One of my favorite pastimes – other than reading, of course – is going to the movies. This next Love-A-Thon challenge allows me put both of those passions together. The purpose of the “X Meets Y” challenge is to somehow combine the books and movies that I love, in order for other people to find new recommendations for things to check out. I chose to do this by proving recommendations for books you might enjoy based on your taste in movies. Here you go!
1) If you like Titanic, you should read: The Midnight Watch by David Dyer.
I just finished The Midnight Watch a couple of weeks ago and was absolutely blown away. It’s some of the best historical fiction I’ve read in a while and is utterly fascinating. It tells the story of the Titanic tragedy from various points of view, such as a newspaper reporter investigating the disaster, the sailors on a ship that was close enough to save the Titanic’s passengers but chose not to act, and a third-class woman who lost her life when the ship sank. The Midnight Watch doesn’t have the romance plot line that Titanic does, but there’s great dramatic irony, plus lots of engrossing details and facts. (Read my review of The Midnight Watch here.)
2) If you love Remember the Titans, you might enjoy: Whale Talk by Chris Crutcher.
There are many parallels between these two; they both feature sports, groups of misfit athletes who have to come together as a unified team, and characters who have to fight against racial prejudice and bigotry. Whale Talk is about a swim team, not a football team, but it’s just as moving as Remember the Titans and gives me the same transcendent feeling that the movie always does.
3) If you’re a fan of The Phantom of the Opera, you should try: Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine.
I know a lot of readers have been raving about RoseBlood recently, but Of Metal and Wishes is still my favorite Phantom of the Opera-inspired tale. I was very impressed with Fine’s imaginative take on the classic; her take is is set in a factory within a fictitious country that’s got a distinctly Asian feel. The romance, the characterization, and the world-building is just so, so perfect. Plus, it’s the first POTR retelling that made me love the “Raoul” character more than the phantom. Shocking, right?
4) If you enjoyed Blue Valentine, I think you’ll like: Stay With Me by Paul Griffin.
I’ll give you fair warning – this book will break your heart just as much as Blue Valentine! Like the movie, Griffin’s book is a bittersweet romance and tells the story of how a guy and girl meet, fall in love, and then fall apart. It’s adorable, awkward, beautiful…and oh, so painful.
5) If you like Braveheart, check out: Red Rising by Pierce Brown.
Although Braveheart is set in Scotland in the 13th century and Red Rising is set on Mars in the distant future, they have a lot of similarities. Like William Wallace, Darrow, the protagonist in the book, undergoes personal tragedy and becomes a warrior to fight against oppression. Also like Wallace, Darrow has an inner fire and charisma that win people’s hearts and loyalty. Red Rising also features games that are played out in a land of castles, highlands, forests, and vales. Add battle cries, ferocious warriors galloping around on horseback, animal pelts, and war paint, and you’ve got a great Braveheart vibe. (Read my review of Red Rising here.)
6) If you like Miss Congeniality, I recommend: Beauty Queens by Libba Bray.
Whenever I talk about Beauty Queens – which is often – I like to summarize it as “a hilarious take on what Lord of the Flies would be like if a bunch of teen beauty pageant contestants had been plane-wrecked on the island instead of a bunch of British schoolboys.” Like Miss Congeniality, Bray’s novel is super funny, yet ultimately – maybe surprisingly – heartwarming.
7) If you’re a fan of Troy, you might enjoy: The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller.
Achilles is my favorite figure in Greek mythology, and he plays a prominent role in both Troy and The Song of Achilles. (Obviously!) Each story follows the events of the Trojan War, with Troy mainly focusing on the action and adventure Achilles is part of, and Miller’s book focusing on a tender, passionate romance between Achilles and Patroclus. (Read my review of The Song of Achilles here.)