Adaptations of Favorite Best Sellers Hit the Big Screens

Read the books first, or see the movies? It's an age-old question.

If you're the "read-it-first" type, Hollywood is challenging you to keep the stack of books on your bedside table moving along to keep up. Studios are releasing films based on books at a rapid pace this year, ranging from light romance to lush adaptations of classic novels.

Young adult best sellers have become some of the highest grossing films of all time. With loyal, built-in fan bases, the hype comes as no surprise. After all, the idea behind movie adaptations is to give readers a new opportunity to walk through their favorite world.

"Hunger Games" heroine Katniss Everdeen, portrayed by Jennifer Lawrence, returns to the big screen on Nov. 22 with the second installment in the fantasy trilogy, "Catching Fire."

She and Peeta, played by Josh Hutcherson, find themselves targets of the Capitol after their victory in the 74th installment of the Hunger Games causes a rebellion. Viewers' hearts will be jerked around as Katniss' affections toward two different men get more diluted and conflicted as the film goes on.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman takes a turn as Plutarch Heavensbee, Elizabeth Banks appears as Effie Trinket and Liam Hemsworth repeats his role as Gale Hawthorne.

One adaptation the film made from the book was slightly changing Peeta's storyline. In the book, when the Hunger Games begins and the tributes dive into the water, Peeta is paralyzed because he cannot swim. For the film, they changed this small detail.

Other major adaptations the film makes were getting rid of three characters from the books: Bonnie and Twill from District 8, and Darius from District 12.

"It's impossible for a film adaptation to be exactly like the book. There is just way too much detail and that is difficult to capture in a two hour film," said Gabriella Romanguolo, a junior. "Being able to see the characters from my favorite book come to life on the big screen is such a reward, even if it is not exactly what I would have expected. That's the beauty of it all."

Another must-see movie adaptation is the upcoming teen sci-fi thriller and first in the trilogy, "Divergent," written by Veronica Roth. Currently in post-production, the film is said to be the next "Hunger Games."

The movie is a futuristic look at a dystopian society with five factions, each based on a human virtue: intelligence, bravery, honesty, selflessness and peacefulness. The hero of the film, a young girl named Tris, played by Shailene Woodley, is "divergent," meaning she doesn't fit into any one faction, making her a threat to the way society is organized.

The film is set to release on March 31, 2014, also starring Kate Winslet, Theo James, Miles Teller, Ashley Judd and Zoe Kravitz.

Yet another movie to be released later next year starring Shailene Woodley is "The Fault in Our Stars" based on John Green's best-selling novel about two teens that fall in love while dealing with terminal cancer prognoses.

The movie also stars Ansel Elgort, Willem Dafoe and Laura Dern, and is to be released on June 6, 2014.

While the movie about star-crossed love is months away from the big screen, it already has quite a fan base. The novel, published in 2012, has spent 75 weeks on USA Today's Best-selling Books list.

According to author John Green, "almost every line of dialogue in the movie is from the book." For those that have a strong belief in keeping the film as close to the book as possible, it seems like "The Fault in Our Stars" will be doing just that.

"John Green is one of my favorite authors of all time, and 'The Fault in Our Stars' was a truly amazing novel," said Lauren Fuhring, a junior.

"I can't wait to see how they adapt the book to the movie," she added.

One of the Oscar season's most anticipated movies to be released is based on the memoir by Jordan Belfort, "The Wolf of Wall Street."

Starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Jonah Hill and Matthew McConaughey, "The Wolf of Wall Street" is the true tale of a millionaire broker's rise and fall. It tells the story of a New York stockbroker who refuses to cooperate in a large securities fraud case involving corruption on Wall Street.

The film is set to hit theatres on Dec. 25, 2013.

"Any movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, you can sign me right up," said Emily Egner, a junior. "He's a great actor, plus the movie seems really intriguing. I would definitely go see it."

These film adaptations of books are just a few of many to come out within the next year. If you want to get a head start, pick up these books before you see the movie. That way, it'll be easy to compare and contrast the plots.