Before the Movie Came the Teenage Book (Part 2)
Here we are again… Book in hand, ready for a 2014 of Literary Adaptations that will hopefully blow our collective minds. However, one more 2013 nugget to recommend before you sit down to that Turkey at Christmas.
On December 13th The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug lands in theatres all across The Shire, as Bilbo and the crew come face to face with Sherlock, sorry, I mean Smaug the Dragon who will be voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. One Book, three films – who cares! Just enjoy the ride.
Looking ahead to the New Year, first out of the traps is the excellent looking Seventh Son, otherwise known as The Spook’s Apprentice to us bookie types. Based on Joseph Delaney’s bestselling horror series for teens and starring Jeff Bridges as The Spook and Julianne Moore as the Witch… judging by early trailers and footage, this could be awesome. I’m a huge fan of the series and here’s hoping the movie does it justice.
On January 31st the classic The Book Thief by Markus Zusak hits our screens. This amazing book, which is narrated by Death himself, has huge potential to be a massive success. If you haven’t read it yet, I would urge you to do so. It is one of the most beautiful and stunning books of the past number of years.
Valentine’s Day offers up an interesting showdown, especially for couples who are split between Paranormal Romance and Dystopian genres. Richelle Mead’s funky Vampire Academy novels tell the story of Rose Hathaway (half human/half vampire) and were hugely popular in the whole post-Twilight madness. Finally the movie is coming to our screens with a plethora of hip young new actors and our very own Gabriel Byrne as Victor Dashkov. Up against the Vampire threat, and released on the same date, is the oppressive threat of “The Maze”. Set in a post- apocalyptic world The Maze Runner, based on the James Dashner novel, follows a community of boys who wake up with their memories erased and find themselves in a giant maze, being tested and having their lives threatened on a daily basis. Again, early footage and vibes are good on this, so I’d recommend getting the series read as soon as possible, before you wander down for your romantic Vampire/Dystopian evening at the cinema (large popcorn please!).
Forgive me, if I start to ramble on and babble in the next paragraph but this is one of those moments of possible Twilight/Hunger Games style mania. First things first, I am obsessed with Veronica Roth’s Divergent series… With the final part of the series (Allegiant) released in October in book form, the complete trilogy will be ready to be devoured by the masses when the movie is released on March 21st. This is high-octane stuff. Non- stop roller coaster dystopian madness which I can’t recommend highly enough. Not since I first read The Hunger Games have I become as hooked on a series – you will not be disappointed in it and the movie has all the trademarks of a breakout smash hit. Directed by Neil Burger (Limitless) and starring Shailene Woodley, Kate Winslet and Theo James,. I will eat my various hats if this does not become a worldwide box office smash of epic proportions. Oppressive governments, rival factions and of course the DAUNTLESS. Get ready to choose a side and never look back.
Coming later in the year is a movie, again starring Shailene Woodley and one which, like Divergen, you could say I am slightly obsessed with: The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (Nerdfighter Extraordinaire). A thing of beauty is how I’d describe this tale of a teen girl and boy and coping with Cancer through the support group within which they meet. John Green’s writings have slowly started to capture a worldwide audience and this movie again has the breakout potential of a smash box office hit. I have a strong feeling about this movie and have high confidence that the subject matter of death and young love will be handled in a very exceptional way. But again, like Divergent, don’t wait around for the movie… you MUST read the book first.
Finally a mention for two movies on the horizon that should be noted… whether they make it into 2014 remains to be seen, but either way, the books are well worth a look : If I Stay (9781862308312) which has Chloe Grace Moretz as its lead is another tragic tale of love and death, based on Gayle Forman’s bestselling novel. ‘Read it and weep’ is all I can say about this one. The other movie is based on Patrick Ness’s amazing Chaos Walking Trilogy and the first in the series Knife Of Never Letting Go should be due late 2014/early 2015. Coming from the people behind The Hunger Games and Divergent, this Dystopian tale of love and war again looks likely to be tagged with ‘Next Big Thing’ status in the coming months as more becomes clear about who is directing and starring in it. But trust me… the books…. Oh! those books – EPIC in every way!
And that is that… Hollywood has it all sorted for the next 18 months, getting its inspiration from some of the most original, funny, sad, daring and addictive books of the past number of years. So before you go sit in the dark and watch it all unfurl on the big screen… why not sit back, relax and enjoy a good read… Because remember – Before those Movies Came the Books!
- David O’Callaghan, Eason’s Children’s Book Buyer