1. If you like Moonrise Kingdom or Little Miss Sunshine then you might like The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet by Reif Larsen
The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet follows ten year old cartographer, T.S., as he hitches a ride on a train across country to collect a very prestigious award. This book has a lot in common with Moonrise Kingdom, the central story of a young boy running away from home being, of course, the immediate thing that comes to mind. There is also a balance of darkness and optimism that reminds me a lot of Little Miss Sunshine, and although T.S. makes his journey alone, his relationship with his family are a huge part of the book. The Selected Works of T.S. Spivet is also illustrated with T.S.'s diagrams and drawings throughout, which links nicely with the beautiful look of both films.
2. If you like The Breakfast Club (or any John Hughes film really) you might like Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Okay so I know everyone and their mother has already read Eleanor and Park but I couldn't make a list like this without mentioning it. Eleanor & Park, like so many of John Hughes's teen films, is set in 1980s America, but the story of growing up and falling in love could be set in any time period and it would still be pretty much the same. In The Breakfast Club five very different teenagers are thrown together in detention and soon find out that they maybe aren't so different after all, and that they all have their own unique problems. In Eleanor & Park the title characters are thrown together on a school bus and they slowly learn the same lessons with the added bonus of falling in love.
3. If you like Rushmore you might like Looking For Alaska by John Green
I'm going to admit here and now that this one is probably the most tenuously linked comparison on this list. Also, as with Eleanor & Park, pretty much everyone in the world has already read this book. Hear me out though, Rushmore and Looking For Alaska have a lot of differences. For example, Rushmore Academy is not a boarding school, and there are no plays in Looking For Alaska. They do, however, share a vibe. They both have a sense of adventure and they're both about teenage boys trying to find their ways in the world. They also both feature doomed crushes and lessons learned. Also the main protagonists of both books are a little pretentious and friendless when their stories begin. Which, for some reason, is the kind of thing I like in a main character.
4. If you like Romeo + Juliet you might like Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
Quite simply, these are both unique interpretations of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. Whereas Romeo + Juliet sets the famous story in 90s America with guns instead of swords, Warm Bodies makes Romeo a zombie. There's really not much more to say, but if you liked Baz Luhrmann's take on Romeo and Juliet then I think you might enjoy Isaac's Marion's too.
5. If you like The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert or Hairspray or pretty much any other musical film you can think of you might like Hold Me Closer by David Levithan
Hold Me Closer is the companion novel to the equally brilliant Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan and John Green, but what makes Hold Me Closer unique is that it is not actually a novel at all. It's a script. A musical script, in fact, (although with very novel-like stage directions) written by the best character in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, Tiny Cooper. This is definitely a book for musical lovers, which I definitely am, but it's more of a Priscilla or Hairspray than Evita or Les Mis, if you know what I mean. It has its sad moments, as any good musical does, but by the end of the show Tiny makes sure you feel uplifted and positive, just like all my favourite musicals do.
So those are just a few book recommendations for fans of some excellent films. Do you have any film-specific book recommendations to add to the list? I'd love to hear them in the comments!