2016 is going to be a good year for movies. With sure to be blockbuster-hits like Zoolander 2, Batman V. Superman, and Disney's newest animated classic Zootopia, theaters are definitely going to be bumping. And in addition to these original films, the lineup is full of many fantastic books being made into movies in 2016 that are sure to be huge hits.
But here's the thing about books being made into movies: you're totally doing yourself a disservice if you neglect to read the book first. For one, I can't think of anyone who's ever said "the movie was better" about any adaptation. This isn't to say that books turned into movies can't make great films, just look at the Harry Potter franchise. But no matter how great the movie is, it will never be able to fully portray everything that book does. There are time constraints and limits of not being able to be inside the character's thoughts. The book, almost without fail, will always have something more that the movie version simply cannot offer.
The other reason it's essential to read the book first is because it's pretty unlikely you'll actually read it after seeing it on screen. Sure, you might tell yourself you will, but it's hard to commit to hundreds of pages when you already know what's going to happen. It's much easier to read the book and then take the time to see it live for two hours during a date night.
So my advice? Always read the book first. This can be difficult, however, when you suddenly realize an awesome flick is coming to theaters this Friday, and you haven't even downloaded the e-book to your Kindle yet. To avoid this from happening, here are 13 of the most exciting movie adaptations coming to the big screen this year so you can get a jump start on your reading list.
1. 'Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them' by Newt Scamander
Newt Scamander is actually J.K. Rowling, which means we are (finally) being blessed with another movie from the world of Harry Potter. Based on a textbook from the book series, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them stars Eddie Redmayne and is sure to be every bit as wonderful as we imagine.
2. 'Luckiest Girl Alive' by Jessica Knoll
Often likened to Gone Girl, Luckiest Girl Alive is part thriller, part mystery, part coming-of-age that is sure to resonate with young women everywhere. Plus the movie is going to be produced by Reese Witherspoon, and if that's not a stamp of approval, then I don't know what is.
3. 'The BFG' by Roald Dahl
4. 'Let It Snow' by John Green, Maureen Johnson, & Lauren Myracle
You've got time to read Let It Snow, a collaboration between John Green, Maureen Johnson, and Lauren Myracle; even though it doesn't have an official release date, it's a Christmas love story, so it's sure to come out at the end of the year.
5. 'I Take You' by Eliza Kennedy
Although it hasn't yet been confirmed that I Take You will have a 2016 release, a movie is definitely in the works and Toby Maguire is set to produce it, so get to reading. The story of a bride-to-be who isn't actually sure she wants to be a wife after all, this novel and its protagonist are sure to warm the hearts of women everywhere.
6. 'The 5th Wave' by Rick Yancey
Another dystopian YA novel is coming to the silver screen in 2016, and this time it stars aliens and Chloë Grace Moretz. The 5th Wave follows a badass teenage girl as she struggles to save her little brother while dealing with the end of the world and falling in love (wait aren't those the same thing?).
7. 'Me Before You' by Jojo Moyes
Although there are some heartbreakingly tragic elements to this story, Me Before You is classic RomCom material. It tells the unlikely love story of two people who have nothing in common, and it's sure to become a quintessential chick flick.
8. 'Inferno' by Dan Brown
If you liked The DaVinci Code you're going to love Dan Brown's Inferno. Another historically-driven mystery, this time centered around Dante's Inferno, this book will have you turning the pages faster than you thought possible. Oh, and the movie stars Tom Hanks and Felicity Jones, so score!
9. 'Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children' by Ransom Riggs
Although technically a young adult novel, Miss Peregrine's Home For Peculiar Children is spooky enough to thrill any reader, no matter what their age. Haunting and mysterious, the movie version of this book is sure to send chills up your spine — especially since it's directed by Tim Burton.
10. 'The Zookeeper's Wife' by Diane Ackerman
The Zookeeper's Wife is a true story set at the Warsaw Zoo during a Nazi invasion, where the keeper and his wife were able to save hundreds of people and animals. This is definitely a tearjerker, so have your tissues ready.
11. 'East of Eden' by John Steinbeck
Again, there's no actual release date for the remake of East Of Eden, but it's going to star Jennifer Lawrence so we're already excited. And even if it doesn't come out in 2016, Steinbeck's novel is a classic, so it's worth reading anyway.
12. 'Allegiant' by Veronica Roth
The third installment of the Divergent series, Allegiant is going to be a massive blockbuster hit. So make sure you've caught up on your reading by March 18 when the film premiers to avoid any spoilers.
13. 'The Girl On The Train' by Paula Hawkins
The Girl On The Train has been everywhere in 2015, including the number one slot on The New York Times' Bestseller List. And the movie is sure to be just as prevalent in 2016, with an all-star cast including Emily Blunt, Justin Theroux and Lisa Kudrow. If you haven't read the thriller yet, make it your New Year's resolution to do so.
Correction: An earlier version of this post omitted the names of two of the three authors of Let It Snow, Maureen Johnson and Lauren Myracle.
Images: Walt Disney Pictures