There’s something about the cinema that seems to bring stories to life: Characters and images jump out at you and narratives unfold right before your very eyes in an almost magical way. When it comes to movies that are based on books, however, for some people the magic changes; basing a movie off of a book can be tricky, especially if the book is a bestseller, because the readers and lovers of the novel already have their own preconceived notions of how the characters look and speak and will notice if key elements of the story are lost in the process. Since many hotly debate whether the novelization or on-screen representation of the story most accurately represents it, make that judgement call for yourself and dive between the pages of these books and explore them before they hit the silver screen this year as major motion pictures.

  1. Hidden Figures by Margot Lee Shetterly

    If you like reading about events from history, especially ones that uncover a previously unknown historical truth, then ‘Hidden Figures’ is the perfect book for you. Set from the 1940s to the 1960s, this book details the work of Katherine Johnson and the other black women scientists and engineers without whom landing on the moon may never have happened. This is their story, told by Margot Lee Shetterly, the daughter of a retired NASA research scientist. It will star the talents of Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monáe, and Kevin Costner.

  2. Wonder by R.J. Palacio

    This children’s book was published in 2012 and will make its big screen debut in April of 2017. It tells the story of a young boy, Auggie Pullman, as he goes through life with a facial deformity striving to teach others that beauty isn’t just skin deep. The movie will star Julia Roberts and Owen Wilson as the parents of Auggie.

  3. The Circle by Dave Eggers

    Starring crowd-favorites Emma Watson and Tom Hanks, this 2013 science-fiction novel will hit theatres in late April 2017. It tells the story of a young woman — played by Watson — who takes a job at a tech company where she quickly advances and perhaps learns more than she bargained for initially.

  4. Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

    One of 1930s author Agatha Christie’s better-known novels, this tale takes place in the literary world of Hercule Poirot, Christie’s iconic detective character. A murder mystery that primarily occurs on a train from Istanbul to London, this classic thriller will get modernized for the big screen in November 2017, starring Kenneth Branagh as Poirot alongside Daisy Ridley, Johnny Depp, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Penelope Cruz.