Summer Reading List: 15 Books To Read Before Going To The Movies

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Summer is here and for many, that means heading to the beach (or nearby park) for some fun in the sun. And while there is plenty to do — who doesn’t love a good game of frisbee? — it’s a great time to crack open a book. While the days summer reading assignments are long gone, the next three months has always been a perfect time to catch up on some great books. Because so many upcoming movies and TV shows, including The Fault in Our Stars and Edge of Tomorrow, are based on books, we thought it would be great to catch up on these reads before heading to the theaters.

But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the books so you find the one that works best for you.

If you’re a Shailene Woodley fan, then you have two options this summer: Divergent (Veronica Roth) — the first of three young-adult dystopian novels about a girl who explores her identity in a post-apocalyptic Chicago — and The Fault in Our Stars. The latter by John Green tells the story of a cancer patient who falls in love with an amputee. Grab the tissues, this one is a tearjerker.

Speaking of both of these books, the film adaptations star both Woodley and Ansel Elgort, who talk about what it’s like to play siblings in one movie (Divergent) and lovers in the other (TFIOS):

Now back to the books!

If you like Divergent — or have already read it — then try The Giver (Lois Lowry), which is another dystopian novel about a society of “sameness.”

Some may be surprised to learn that Edge of Tomorrow starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt is based on All You Need is Kill, a science fiction novel by Hiroshi Sakurazaka. Other sci-fi books to look for this summer include Under the Dome by Stephen King and Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. For something darker, try the vampire horror novel, The Strain by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan.

For something more grounded in reality, you may like one of several spy and historical dramas coming to TV this summer. TNT’s new series, Legends, is based on Legends: A Novel of Dissimulation, which is considered one of the best American spy novels. Meanwhile, there’s the nuclear war drama, The Last Ship, and Washington’s Spies: The Story of America’s First Spy Ring, which was the source material of AMC’s Revolutionary War drama Turn.

Check out the gallery above for additional titles and film and TV premiere dates so that you can stay ahead of the adaptation game. More than a few of these selections should get you through the summer. Just remember to turn over when you’re reading. You don’t want your backside looking like a lobster.