Ahern

loverosie.700Starring: Lilly Collins and Sam Claflin
Release Date: Early 2015

For lovers of the books-turned-movies One Day and P.S. I Love You, this romantic comedy follows the lives of Rosie and Alex, who’ve been best friends since childhood, are separated as teenagers, and then struggle to figure out their relationship as adults. If you’re a believer in soul mates and second chances, this book is for you.

10. In the Heart of the Sea by Nathaniel Philbrick

intheheartofthesea.700Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Cillian Murphy, and Ben Whishaw
Release Date: March 13, 2015

If you’re a lover of the classic novel Moby Dick, add this book to your read-list ASAP. This intense historical novel tells the true story of the whaleship Essex that left Nantucket for the South Pacific in 1819, where it was attacked and sunk by an 80-foot sperm whale. What comes next is 90 days of torture as the crew drifts to sea in three tiny whaleboats and suffer from hunger, disease, and the beast of nature.

11. Insurgent by Veronica Roth


Starring: Shailene Woodley, Ansel Elgort, and Theo James
Release Date: March 20, 2015

Fans of The Hunger Games trilogy won’t be able to get enough of the Divergent series, which focuses on another dystopian society where citizens are placed in factions based on their social and personality traits. In the second film, we watch Tris Prior and her fellow comrades fight a war between the factions for independence from the ideology of the state.

12. Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

child44.700Starring: Tom Hardy, Jason Clarke, and Gary Oldman
Release Date: April 17, 2015

Fans of FX’s The Americans will dig this mystery thriller set in Stalin-era Soviet Union where crime was non-existent and the only thing citizens feared was the all-powerful state. When security officer Leo Demidov is ordered to investigate a child’s murder and uncovers a string of similar crimes, he’s conflicted as to what to do. Admitting that a serial killer exists goes against all of the utopian ideals he’s grown up believing in.

13. Far from the Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy

farfromthemaddingcrowd.700Starring: Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Martin Sheen, and Matthias Schoenaerts
Release Date: May 1, 2015

This love story set in the 19th-century English countryside follows the life of Bathsheba Everdene, a beautiful, independent woman who’s pursued by three very different men throughout the course of the book: Gabriel Oak, a down-on-his-luck shepherd; Mr. Boldwood, her rich, handsome neighbor; and Sergeant Troy, a dashing, young soldier. If you can’t get enough of love triangles — er, squares — this book is for you.

14. Paper Towns by John Green

papertowns.700Starring: Cara Delevingne and Nat Wolff
Release Date: June 19, 2015

Much darker than The Fault in Our Stars, John Green’s third YA novel is less romance, more mystery. The split-story begins with high-schoolers Quentin Jacobsen and Margo Roth Spiegelman setting out on a night of revenge on people who’ve wronged them and then turns into a wild goose chase to find Margo, who mysteriously goes missing the following day.

15. Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

mebeforeyou.700Starring: Emilia Clarke and Sam Claflin
Release Date: August 21, 2015

When high profile, successful Will Traynor is wheelchair-bound following a motorcycle accident, Louisa Clark is hired to be his caretaker for six months. After having lived an “extreme” life full of big deals, traveling the world, and extreme sports, Traynor doesn’t think he can live life this way — and Louisa is there to prove him wrong. Another heartbreakingly romantic tome to read with a box of tissues.

16. Black Mass by Dick Lehr and Gerard O’Neill

blackmass.700Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Johnny Depp, and Joel Edgerton
Release Date: September 18, 2015

This true-crime novel tells the story of South Boston brothers, Jim “Whitey” Bulgur, a notorious gangster, and Billy Bulger, a political bigwig and president of the state Senate. When their childhood friend and now FBI agent, John Connolly, returns to Boston in the ‘70s to take down the Italian Mafia, Whitey gets pulled into being an informant in exchange for protection. But things quickly spiral out of control when Whitey starts manipulating Connolly and a group of corrupt FBI agents, leading to one of the worst scandals in FBI history.

17. Maze Runner: Scorch Trials by James Dashner


Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Kaya Scodelario, and Thomas Brodie-Sangster
Release Date: September 18, 2015

Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read the first book in the Maze Runner trilogy, 1) READ IT and 2) move on to the next book on the list, because we have serious spoilers ahead. The Gladers may have finally made it out of the maze, but that doesn’t mean they’re home-free. The second film Maze Runner: Scorch Trials, follows the pack as they make their way through a world full of disease and solar flares as they search for clues as to why this organization locked them up to begin with and what its plans are for them now.

18. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley

frankenstein.700Starring: Andrew Scott, Daniel Radcliffe, and James McAvoy
Release Date: October 2, 2015

It’d be good to brush up on the classic Frankenstein tale before watching this contemporary film adaptation that’s told from the perspective of the hunchbacked young assistant, Igor. Here, we get an inside look at the dark origins of the conflicted young man and the early beginnings of his friendship with the young medical student, Viktor Von Frankenstein. Definitely a book (and movie) to enjoy with the lights on.

Note: The movie will be titled Victor Frankenstein.

19. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins


Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson, and Liam Hemsworth
Release Date: November 20, 2015

This is a good year to reread (or start to read, if you’ve been slacking) the addictive Hunger Games trilogy set in a dystopian society where wealth is hard to come by unless you live in the Capitol and kids are forced to participate in a televised yearly death match. The final film tells the second half of the Mockingjay story, where Katniss leads District 13 in an all-out revolution against the Capitol.

Note: This movie will be titled The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part Two. 

20. The Martian by Andy Weir

themartian.700Starring: Jessica Chastain, Kate Mara, and Matt Damon
Release Date: November 25, 2015

For fans of this year’s Gravity, Andy Weir’s tale of astronaut Mark Watney, who becomes the first person to walk on Mars and likely the first to die, is for you. The book chronicles his struggle to survive as he’s stranded on the deserted planet for over a year.

21. Dark Places by Gillian Flynn

darkplaces.700Starring: Charlize Theron, Chloe Grace Moretz, and Nicholas Hoult
Release Date: TBA in 2015

Next year’s Gone Girl, this dark novel follows the story of Libby Day, whose mother and sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice” of Kansas when she was just 7 years old. Day testified against her 15-year-old brother and is responsible for putting him in prison for life. Now, 24 years later, a secret society obsessed with absolving her brother of the crime hires Day to reconnect with the individuals associated with the crime and unearth what really happened.

22. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith

prideandprejudiceandzombies.700Starring: Lily James, Lena Headey, and Sam Riley
Release Date: TBA in 2015

Grahame-Smith takes the classic tale of the Bennett sisters to a whole new level with the addition of zombies and ninjas. Feminists will appreciate Mr. Bennett guiding his daughters in martial arts and weapons training, while fan fiction enthusiasts will love picturing Mr. Darcy as a haughty monster-hunter. Be still our hearts.

23. Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter

beautifulruins.700Starring: Imogen Poots
Release Date: TBA in 2015

If you’re fascinated by the inner workings of Hollywood and the players that are responsible for reality TV shows and commercial blockbusters, go buy Beautiful Ruins. The decades-spanning story begins in 1962 with Dee Moray, a beautiful, young starlet who flees to a tiny village off the Italian coast when she’s told she’s dying, and continues on to cover a parallel story set in modern-day Hollywood.

24. The Price of Salt by Patricia Highsmith

thepriceofsalt.700Starring: Rooney Mara, Cate Blanchett, and Sarah Paulson
Release Date: TBA in 2015

First published in 1952, The Price of Salt centers on Therese Belivet, a lonely young woman who works in a department store, and Carol Aird, an elegant stranger she falls in love with. The book’s surprising ending helped pave the way for gay fiction in the coming decades.

Note: The movie will be titled Carol, which is what the book is sometimes published under.

25. Cell by Stephen King

cell.700Starring: Samuel L. Jackson, John Cusack, and Isabelle Fuhrman
Release Date: TBA in 2015

The Walking Dead enthusiasts will be sucked into this horror/sci-fi tale where a signal transmitted through cell phones wipes the brains of millions of people around the world, turning them into animalistic zombies. We follow along as Clayton Riddel, a comic book artist who wasn’t affected by the plague, struggles to survive as he searches for his estranged wife and young son.

26. The Adderall Diaries by Stephen Elliott

adderalldiaries.700Starring: Amber Heard, James Franco, and Ed Harris
Release Date: TBA in 2015

Part memoir, part true-crime expose, this book balances two distinct stories: that of the Adderall-addicted author Stephen Elliot and his estranged relationship with his father, and coverage of the trial of computer programmer Hans Reiser, who was accused of killing his mail-order Russian bride/ex-wife, Nina. Ultimately, this novel explores the reality of addiction, the mind of a narcissistic killer, and what it means to really get to know your true self.

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