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Reel Good Reads

Well, it’s getting to be that time again. Here in Texas, the air is getting slightly less hot, the birds have pretty much stayed where they are for the winter, and the leaves have stayed firmly on their trees. In more seasonally-inclined locales, though, you are probably enjoying crisp fall weather that’s perfect for cozying up with a good read. If the chilly air is keeping you from venturing out to the cinema this December, why not check out one of these books inspired by December’s new releases?

Movie poster for Red Dawn (2012)
The Movie: If the holly-jolly feeling of November has you feeling more Scrooge-y than merry, you may be in the mood for the action-filled remake of Red Dawn that opened this week. When Korean paratroopers invade Spokane, Washington, who else to defend the town than a rag-tag gang of young folks?

Book Soulmate: If you’re looking for an action-filled book about teenagers defending their homeland from a mysterious foreign invasion, you can’t go wrong with the modern classic Tomorrow, When the War Began by John Marsden. Australian teens who decide to go camping for a week in the bush have no idea that when they return their hometown will be abandoned, and an invading country will have taken over. The first book in this critically-acclaimed series is filled with action and the tension of life-and-death decisions.

Cover for Swim the Fly by Don CalameThe Movie: Romantic comedy junkies, rejoice! Playing for Keeps is here to fill your December with all the laughing and hijinx and love you need. Being a former soccer star isn’t quite as glamorous as you would think, and Gerard Butler plays a guy who is just looking to get back to his roots by coaching a boy’s soccer team. But the soccer moms in this town are on the prowl, and nothing is as easy as he thought.

Book Soulmate: If you’re in to sports, but you’re more into raunchy than romantic, then Swim the Fly by Don Calame will pair as excellently with Playing for Keeps as chocolate with peanut butter. Matt Gratton and his two best friends set a goal that only a fifteen-year old boy would set: to see a real, live girl, naked, by the end of the summer. These three guys struggle to figure out the moves in romance (and in the pool! Matt’s also trying to swim the 100-yard butterfly) in this hilarious book.

Movie poster for "The Guilt Trip" (2012)The Movie: Dude, what is more fun than a road trip? Hours in the car to listen to music, eat grossly delicious gas station snacks, and watch the scenery go by. Well, those things are fun if you’re on a road trip with your friends. In The Guilt Trip, Andy Brewster finds out that they’re slightly less fun and way more stressful when you take one with your mom. Even as a grown up, moms just have a way to push your buttons. Three thousand miles of ways to push your buttons.

Book Soulmate: If the idea of enforced bonding in a metal box hurtling across the country sounds like your cup of tea, look no farther than Thou Shalt Not Road Trip by Antony John. Luke is pretty close to a normal sixteen year old guy. That is, until his book, Hallelujah, becomes a nation-wide best seller, and he embarks across the country on a book tour. Who better to take a tour with than his brother, who’s better at having fun than being serious, and … his ex-girlfriend? Needless to say, hijinx ensue.

Cover of Parent Swap by Terence BlackenThe Movie: Some parents are casual in their parenting, and some are more … hover-y, let’s say. If you’ve got parents of the second type and siblings of any type, you’ll definitely relate to Parental Guidance. A grumpy grandpa (played by, of course, Billy Crystal) realizes that his grandkids think of commands more as suggestions than edicts. Definitely a feel-good movie to watch when your family is driving you bonkers this holiday season.

Book Soulmate: Like the family in Parental Guidance, Danny definitely wishes he could swap out his family for people who understood him in aptly named Parent Swap by Terence Blacker. Unlike Billy Crystal, though, Danny gets his chance to do just that when he finds out about a London agency that matches kids up with parents befitting of their awesomeness. There might be more to ParentSwap, though, than meets the eye. Is something treacherous afoot?

If you prefer your movies to be more book-ish from the beginning, don’t forget that Les Miserable, The Hobbit, and Jack Reacher are all hitting theaters this month and are all based on more textually-inclined materials.

— Ariel Cummins, currently reading That’s Not a Feeling by Dan Josefson

One Comment

  1. Emily Calkins Emily Calkins

    This is an awesome post (as usual) I love the books you recommended but also the re-make of Red Dawn is set in my hometown! What?! I pretty much have to see it now, even though I don’t think it was actually filmed there.

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