Read it first: February's book-to-movie picks
Some of the best movies and television series were born from the pages of a book. Every month, Candace from Beth Fish Reads features several books that made it to the screen. Read them and then see them: Which version do you like better?
By Nicholas Sparks
Southport, North Carolina, is a small enough town that when an outsider moves in, everyone notices. Newcomer Katie, a smart young woman, is friendly enough but seems to keep to herself, even though Alex, a widower with two children, has taken an interest in her. After a few heartfelt talks with Jo, the woman who lives next door, Katie begins to open herself up to a deeper relationship with Alex. Just as Katie starts to believe in the possibility of true happiness, her past comes crashing into her present, threatening destroy everything she loves. Nicholas Sparks's Safe Haven is the heartfelt story of one woman's brave journey to find peace and security. The movie, starring Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders and David Lyons, opened in theaters on Feb. 14.
BONUS READ: For more Southern fiction that focuses on important domestic issues, read Backseat Saints by Joshilyn Jackson.
By Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
Ethan is tired of his small hometown, where nothing ever happens. But after the first day of sophomore year, his world is changed forever: A pretty girl has moved to town to live with her reclusive uncle. When Ethan gets to know Lena, he discovers she has a dark secret; she's a caster (a person who can use magic), and on her quickly approaching 16th birthday, she will be called to either good or evil. As the pair struggle to save their impossible relationship, Lena's future begins to take shape. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl is a Gothic tale of forbidden love, a family curse and the struggle between light and dark. The movie, starring Alden Ehrenreich, Alice Englert, Emma Thompson and Jeremy Irons, opened in theaters on Feb. 14.
BONUS READ: For more magic and demons, read Cassandra Clare's City of Bones.
By Isaac Marion
R is dead, but as he says himself, it's not all that bad. He exists in a dystopian America, where zombies feed on humans and humans band together to kill zombies. Although R can no longer talk, he hasn't lost his ability to think. After eating the brain of a boy, R begins to experience the other teen's memories, which include many thoughts of Julie — still a living girl. When Julie is about to be attacked by a fellow zombie, R surprises himself by saving her life and sparking an unlikely friendship that seems doomed from the start. Much more than a paranormal love story, Isaac Marion's Warm Bodies explores the meaning of life, death and humanity. The movie, starring Nicholas Hoult, Teresa Palmer and John Malkovich, opened in theaters on Feb. 1.
BONUS READ: If you just can't enough of zombies, try Mira Grant's Feed.
The Carrie Diaries
By Candace Bushnell
Before Carrie Bradshaw moved to the Village, scored her newspaper column and spent hours drinking cosmopolitans, she was a Connecticut teen trying to get through high school. Mourning her late mother, Carrie records her thoughts in her diary, honing the writing skills that will later make her career. In The Carrie Diaries, Candace Bushnell turns her focus to one of the most difficult times in anyone's life: the limbo years between childhood and adulthood. Carrie struggles with learning to handle her attraction to a cute guy without jeopardizing her relationship with her girlfriends, trying to find her own voice and style and sorting out her dreams for the future. The television show, starring AnnaSophia Robb, Matt Letscher, and Austin Butler, airs on The CW. Check local listings for days and times.
BONUS READ: For more adventures of a young woman in New York City, read Lauren Weisberger's Chasing Harry Winston.