This post was written by Hatchet reporter Tim Palmieri.
While fans will often rally behind movie spinoffs of their favorite books, authors risk a lot with film versions. The movies may generate more readership, but they can also stain the book’s image for years. “Divergent” and “The Fault in Our Stars” have both recently undergone the Hollywood treatment, and here’s why you should read them now.
Author: Veronica Roth
Genre: Dystopian, Thriller
If You Liked: “The Hunger Games,” “Legend,” “Maze Runner”
Selfless, intelligent, honest, brave and peaceful represent the five factions that coexist in this book’s dystopian Chicago. The faction in which you belong is determined by tests that ultimately determine your life. But the test cannot always be right, and when faced with this predicament, Beatrice Prior must decide whether faction is more important than blood.
“Divergent” combines originality with themes from “1984,” “The Hunger Games,” and “The Maze Runner” that result in an intriguing and immersive world that stays with readers long after the final page is turned. At 500-pages, the book may seem long but it’s a quick read. Readers will resonate with characters and values and enjoy the deceptively complex plot. Continuing to follow the trilogy with the sequel, “Insurgent,” is not a decision as much as it is a necessity.
The “Divergent” film, directed by Neil Burger and starring Shailene Woodley and Theo James, enters theaters March 21. Readers eagerly anticipate the film’s depiction of the faction test in hopes it will be as grueling and mystifying as they always imagined. Intense training sessions will likely utilize special effects to convey the surreal obstacles in scenes that will leave lasting impressions, not to mention the eccentric appearances of factions and their interesting customs such as the Dauntless jumping onto moving trains for transportation.
“The Fault in Our Stars”
Author: John Green
Genre: Drama, Romance
If You Liked: “The Notebook,” “Looking For Alaska,” “Thirteen Reasons Why”
John Green’s “The Fault in Our Stars” tells the tale of Hazel and her decline into terminal illness. Despite her grim condition, life starts to improve when Augustus Waters shows up to the “cancer kid support group.”
“The Fault in Our Stars” is full of life lessons, from happiness to pain and justification. Hazel and Augustus convey these themes through witty dialogue and gestures that force readers to smile with admiration or “aww” in delight. The fundamentally organic nature and charm of the narrative makes this a unique story readers will want to remember.
The film version, directed by Josh Boone and starring Shailene Woodley and Ansel Elgort, will be released on June 6. The tender scenes between the pair will make it difficult for audiences to experience without evoking virtually every emotion throughout the film. Their first meeting, the date scene and the museum trip should all be highlights.