Best Summer Beach Reads

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It’s summertime, which means that the kids are heading off to sleep-away camp and you’re (hopefully) headed to the beach. What’s on your summer reading list?

When the weather gets hot, we’re tempted to pick up any best-selling “beach read” for our dose of summer literature, but this year, look at books in terms of their film adaptations. The book is always better than the movie (or television show), so give the printed word a shot.

Here are some books that have been adapted for the screen in the last year. Go back to their roots for the original story!

The Hunger Games (Trilogy) by Suzanne Collins

You’ve seen the movie, and you’ve become enamored with Katniss Everdeen, but have you read the book? The movie had to cut out entire scenes and concepts in order to appeal to viewers, so reading the book is like seeing the “deleted scenes” that never made it to the screen. Suzanne Collins’ trilogy is a light, easy read that’s (dare I say) even more captivating than the movie.

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire Series) by George R. R. Martin

If you haven’t watched this HBO series yet, you’re missing out. While you wait for Season 3 to air in April of 2013, read the books! Your friends will be itching to know what happens next, but you’ll have all the answers.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (Millenium Series) by Stieg Larsson

This film was a box office hit, but it all started with the books written by Stieg Larsson. These tense, gripping novels aren’t your typical beach reads, but if you’re looking for some excitement, the Millenium Series can certainly supply it. Warning: violence and frightening imagery!

And here are some books whose movie counterparts are coming soon. Read the books first so that you know what you’re in for!

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkein

This movie’s not out yet, but it will be in December of this year. Even without the film counterpart, Tolkien’s The Hobbit is a classic piece of literature that deserves to be read. To anyone who felt overwhelmed by the detailed descriptions and long battles of the Lord of the Rings series, know that The Hobbit has a very different tone. It’s a rather quick read that’s full of adventure.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky

This iconic novel will bring you right back to your teenage days, when you were trying to figure it all out. The novel is written in an interesting format as a series of letters by a teenager named Charlie, and it packs quite the emotional punch.

Les Misérables by Victor Hugo

This isn’t a simple beach read, but a summer project. It’s a tome of classic French literature that’s considered to be one of the most important and influential novels of the 19th century. This one will take you some time, but it’s worth it!

Fifty Shades of Grey (Trilogy) by E.L. James

The film rights were only purchased by Universal Pictures in March of 2012, so it’ll be awhile before you see this one on the big screen, but if you plan on seeing the movie, you might want to prepare yourself with the written version first. Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times Bestseller; Aren’t you curious what the craze is all about?

Just because you’ve seen the movie (or show) doesn’t mean you know the whole story. Check out the original stories to learn why these books were adapted for the big screen. Watching is good, but reading and imagining is even better. Summertime is for reading, so pledge your allegiance to the written word!

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