Novels have been fueling the movie industry since the very beginning. In fact, so many movies are based on books that sometimes we don’t even realize our favorite movies wouldn’t exist without them. In the romance genre, it can be easy to spot the obvious adaptations. Movies like Gone with the Wind, Pride and Prejudice, or Sense and Sensibility are forever linked to the classic works of literature that preceded them. But it’s a bit more difficult to determine whether some of our more recent favorites can be found on bookshelves as well. Take a look at these five modern romance novels that have been adapted into movies you might recognize.
The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
Matthew Quick’s novel is about the unexpected romance between Pat, just trying to get his life back on track after separating with his wife and spending time in a mental health facility, and Tiffany, an “odd” woman also on the mend after suffering through the recent death of her husband. The heartwarming story was made into a movie starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in 2012, for which Lawrence won her first Oscar.
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen
With the Great Depression as its backdrop and a second-rate American circus as the traveling setting, Sara Gruen unveils the tale of Jacob Jankowski, an aspiring veterinarian who drops out of college, joins the show and is charged with caring for an elephant that must be trained to save the future of the circus. In the process Jacob falls in love with Marlena, the wife of the villainous ringmaster. The bestselling book was adapted into a movie that was released in 2011 starring Robert Pattinson as Jacob and Reese Witherspoon as Marlena.
Me Before You by Jojo Moyes
Jojo Moyes adapted her own bestselling novel into one of the most successful romantic movies of the past year. The story follows Louisa (Emilia Clarke), who accepts a caretaking position for the recently paralyzed Will, who is having trouble adjusting to the limitations of his physical condition. At times uplifting and just as often heartbreaking, Moyes is one of the few authors able to successfully translate their novel to the screen.
The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
It might be one of the most popular romance movies of all time, but not everyone knows that the famous film was an all-time bestseller nearly ten years earlier. The film, which starred Ryan Gosling in his breakout role as Noah and Rachel McAdams as Allie, was one of the first in a line of successful adaptations from romance author, Nicholas Sparks, the more recent titles being Safe Haven (2013) and The Longest Ride (2015).
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
Audrey Niffenegger’s debut novel introduced an entirely new twist on the well-versed subject of time travel. The love story follows a man named Henry who suffers from an extremely rare genetic disorder that causes him to involuntarily travel back and forth through time. His marriage to Clare is routinely complicated by his condition. It was adapted into a movie of the same name in 2009 starring Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams.
Find a few new romance novels for Valentine’s Day with our selection of popular bestsellers at LTD! And don’t forget to search our collection of Valentine’s Day gift ideas to make someone’s holiday extra special.