Star-Crossed Lovers, Rock Stars & a Really Cute Dog: 6 Books to Read Before You See the Movies
Whether you’re in the mood for a sweet teenage love story, an inspiring—and true—tale of friendship against all odds or a terrifying drama that might make it hard to sleep, there’s an upcoming movie for you. But did you know some of them are based on books? Before you head to the theater, read the source texts behind these six flicks.
'A Dog's Way Home' (In Theaters Now)
Writer W. Bruce Cameron first made us bawl like babies with 2010’s A Dog’s Purpose. His follow-up novel, A Dog’s Way Home, is similarly sweet—if a little predictable. (Spoiler: The dog finds its way home.) The film version, starring Ashley Judd and Edward James Olmos, is about a dog named Bella (voiced by Bryce Dallas Howard), who travels more than 400 miles to find her owner. The book is super sweet, and the movie has the added bonus of having, you know, a dog in one of its starring roles.
'The Aftermath' (March 15)
Set in post-World War II Germany, Rhidian Brook’s best-seller opens on a woman reuniting with her British colonel husband in the ruins of Hamburg. There, they’ll live in a giant house alongside the home’s previous owner, a German widower. Read the book for a great war drama, then see the movie for period-piece queen Keira Knightley (alongside Alexander Skarsgard and Jason Clarke).
'The Dirt' (March 22)
Based on New York Times writer Neil Strauss’s 2002 biography of Mötley Crüe, The Dirt is a no-holds-barred look at the notorious rock band’s backstage scandals, celebrity love affairs, drug addictions and, of course, kickass music. Starring Douglas Booth and Machine Gun Kelly (and SNL’s Pete Davidson in a supporting role), you don’t even have to go to the theater to see this one. It’s a Netflix original, so you can stream it from the comfort of your own couch.
'The Sun Is Also a Star' (May 17)
The second novel by YA queen Nicola Yoon follows a Korean boy, struggling with his parents’ expectations, a Jamaican girl struggling with possible deportation and what happens when their paths cross in a way neither expected. The movie stars Grown-ish favorite Yara Shahidi and Riverdale’s Charles Melton, and promises to be a sweet story about young love.
'The Best of Enemies' (April 5)
True story alert: During the 1960s, a man who was part of the Ku Klux Klan and a woman who fought for civil rights in Durham, North Carolina, met on opposite sides of the public-school integration issue. They eventually forged an unlikely friendship, with each coming to see how the other had been exploited by the South's power structure. The book by Osha Gray Davidson is incredibly powerful, and the film, with performances by Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell, should do its source text justice.
'Pet Sematary' (April 5)
First published in 1983, Stephen King’s horror novel is about a doctor from Chicago who moves to a large house in Ludlow, Maine, with his wife and two young children. Then things start to go wrong, starting with little inconveniences, like a bee sting…and graduating to murders. After the 1988 movie, this book is being readapted with Jason Clarke and John Lithgow in the lead roles. If it’s anything like the book—or the first movie—this one promises to be creepy as hell.